Thursday, October 16, 2008

West stooge or real chronicler?


In India, no one talks about poverty now-a-days. Not even the leftists. What you hear instead is that India is shining, a super-power, and most of its people are getting rich every day. It's of course a myth that the country's politicians, most being neocon converts, and industrial biggies have been assiduously building for the past few years.

It's interesting that Aravind Adiga has attacked this myth hard and laid the country bare, warts and all, through his Booker-winning novel The White Tiger. "so where is shining India everyone's talking about? It was time someone broke the myth," said Adiga in an interview just after the announcement of the award.

In a report titled Western stooge or true chronicler of India? The Times of India writes: But opinion among Adiga's countrymen was divided, with many seeing the young man, partly brought up in Australia, as a story-teller stooge of the West for laying India bare...

I scanned some other newspapers for reactions, but nowhere it was so harsh and savage. Clearly, it reflects the newsgroup's own point of view.

The Hindu, a respected daily from Chennai, has an editorial on Adiga's success.

"The debutant’s novel beat the odds with its unusual voice and its unsparing vision of an India that many may prefer not to see. The White Tiger is a stunningly brave narrative of our times and its triumph is well deserved."

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