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The White Tiger

by Aravind Adiga

Balram Halwai, the White Tiger of the story, is writing an open letter to the Chinese Premier. Over the next seven nights the contents of the letter reveal the fascinating and extraordinary story of Balram's rise from servant to businessman in modern India. As he writes Balram exposes India through his own eyes as a place full of injustice and corruption in a portrait of his country that is funny, savagely honest and very vivid.

Extract

Never before in human history have so few owed so much to so many, Mr Jiabao. A handful of men in this country have trained the remaining 99.9 percent - as strong, as talented, as intelligent in every way - to exist in perpetual servitude; a servitude so strong that you can put the key of his emancipation in a man's hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.
You'll have to come here and see it for yourself to believe it. Every day millions wake up at dawn - stand in dirty, crowded buses - get off at their masters' posh houses - and then clean the floors, wash the dishes, weed the garden, feed their children, press their feet - all for a pittance. I will never envy the rich of America or England, Mr Jiabao: they have no servants there. They cannot even begin to understand what a good life is.

Parallels

Q & A by Vikas Swarup
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
 

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