Duels and Deals with the Devil

Political correctness, a New-World Craft and Personification of Mephistopheles and Margaretta!

This post is an offshoot of the Hillary-Trump Presidential duels that have seen the American media and the intelligentsia tear into the Republican nominee. While Hobson’s Choice, one between the devil and the deep sea, may aptly sum up the American predicament, the campaign has largely been putting the spotlight on political correctness. A mere ability to hide evil intent does not simply make one a saint!

Where does dishonesty and a lack of openness leave corporate standards of integrity, ethics and privacy?

Remember Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan tragedy revolving around the deal that the protagonist strikes with the devil, sacrificing his soul in exchange for knowledge and life’s pleasures that know no bounds?

A 16th century play from an author with atheistic inclinations may be too far back in history for the nouveau generation too dismissive of even factors that bring up the 1980s!

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Double Statue, a Blend of Good and Evil

But the brilliant, enduring piece of sculptural masterpiece at the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad – the double statue of Mephistopheles and Margaretta, representing good on one side and evil on the other, remains current and can hardly be brushed aside though the imagery is rooted in some ancient German legend. During my days in Hyderabad, I had visualised them as the Demon and Mary.

You can think of the Salar Jung Museum as India’s miniscule version of the Louvre in Paris. It is known as much for the Double Statue as for the Cuckoo Clock it features.

The Double Statue embodies the essence of human nature manifesting itself in what we do and don’t.

A Way to Conceal What You Mean and Hypocrisy

Civilisation may have spawned political correctness which, to me, is just an expression of dishonesty, a way to conceal what you mean.

Those adept at this new-world craft will come up with safe, hypocritical messaging that could be at odds with what they practise.

I see no harm being forthright as long as what you say does not incite violence or verge on individual vilification.

Circumventing friction, Protecting Relationships

Truthfulness is not something that can be buried deep amid all the corporate focus on integrity and ethics.

Being politically correct may help you circumvent friction at the workplace or protect your relationships with colleagues and friends. But you will continue to keep deep inside the prejudices you nurture, the hate you have for some or any assumptions you have formed and the hypocrisies you patronise.

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Dualism of Life and Hillary vs Trump

An angel on the surface while being a personification of evil that is inherent! When I look at the U.S. Presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I just get the sense that one lacks the sophistication of the other.

Hiding evil intent, though, does not make anyone a saint, they just come good in the eyes of the public.

So what am I trying to convey through this post and what is it that has made me launch a philosophical, dichotomous discourse with a mix of the old and the new?

The answer is simple – sometimes I love fluff, sometimes I don’t. That is the dualism of life!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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