aqib ullah jangbazar, Chitral

Put the veil of ignorance to see clearly

The philosopher John Rawls suggests that we should imagine sitting behind a veil of ignorance that prevents us from knowing who we are and from identifying with our circumstances. By ignoring our circumstances, we can think more objectively about how societies should function. According to Rawls, approaching difficult issues through a veil of ignorance can help us make more fair and  rational judgments

Now, let’s take this theory in the sense of judging others. Should we put a veil of ignorance before giving judgment about others? The answer would be YES because then we can give rational judgments about others when we shun personal fallacy. Because when we give judgment about the performance or personality of someone without putting the veil of ignorance, we judge others based on set standards and that sort of judgment can’t be correct. 
As we all know, inter-school competitions are in full swing nowadays. Myriad private and government institutions are participating in these competitions with full energy. Besides sports events, literary competitions viz Urdu and English speech contests are also arranged, and I appreciate these sorts of activities because these are instrumental in enhancing the self-confidence and boldness of students.
But the only question that baffles me whenever these competitions are arranged, and what worries me, is what are the criteria for judging students who give a speech or write an essay because when we see the results of English speech or essay writing contests, only a few schools get a position from the outset.  
Why aren’t all other private and government institutions able to win English speech or essays?

What are the criteria for selecting a judge?

Why aren’t results shown publicly in spite of having social media platforms? Why aren’t ordinary people allowed to give judgment about the performance of students?
If a student taking part in the competition is failed or is not given any position. Why isn’t he given the reason for his not getting a position so that he can improve himself for forthcoming endeavors?

And the most important question

Do the judges put a veil of ignorance before giving judgment about students?, or do they give judgment based on set standards that there are only a few schools, that don’t want to mention the names, that can win English speech or essay competitions?
If the above-mentioned questions aren’t given answers and shortcomings aren’t rectified, then these activities will only dash the hopes of the students who prepare wholly to win these competitions.
An official page should be made on social media on Facebook. These competitions should be given live coverage and let the people decide who is the winner because a decision taken behind closed doors can be doubtful.

3 Replies to “Put the veil of ignorance to see clearly”

  1. Well written Mr Aqib. The base issue is our being Sarhadi or rigid and backward people. We see the things by fame and not by gross judgement. We don’t bear the quality to declare any worthy ordinary school student victorious of the fear of facing any question.
    A few years back a speech competition was conducted. I wrote a speech and handed over to a student who had asked for that. That speech went well through stages and was declared first in district but that was announced as second when a related judge of an institution told judges to declare his one as winner otherwise he will create problems.

  2. Well said….

    Basic responsibility of organisers is to select the best performer so that he can be a true representative of the district in higher tiers of competition .., because in a point out of our circle of influence only our performance speaks for us…

  3. Good write up, and sensible questions, however leaving judgement to the masses will probably bring chaotic results, think about it.

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