Friday, May 31, 2013

To Cheat or Not to Cheat...

I wonder if you remember the following image where the incredible Mr. Bean is trying to copy answers from his neighbor in an exam.

Well, though I absolutely enjoy how Mr. Bean tried out several ingenious methods to copy during the exam, I’m forced to ponder about why people actually cheat. When I was still a kid, people resorted to cheating as a desperate measure to merely get themselves over the line. And I have been witness to some really bizarre methods that people employed in order to copy. Some resorted to helping themselves while a few lucky ones managed to peep into the neighboring candidate’s work.

But over the years, this practice has evolved into a tool not just to survive, but to excel in one’s field. From a distressed individual’s need, cheating has now become a mutual exercise between people wanting to out-rival others.

During my years in college, it was usual practice to find groups of students planning out an efficient method of mutual collaboration to get really good marks. Mind you, most of such students were extremely capable of performing well enough to land the top ranks by themselves.

I particularly remember the university exams during my first year of Masters. Within a few minutes of obtaining the question paper, I would invariably experience a sort of earthquake. The girl sitting right behind me would use her hands effectively enough to shake my chair to a point where I would be in danger of being floored. And if I would be late in responding to her demand for all the answers of the objective questions, she would then resort to use her legs in giving some hefty kicks to my chair.

Incidentally, the same girl topped our batch in that very year.

Though I never believed in copying answers from anyone, but I hold myself guilty for helping others out irrespective of their needs. I don’t know if it is due to my inability to say a ‘No’, but still, I would be considered a party to the offense.

I have had several heated arguments with my batch mates over the issue of copying during exams. Strangely, the more brilliant students were the ones who always argued in favor of cheating. According to them, if they didn’t cheat, they would be bettered by other brilliant students who also would have been cheating. But I always wonder if people aren’t actually cheating themselves by rejoicing at their false success ?

If people do not know, or choose to ignore their own shortcomings, how can they excel in whatever they do ? Don’t they overlook their own shortcomings instead of recognizing them and working on them ?

There was another incident I remember where one of my friends who didn’t believe in cheating had taken a clinical-ending test with his small batch of twenty odd students. Our professor was calling each student into her room to give out the answer sheets and talking to them. When my friend went in, the first thing she asked him was – “You didn’t cheat ?”

He was rather surprised by the question and replied in the negative. To which she said – “You are the only one who got a 12 in the objective part. Everyone else got 20 out of 20”.

It is not just in academics, but in almost every field that people try to cheat their way to success. It is a common sight in football matches to see players diving to the ground in acting their best to appear in pain. And then they happily accept a foul in their favor.

A few days back, the cricketer Virat Kohli was seen celebrating a half century after he had hit the ball for a boundary. But actually, he had been clearly caught just the ball before which the umpire couldn’t make out. Every person watching around the world knew the batsman was out. Yet, he celebrated his success which was in fact based on a cheated failure.

Just goes to show that people cheat for trying to fool the world. But the only person they are actually fooling is themselves.

Image courtesy : Google Images


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