India on my mind

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adiga

 

While “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to captivate the global cinematic spotlight for its poignant commentary on the class system in Mumbai, Aravind Adiga, the 33 year old Indian author has nabbed the Man Booker Prize for his first novel “The White Tiger.”

In an interview with the BBC, Adiga described “The White Tiger” as “the story of a poor man in today’s India, one of the many hundreds of millions who belong to the vast Indian underclass, people who live as laborers, as servants, as chauffeurs and who by and large do not get represented in Indian entertainment, in Indian films, in Indian books. My hero—or rather my protagonist—Balram Halwai is one of these faceless millions of poor Indians.” 

At a time when many refer to India as “an economic miracle” citing an economic growth rate of nearly 10% per year, and “the world’s largest democracy,” Adiga challenges these notions. “It is important,” he says, “to introduce other dissonant chords into the largely triumphalist notes. It is important to realize that large numbers of people are not benefiting from the economic boom, that social tensions are increasing.” 

On NPR radio Adiga said he wanted his book to “entertain and disturb.” “There’s no reason that a book dealing with poverty can’t be viciously funny at times,” Adiga told the BBC after being awarded the Booker Prize. 

Read more at International.