The White Tiger
“The Poverty of Indian Ideology.” Jacobin, jacobinmag.com/2013/12/the-poverty-of-indian-ideology. Accessed 7 Jan. 2019.
This article by Yahya Chaudhry is a review of The Indian Ideology by Perry Anderson. It describes how despite corruption, poverty, and violence, Indian intellectuals continue to spout exceptionalism and deem their country an example of democracy, and that meanwhile, Westerners largely ignore the religious divide in the country. Chaudhry summarizes Anderson’s argument as “India’s secular democracy, which is eagerly marketed as the world’s largest and most diverse, but in reality is soiled and riven by chauvinistic politics, religious parties, a calcified caste system, and the ongoing catastrophe of Kashmir.” Anderson selects the leaders of Gandhi and Nehru as examples of Indian leadership that fed into this problem. He argues that Mohandas Gandhi valued religion over politics and democracy, so much so that he defended the caste system. He helped Hinduism dominate India’s political world rather than focusing on secular anti-colonialism when forming a national Indian identity. Anderson paints him as a hypocrite for championing liberal ideas but not acting on them due to his extreme passiveness. Anderson points to Nehru as a privileged leader who bowed to Gandhi’s authority. He worked to persecute Muslims and socialists. These arguments are incredibly relevant to The White Tiger because the novel centers on the themes of India’s corruption and attempts of appearing as a democracy while silencing oppressed voices and relying on a strict caste system. The main character, Balram, struggles with transitioning from a lower caste to working a respected job for members of the higher caste, and recounts his experiences interacting with members of both castes. He also is largely critical of the Indian government and its masquerade as a democracy.
Goodman, Peter S. “Investors Are in Retreat, and the Poorest Countries Are Paying for It.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/business/federal-reserve-india-interest-rates.html.
This article is talking about how in developing countries such as India, many wealthy investors are moving their money to developed nations such as the United States, causing massive inflation in India widening the economic inequality there. The relation between this article and the story is the fact that the much of the narration in the story reflects upon the differences between the rich and poor people in India. This article gives insight into how the wealthy elite members of Indian society are in many ways responsible for the growing income inequality plaguing the nation.
1. The Marxist Lens
2. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
3. Slater, Joanna. “India's Pollution Refugees: People Are Fleeing Delhi Because of the Toxic Air.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 16 Nov. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/indias-pollution-refugees-people-are-fleeing-delhi-because-of-the-smoggy-air/2018/11/15/26dc1250-e1f1-11e8-a1c9-6afe99dddd92_story.html?utm_term=.eff17f61dbb5.
4. This article brings to light the dire state that New Delhi's air quality has come to and emphasizes the idea that not everyone has the money to buy air purifiers or facemasks to make it through the “pollution season”. This emphasizes the advantages of the upper class in The White Tiger because they contribute to the air pollution where their automobiles, but they are not the ones who feel the effects of those negative contributions. There is a world beyond the tinted window, but the wealthy choose not to look into alternative energy resources. Although workers may die off, they are replaceable, which perpetuating the cycle of servanthood.