Badagas, Debt & Wisdom of Forefathers


As Badagas often reel under debt of all kinds perhaps it is time we remind ourselves of our Forefathers’s (Hethappas) sayings and warnings which no Economist or a Financial expert can match.

On necessity of debt:

“What good is a wife not available when needed? What good is food not available when hungry? What good is debt not available when required”  
“If you give loan it becomes a debt; if you don’t, it will break his heart”.
On nature of debt
“Can swelling be muscle? Can debt be money?”
On nature of interest
“Debt is head load; interest is cart load”
“With slender means don’t borrow at high interest”.
On debt and death
“Debt will not end with death; it may affect later generations”
“The son should repay father’s debt”.
On dangers of debt
“For ten days it will be debt but one day it will be a dangerous disease”
On debt and demeaning
“ Who is the man who will bow to debtor?”
“ Debt within a village is like a fire in the stomach”
“ You can go to a widow’s house but you can’t go to a debtors’ house”.
On unnecessary debt
“ Don’t make ornaments by incurring debt”
“ Don’t incur a debt to wear a shawl and then end up with wearing only a blanket” “ Don’t perform grand ceremony, don’t incur fresh debt”.
On lending
“Lending money creates enmity; giving food creates friendship”
“The one who did not ask for his debt is ruined; the one who never visited his field is ruined”.
“The man who has borrowed to lend is ruined; the man who has climbed a tree and lost his hold is ruined”
“Mouth will wear out asking for money lent to far off persons”.
“The man who lends at 50% interest won’t prosper.
On whom to lend
“Man who lent to a Kota(artisan) is clever
Man who lent to a Toda(grazer ) is naïve
Man who lent to a Kurumba (sorcerer) is dead.

Glory to Hethappas who made Nilgiri a Mountain of Morality

Dharmalingam Venugopal
Kannerimukku Village

Dharmalingam Venugopal

The Honorary Director of the Nilgiri Documentation Centre is Dharmalingam Venugopal, a native of Nilgiris, an Economist and an Environmental Activist and founder of Save Nilgiris Campaign and Managing Trustee of Nilgiris Documentation Centre.

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