One might argue that Mr. Ashok must confront private passions that conflict with his responsibilities. Ashok has been educated in the United States, and when he returns to India to work with his brother and his father in the family business, he cannot seem to cope with the corruption that surrounds the interactions that he must have to keep the business running. Ashok appears to be sympathetic to poorer people, and one day he has Balram take him and his wife Pinky to Balram's home village so that he can see what is like. But Ashok's sympathetic treatment of Balram and other poor people does not win him the favor of his brother and wife who do not understand why Ashok just does not treat them as everyone else does. So Ashok's private desires to live honorably conflict with his socioeconomic position in the caste system in India.