Although bonded labor is outlawed in India, but in practice, it is far from over. Be it agricultural work, household or any other chore, the Indian society is still clearly stratified in classes. Now, the division of the society in India dates back to time immemorial where the society was divided among sections. The basis of these division was work allocation. Slowly with time, the divisions became sacrosanct and rigid, which led to social evils such as untouchability, bonded labor, semi bonded labor and other ghastly forms of servitude. The upper strata (or castes) of the society became affluent with time by possessing more and more land and the lower strata was “trained” to serve. The servitude is effectively perpetual, often going on for generations. Bring up the subject with the elite or the middle class and they would argue totally against its existence in any form. The White Tiger in a sincere attempt brought about a storm in the tea cup of the Indian elite; and thereby drew some serious criticism for portraying the dark side of a fast developing Indian society- nevertheless, the author won a Man Booker prize. For a fiction, the storyline is not very fictitious- it is believable and sadly true. The ordeal of the protagonist is something one reads about in statistics of development surveys. The best form of literature on human rights is considered the one which comes from someone who has been through it and then expresses the same. At any point, Adiga (who comes from an affluent Indian upper middle class), does not overshadow the raw narrative of BalramHalwai. The text is nowhere artificial or decorated. To the very best of its ability, Adiga successfully shows an open wound to the Indian elite think tank.
Cite this article:
Noopur Jha, Pradeep Jagwan. The White Tiger, The Black Humor: Representation of class Struggle and the Sentiment of Servitude in Arvind Adiga’s Text. Res. J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2019; 10(1):01-06. doi: 10.5958/2321-5828.2019.00001.9