The character of Charandas Chor is steeped in paradoxes. Here we have an immoral thief who is a man of noble principles and promises; and loved by none other than the queen! He took vows in a joking way and yet he adheres to them in a serious manner. He prefers to die rather than succumbing to all pressures.
Time tests him. Though he never stops thieving, he never tells a lie. He is given opportunity of leading a procession, marrying a queen, eating in a golden plate and becoming a king. But, he refuses to do any of the things.
Through his acts and deeds, “The Honest Thief” exposes the double standards of established institutions – religion, the state and class hierarchies. Charandas maintains his essential dignity and his moral compass; while the ‘law-abiding’ world is revealed as hollow or rotting.
The choric song ‘Charandas is not a thief’ brings out the essence of Charandas’s character.