Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger: A Portrait of Modern India

shashikala Hanamantrao Walmiki


Arvind Adiga in his Booker prize winning novel “The White Tiger” gives a sardonic picture of modern india. Ever widening gap between the rich and poor, rural and urban, and the brutal reality of an economic system that allows a small minority to prosper at the expense of the silent majority; political culture of India, voting behaviour, social milieu, caste and culture conflict, superstition, social taboos, exploitation of underclass, Zamindari practice, emergence of Naxalism, unemployment especially in rural India, prostitution, master-servant relationship, nexus between the politicians, criminals and the police, mockery of education system, hollowness of Government’s welfare schemes, poor medical services, harmful impact of scientific, technological and industrial development mark off the novel. The final impression of the novel is that it justifies every kind of trick to succeed in life. Balram Halwai, the protagonist and his rise from Munna to Ashok Sharma verifies this proposition.  In the words of Prakash Bhadury, “The apparently didactic story of the novel exposes the stern reality and takes the glamour off the 'India shinning' even though the author never envisioned it as a counter narrative. He divides India as 'India of Darkness' and 'India of Light. It contains some of the very astute observations about class divide and disempowerment in India.”  Largely the novel gives an insight into the servant class and answers the questions such as "What keeps the millions of poor Indians work in servitude? And How stable is such system?” through the symbol of “Rooster Coop.” The present paper aims at giving Adiga’s picture of India and also critically analyzes the authenticity and reality of the picture given by Adiga.


Darkness; Light; Corruption; Rooster Coup; Reality; Authenticity

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