#1 Salt Rebellion Dilemma
Jay is a prominent religious leader amongst the Hindu people of India. People in India highly respect Jay and comply with what he says. Ever since the British put a tax on salt, Jay has lead a rebellion against this tax by encouraging his followers to make their own salt using sea water. Thousands of people have heard his message and have been making their own salt.
You are a tax collector for the British Government. Unfortunately, since people have been making their own salt, you have not been able to collect any money. You really need the money to send to your family back in England, plus the Queen of England is upset with you because she is not getting her cut of the tax money you are supposed to be collecting. If you spread a rumor about Jay, you will discredit him in the eyes of his followers and people might go back to buying salt, what should you do?
- Is it fair that the British are taxing salt? Why or why not?
- Who is your primary responsibility to? your family? the Queen? or is it to your morals?
- Is it ever acceptable to spread a rumor? Even if a person is mean spirited and deserves it?
- What would you do as an imperialist? Spread the rumor, keep losing money, or some other solution?
#2 The Vegetarian Dilemma
You are part of a small group of soldiers from the British army stationed in a remote part of India. India has just been hit with a large monsoon (heavy rain) and the village you are in has flooded. The people in the village are not able to get out of the village and nobody is able to come into the village. As a result, the people are cut off from their food supply and they are starting to starve. There is a farm with dozens of cows ½ a mile from the village. The people in the village will never eat beef because of their religious beliefs. However, they have never had beef and therefore do not know what it tastes like. If you secretly serve the people the beef, you will save their lives but violate their religious beliefs, what should you do?
- Is there ever a good reason to lie? If so, give some examples
- If you did not feed the people the beef, would you be responsible (or feel responsible) if the people were to starve to death?
- What if someone lied to you about something you felt strongly about, would you be angry? Why or why not?
- What would you do as an imperialist? Feed them beef, let them starve, or some other solution?
#3 East Indian Company Dilemma
You are a trader for the East India Company and currently you are the head of a large tea leaf farm in India. Almost everyone in the community works on the farm and it is a major source income for the local people. Unfortunately, a lot of families have not been able to make ends meet and they have a lot of financial problems. A lot of children have been dropping out of school to work on your farm for some extra cash for their family.
If you were to raise the wages of your farm workers, the children would be able to go to school. However, raising their wages would mean less money for you and less money for your company. You really need the money to send home to your family in England. Plus, your bosses in the company might be angry about losing profits and you could lose your job. You know how important education is for these children, but you also have to look out for yourself. What should you do?
- Is there ever a good reason to drop out of school? If so, give some examples?
- What is your responsibility as a farm owner? If families cannot make ends meet is it your fault?
- What would you say to your bosses and family if you were to raise wages? How would you justify your decision to them?
- What would you do as an imperialist? Let the children drop out of school, pay higher wages, something in between, or some other solution?
# 4 Sati Dilemma
You are a high ranking soldier in the British government and you have been training an elite group of Indian Sepoy Soldiers for battle. You and this group of soldiers have been stationed in South Africa and have been very successful in putting down some of the rebellions. Unfortunately, your best sharp shooter has been killed by some of the locals. You hesitate to tell his family for fear that they will make his widow sit on her husband’s funeral pyre. However, you need to file a death report in order to replace your best man and if you do not, you might not be able to suppress the rebellion and many lives might be lost.
- What should the British government do to stop the practice of sati?
- What would happen if all British soldiers stopped filing death reports for fear of the practice of sati? Would this be the right thing to do? How would Sepoy soldiers be replaced?
- What would you do as an imperialist? File the death report, keep it a secret, or some other solution?