Who could ever forget the character of Balram Halwai which shook the whole literary world through his flawless arguments once he sat to rewind his whole life? Ah! Really the journey of this man from a layman to one of the successful entrepreneur of Bangalore was not only exciting but also enough to numb our nerves. At the time when our Indian literature was taking a new turn to the college romance, this breathtaking journey in the form of “The White Tiger” was enough to create massive sensations in the Indian fiction. The Indian fiction which is normally criticized for its Indian melodrama and lack of originality proved once again that still there is something which can lead to win its author the Man Booker Prize for his debut novel in 2008. The author was not only the second youngest writer to achieve this feat but also the fourth writer to win this prominent prestige for his debut novel. The novel not just excelled in international literary circuit at the intellectual level, indeed it was a commercial success as it was one of the few books from Indian fiction to feature in the New York Times bestseller. The man who brought such glory to his country by his masterpiece was one and only Aravind Adiga.
Gaadi of Globalization
Sometimes I wonder whether the words of author contains some visionary intellect or written out of pure fantasy! Even almost a decade after this book, I am prompted to think on a deeper note on things which are perhaps still missing. Thanks to the Almighty which have made our proud India to stand in the category of being the next superpower from a developing nation. Indeed a lot of credit goes to globalization which have made India a mini America. We are developing at such a rapid pace that nothing is going to stop us from being a developed country in the next few decades. The the million dollar question arises that are we really developing or we are being in an illusion? Is this India centered around the metropolitan cities and SEZs which glows under the shadow of its glamour of malls, centralized AC offices or the multiplexes? Ah! I will not talk about the moral degradation of the persons as we have earlier kept it on a sidetrack in this highly materialistic environment. Today our places of worships and prayers are even dazzling where we go to attain inner peace and contentment. Quite an irony!
The Castle of Caste
Perhaps India would be the only country in this world which even being on the road of this so-called development still put a greater emphasis on the caste system. Obviously It can be expected from a country which is segregated on the basis of social castes rather than social class. We are the residents of proud India where even the number of gods is so large that you can’t literally count them on fingers then only it can be assumed what would be the state of the castes which is a symbol of dignity for you and your parents. It is needless to say what are the plights of the people of lower caste who are still regarded as downtrodden if not untouchables. They are forced to live into the castle of caste which is already filled with darkness from where there is no way of light. Even today when we claim to come a long away from the colonial India, these people from dark are forced to live in utmost darkness by the grace of their masters. In this era of Neo-liberalization where economy is taking a new turn, castes become a deciding factor in determining your opportunity and privilege from your employers.
Quest in Questioning
The quest of Balram Halwai from his slumber on the streets to Bangalore raises some questions on our societal structure. The land of values which has always labeled money as “Haath Ka Mail” has taken upon a new geography or there is a need to look at our own psychology. Are we true to our words when we give teachings to our children to respect a person’s values inspite of his economic status? It is needless to say that today a person status is normally determined with his economic status. With no alternatives left to pull out himself from this Rooster coop (The vicious cycle of poverty and slavery) do we certainly need to take the aid of corruption and crime? Or this crime and corruption infected with our diseased mentality, responsible to raise questions on loyalty which have been called a divine virtue by our great saints? The definition of success which puts emphasis on economic well-being needs to be cross-checked in a clinical manner or we need to redefine it.
The Concluding Words
Time has come that we heed our attention to the teachings of this literary masterpiece which very delicately attracted our attention almost a decade back. Then only the day will not be far when we will be a sensible human being along with a global citizen.