Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stubborn Principles and Bechara Bhala Aadmi

There is one thing that does not change in the world and then there is another thing that does not change as well; to combine both, it would have to be a man of unremitting principles. A principled person stands on a ground that is so solid that nothing can dislodge him. It's not that he is not surrounded by people working hard to dislodge him. In fact, some around may work their entire lives trying to displace people of principles. That is their mission and sometimes they succeed, at other times it's mission impossible. Nonetheless in India and other cultures, a principled man, a man without malice in his heart, is regarded as an object of ridicule, euphemistically known as Bechara Bhala Aadmi and loosely translated as the pitiful good man!

Apparently, goodness hovers in the realm of pity and ones that stick to their morals are quickly rendered as pitiful beings! The world has forgotten the close proximity of pity and piety; goodness is to be honored and good men to be seriously considered heroes for their simplicity of thought and deed. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, said Leonardo De Vinci and if the most complex concepts cannot be reduced to simple ones, they deserve to go away quietly. Wise is the man who avoids complicating simple truths and principles. No wonder people are terrified of the principled man; he is what they would be if they could.

Om by Joyce

Could a principled man be akin to a mule, the kind of animal that digs in its heels? Mules are common animals in India and many times are seen standing in the middle of the road, just sniffing air. Nearby the owner is seen going crazy trying to make the animal move. Nothing helps. He is wondering whether to leave the animal there and carry all that load himself and subsequently sink under the weight or take a stick to the animal. Only if he could find the right kind of stick, the kind just appropriate for the occasion. Maybe he could check with society's morality police, the kinds seen in repressive societies. Surely they will have an answer for the size of the stick, its length and breadth, that some cultures and religions encourage to keep their women in check! If women could be kept in check, why not a mule!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines principle as a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong. Principle is something a person believes in, something that is dear to him, a concept  he is willing to die for.  The truth he holds, is what embodies him. Herein lies a problem; one man's truth may not be another man's truth. Yes, many have successfully argued many facets of truth but truth is truth and viewing it from different angles will not add any more colors to it. Only lies and untruth have as many facets as possible and that too is in a constant state of flux. A principled being perhaps sees things in a clearer light, so clear there are no shades of gray. Is that what makes the principled man so obdurate? Why is it important for some to ruffle a good man, to see him shed his beliefs? Is it a flaw, the inability to sway with the winds of change? Does a principled man's beliefs  mark him an object of pity or is he ultimately the one pitying those who pity him?


  1. Very good article. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. It's an interesting subject. It probably just comes down to feeling powerless.Those who feel powerless want to bring others down to their level. They don't realize that those feelings are just an illusion to begin with!