Me: Give me an example of such a situation.
Daughter: See, two of my best friends cheated during the test today. They copied from the textbook. Should I have reported this to the teacher or should I have looked the other way?
Me: What did you do finally?
Daughter: I told my friends that if they did it again, I would report to the teacher.
Me: Good, that settles it then.
Daughter: No, but I had told them the same thing when they had cheated last week.
Me: Yes, that does complicate things a bit; they seem to be habitual offenders…
Daughter: You haven’t answered my question. What would you have done in my place?
Me: Well, this is what is referred to by philosophers as a moral dilemma…….
Daughter: Appa, no big words and don’t try to change the topic. Tell me what you would have done.
Me: Let me put it this way. If you are walking on the road and you notice that a car is not stopping when there’s a red light on, will you keep walking or will you note the number and call up the police?
Daughter: Why should I? That’s the job of the policeman - to catch them.
Me: Isn’t it the job of the teacher to catch your friends copying then?
Daughter: It’s not the same thing. The car driver is a stranger; here I am talking about my best friends…..
Me: Same difference. In fact, you ought to go across to your headmistress and report that your teacher is not doing her job properly.
Daughter: Are you crazy?
Me: Why not? Then your headmistress will pull up your teacher. Of course, after that your teacher will kill you for squealing on her. While your two friends will get away without any punishment.
Daughter: Appa, you are absolutely of no use in a crisis. I will handle it myself.