Ethical Standards of 1940s. Due Diligence for writing Recommendation Letters: A Deputy Commissioner’s refusal in 1943

I came across this 1943 letter from a Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Kumaon Division which shows the high ethical standards of that time. The DC refuses the request from a friend to provide recommendation for his son on the grounds that the DC has never met his son and does not know the son personally enough to evaluate and provide a recommendation. Contrast this with today when anyone is willing to write a recommendation for anyone whether known personally or not.

From: Deputy Commissioner I/O, Kumaun Division
Dated Camp via Haldwani, Feby. 21, 1943. 

My Dear Mr Shah Abdul Shakur Faridi,
Reference your letter of 14.2.43. 

I am afriad that it would be no use my recommending your grandson as I have never seen him and know nothing about him. 

Yours sincerely

To: F. Shah Abdul Shakur Faridi, Farid Manzil, Manikpur. Dist. Purtabgarh 

I found this letter while sifting and organizing the treasure of old letters that have been handed down to me by my late parents. Mr. Shah Abdul Shakur Faridi is my mother’s maternal grandfather. He belonged to the Hussami-Faridi silsala. He is buried in Mankipur near Farid Manzil and I understand there is a yearly urs at his tomb.

Family Letters Archival Project. 

This post provides a glimpse of the social history of the 1940s. This letter is a part of the compilation of Social History from my family’s letters exchanged from the early 20th century till the advent of WhatsApp and internet calls that killed the social exchange through letter writing. This project is inspired by my experience of visiting the Harry Ransom Center during my studies at UT Austin and also Kar e Jehan Daraz Hai by Qurratul Ain Hyder and Shajra Compilation as described in the following posts: 

See Also: 

Posts that describe my role models and their guidance:

Personal examples of strive for excellence from my father: 
How to teach love for language and culture:
How to search for role models around you; my father, phuppa, uncle and mother:

How my grandmother (nani) and others provided a taste of our traditions and culture:
Learning interpersonal interactions and spreading happiness and laughter around:

    Strive for Excellence from my teacher


    3 responses to “Ethical Standards of 1940s. Due Diligence for writing Recommendation Letters: A Deputy Commissioner’s refusal in 1943”

    1. That is really good and informative post, love the topic you choosed to write an atricle on. Going to share it with others , hope they will like it as well. Thanks for sharing it

    2. What makes this ethical is the knowledge provided to the sudents becuse what they would learn, they make best ideas here and promote to others as well and that chain reacts.

    3. That is possible when you give proper share of decision to every person in the class and is there to help them to decide what is more important than other things for the benefits of the class.

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