The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
102 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

The White Tiger

The White Tiger | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Set in a raw and unromanticized India, The White Tiger—the first-person confession of a murderer—is as compelling for its subject matter ...
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

The White Tiger is written in the form of seven letters addressed to Premier Jiabao of China. The man writing the letters hopes to convey a message to the Premier on how the rise of India and China is on the horizon.The White Tiger takes place in modern day india and follows the story of Balram Halwai. Balram is from a lower caste of sweetmakers and comes from an Indian slum village where he works in a tea shop in order to provide for his family. Though he was short and scrawny, Balram's wit compensated for his physique. In school, he was a cut above the rest of his classmates and was told he could be great someday. Unfortunately, Balram is forced to leave school and help in the tea shop. Wanting to get out of his situation, Balram borrows money from his grandmother and takes driving lessons in order to become a chauffeur. The next part of the novel discusses how Balram finds a job as a driver for Mr. Ashok and his wife Pinky and how he must deal with being a the "number 2" driver in the family. In this new job, Balram witnesses the corruption of Indian politics as well as the corruption taking place within his own master's household. When Mr. Ashok decides to move to Delhi with his wife, he asks Balram to accompany him as his driver. In Delhi, Balram begins to realize that the people of lower castes are in a "rooster coop" and that they will never be able to exit unless they do something drastic and save themselves. With this thought in mind, after Pinky leaves Mr. Ashok, Balram decides to murder his employer, loot all of his money, and flee to Banglore. Once in Banglore, Balram begins his own business with the help of the police (he bribes them). Towards the climax of the novel, Balram is sure that Mr. Ashok's corrupted employers have killed his family. Balram thinks to himself that the death of his employer was essential to his escaping of India's "rooster coop" and that Ashok's death was not in vain.


I am going to research India's "rooster coop" and how it is affecting socio-economic status within India. I want to research how the caste system affects citizens of India and how it bogs down society as opposed to helping it. Aravind Adiga kept referring to the rooster coop in The White Tiger and how his main character was constantly trying to break out of it. The reality is that there are endless cases like Balram Halwai in India. There are intelligent and innovative individuals who are "caged" by the society they live in and restricted to certain jobs because of the caste they are born into. I want to research what the coop is, how it affects India, and what has been done to break out of the coop.



I really liked this book because it was entertaining and informative. I liked how dark the book was, while still remaining light-hearted. Adiga managed to make his novel both thrilling but also rich with information, which was something I really enjoyed about the book.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

'We will never clean shit again' | Sidelines | Livelihoods

'We will never clean shit again' | Sidelines | Livelihoods | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
By Mari Marcel Thekaekara There are still thousands of people in India cleaning dry latrines with their bare hands, including 7 km from the capital. But
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

"We Will Never Clean Shit Again" is an article published in the New Internationalist and written by Marcel Thekaekara. the article informs on the thousands of individuals in India that refuse to clean latrines with their bare hands and how they are leaving their employers. The bhangi, mehtar, and chura castes are mostly responsible for this rebellion. Unfortunately, they are also most heavily discriminated against simply because of their social status. Their daily jobs include cleaning toilets without any tools, sweeping with their hands, and picking up feces in the streets. These workers are prone to various diseases and illnesses due to the nature of their work, nor do they receive any help from the government. Despite these hardships, countless men, women, and children around India have resolved to strike. They have decided that they would rather face greater hardships in order to achieve happiness than continue to live like animals.

The strife of these workers is parallel with Balram Halwai's struggle to succeed in The White Tiger. Just as Balram takes control of his own destiny, as opposed to letting some caste differences bog him down, the workers featured in "We Will Never Clean Shit Again" have done the same. Balram and the workers have essentially broken out of the coop that a vast majority of India is still stuck in. Until more examples like Balram and the workers come around, it can be expected that the coop will always stay intact. Balram himself says "See, sometimes I think I will never get caught. I think Rooster Coop needs people like me to break out of it." It is with this belief in mind that India will be able to progress into a world superpower along with the United States and China.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Indian woman defies caste, becomes a real-life 'slumdog millionaire'

Indian woman defies caste, becomes a real-life 'slumdog millionaire' | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

"Indian Woman Defies Caste, Becomes a Real-Life 'Slumdog Millionaire'" tells about a Dalit woman named Kalpana Saroj and how she broke out of the Rooster Coop. Saroj saw her Dalit heritage as a crux prior to her enlightenment. She lived an incredibly rough life up until age 12 when her life became absolutely miserable as she was married into an abusive household. After leaving behind that life, Saroj was rescued by her father and was brought back home. Unable to handle her past, Saroj attempted suicide by drinking rat poison and subsequently fell into a coma that she barely survived. Upon waking up, Saroj realized "Whether I live or I die, I'll always be blamed. I might as well go for it" (Indian). After that, Saroj returned to Mumbai and began working as a lint-remover for 15 cents a day. Saroj claimed "It was the first happiness in 15 years" (Indian). As time went on, Saroj began borrowing money from lower-caste lenders and used it to invest in various furniture businesses that turned out to be extremely successful. She now employs hundreds of higher caste workers in her own real estate business.

Both Saroj and Balram were born in Indian slums and rose above their predetermined destinies."You seem I am in the Light now, but I was born in the Darkness" (11). Both of these entrepreneurs are extremely similar in the sense that they came from terrible backgrounds and worked as peasants before they could become wealthy. Though they share a few of the same qualities, Saroj is a foil to Balram. While Saroj built her empire through hard work and honesty, Balram resorted to bribing, stealing, and killing in order to make his millions. Both of these figures represent the means by which people in India attain wealth. It becomes a matter of deciding between the honest, righteous path to becoming successful and the easy, wretched path.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Heat and Dust

Heat and Dust | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Set in colonial India during the 1920s, Heat and Dust tells the story of Olivia, a beautiful woman suffocated by the propriety and social...
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

If I were to read another book about social justice in India, I would read "Heat and Dust" by Ruth Jhabvala. This book, like "The White Tiger" deals with the struggles of an individual that wants more in life than simply riding the wave. Instead of a male protaganist, "Heat and Dust" features a female and rather than taking place in modern India, it takes place in colonial India.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

International Dalit Solidarity Network: Caste discrimination

International Dalit Solidarity Network: Caste discrimination | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

http://idsn.org/caste-discrimination/

International Dalit Solidarity Network is dedicated to ending caste discrimination not only in India, but all around the world. The website serves to educate others on what caste discrimination is, what atrocities have been committed against Dalits, and what can be done to end caste discrimination. IDSN hopes to reach out to anyone that is willing to help their cause, whether they are lawmakers, journalists, businessmen, activists, or regular citizens. IDSN is one of the largest groups in the world that is fighting to end caste-based discrimination and has the support of numerous other organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Map of India

Map of India | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

The White Tiger takes place in multiple locations across India including Delhi, Banglore and Laxmangarh. Balram's job as a driver makes it possible for him to see the world. So in every new place he visits, he witnesses more corruption.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Not Cast in Caste: Big Picture and Executive Summary

Not Cast in Caste: Big Picture and Executive Summary | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Hinduism: Not Cast in Caste - Executive Summary
View the full report online | Purchase the report | 10 Key Points | FAQs | Endorsements of the report | Why I am a Hindu | Statements against
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/not-cast-caste-big-picture-and-executive-summary
This foundation is dedicated to the understanding of Hinduism and its connection to the caste system. It preaches that caste-based discrimination and birth-based caste hierarchy are NOT synonymous to Hinduism. This organization is motivated to let people know that a lot of people actually disagree with caste-based discrimination in India. The creators of this foundation want to illuminate the fact that there are injustices taking place all around the world involving caste but the bulk of the problem still remains within India. They want to show the world that caste discrimination is not analogous with Hinduism or religion in general. Rather, they believe that discrimination is a result of corrupted society and the people that wish to exploit those that cannot defend themselves.

In The White Tiger, the "animal bosses" (20) are the ones who exploit the weaker castes. They are landlords who are only interested in themselves and their own businesses. When employed by these men and while he is working in Delhi, Balram see's that it is the society that is plagued, not the belief system. He realizes that the Rooster Coop is not a naturally occuring phenomenon. Rather, powerful men like the Stork and the Buffalo use their status as Brahmins and Kshatriyas in order to take advantage of people from the Halwai, Mehtar, and Bhangi castes.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

"Untouchable" Woman

"Untouchable" Woman | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

This woman represents the Dalit population of India. The term Dalit refers to the collective of individuals in India that come from the lowest castes, otherwise known as the 'untouchables'.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Documentary about the caste system and discrimination.

This is a semi-final edit of a documentary I am making to enlighten Americans on India's caste system.
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

http://vimeo.com/12608148 "Documentary about the Caste System and Discrimination" by Kabir Mansata is about a student's journey to learn what Indians truly believe about the caste system. Mansata conducts interviews with people across various castes, ranging from Brahmin to Dalit. Surprisingly, many people are unaware of their own caste and choose to believe that caste is an economic division rather than a cultural division. Mansata interviews a man named Anil who claims not to be religious. Anil believes that because he is nonreligious, the caste system affects him in no way. One girl, Preeti, believes that the caste system was originally created in order to provide social structure but has been perverted over the course of history by the rich and powerful. Preeti and Anil believe that it is more up to the people of India to stand up to social injustice created by the caste system as opposed to the talking heads that rule the country.

Though it is not explicitly stated within the novel, it can be inferred that Balram is not a strict follower of Hinduism. "Making a grand total of 36,000,004 divine arses for me to choose from" (6). Like Anil from the documentary, Balram says "It's true that all these gods seem to do awfully little work-much like our politicians-and yet keep winning reelection to their golden thrones in heaven" (6). Within Indian politics, only the highest castes are allowed to work as representatives, ministers, and secretaries. This means that the highest classes are always guaranteed spots within highest positions in the government and that men like Balram are absolutely necessary if this pattern is ever going to cease.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Rafaye Sheikh
Scoop.it!

Caste and entrepreneurship in India

Caste and entrepreneurship in India | The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga | Scoop.it
The story of India's economic surge is dominated by two conflicting narratives.
Rafaye Sheikh's insight:

Biswas, Soutik. "Caste and Entrepreneurship in India." BBC News [New Delhi] 19
Apr. 2013: n. pag. Print. "Caste and Entrepreneurship in India" by Soutik Biswas mentions how India's Dalit caste, formerly known as "untouchables" are on the rise and how some of them have even become millionaires despite their caste. Biswas mentions that this could be called a "golden age" for the Dalits who, like the Nadars before them, have risen above their predetermined socio-economic class and are doing great things. Along with the growing number of wealthy Dalit businessmen, the Dalit's have also established their own "Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry." Though they have had to suffer severe discrimination through the majority of this century, they are finally on the rise. They have successfully broken out of the coop and have established a foundation for themselves.

The Dalit's, like Balram, are proving to the world that they were capable of being more than mere servants."i'll say it was worthwhile to know, just for a day, just for an hour, just for a minute, what it means not to be a servant"(276). Like Balram's rise to power, the Dalits had to earn every bit of their freedom. Though Balram's example is extreme, by killing his employer, he earned his freedom. The Dalits have had to make sacrifices as well. "You need to have aggression in your blood"(47). Since they are considered to be "untouchable", discrimination of a Dalit who is also trying to make something of himself is magnified. Just like Balram coming to Delhi from a slum in order to make a better life for himself, the Dalits have risen from the lowest class in India in order to make their own lives better. Both Balram and the Dalits have successfully broken out of the Rooster Coop that is preventing India from reaching true modernization.

more...
No comment yet.