«IRWLE VOL. 10 No. II July 2014 1 Social Criticism in Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assassinations Radika Chopra In the words of Vikas Swarup “ ...»
To reopen the factory, Abbasi had to overcomes several hurdles. He had to face many visits by corrupt officials from various government agencies who had ostensibly come for inspection but had in reality come for taking bribes. “A man has to eat these days, Mr.Abbasi. And prices are rising so fast. Ever since Mrs.Gandhi died, this country began falling apart” (p.26). Since he decides to reopen his shirt factory, he had to pay off the electricity man, water board man, income tax official, sanitary inspector, health inspector, union leaders, and political leaders among others. This is against his principals, however, for his survival, he has to offer bribe: “Rules of the game must be followed at all time” (p.29). Out of frustration he says, “ In black-marketing, counterfeiting and corruption, we are the world champions. If they were included in the Olympic games, India would always win gold, silver and bronze in these three” (p.31).
In one of the stories, Adiga has highlighted how the wretched labour class of the town has lost all sense of self-respect and many of them compel their children to go for begging. Ramachandran, who smashes rich people’s houses in the Rose Lane of Kittur, is IRWLE VOL. 10 No. II July 2014 5 a smack addict. He beats his wife and forces his children- Soumya and Raju to go for begging from the tourists coming to the town. He has been arrested and beaten many times but nobody can make him leave this addiction. It is really pathetic that his young daughter begs and then brings cigarettes laced with smack for this demonic father who
often beats her. The pathetic and sad condition of brother and sister are portrayed thus:
“When she came to lie down next to her mother, Raju was still complaining that he had not been given food all day long, and forced to walk from here to there. He saw the red marks on her face and neck, and went silent. She fell on the ground, and went to sleep” (p.155).
It shows that morality is at its lowest ebb here and even children are being exploited for selfish and mean motives. The fact that he indulges in and is addicted to smack and for this exploits the innocence of his young children is brought out in a poignant fashion by Adiga.
To conclude, Adiga has focused our attention towards the various ills that plague our country. It is a social criticism focusing on the poverty and misery of India and its religio-socio-political conflicts. Gross violation of people’s liberty and equality, poor-rich divide, corruption, religious fanaticism, child labour and utter sufferings of the subalterns is the theme of the text.
WORKS CITED Adiga, Aravind. 2008, Between the Assassinations. London: Picador India, All subsequent references are from this edition.
Chandrahas. (2008), available at http://middlestage.blogspot.in/2008/11/on-aravindadigas-between.html Mill, John Stuart. (1967), “On Liberty”: The Liberal Tradition. ed. Allan Bullock and MauriceShock.Oxford: OUP, pp.108-115.
Nikam, Sudhir and Madhavi Nikam, (2011), “Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assassinations:Chronicles of Aspiration and Disillusionment “, Vol III, 5-6 Jan-Dec.
Singh, Khushwant. “Review of Between the Assassinations”.The Outlook Magazine,24 November,2008. Web. 3 June,2010.
Saxena, Shobhan. (2008), “Fact not Fiction”, Sunday Times of India, October 19, p.9.
Sebastian Sdb, A.J.(2009), “Is Adiga's Between the Assassinations a Coop for The White Tiger?” Seva Bharati Journal of English Studies, Vol.V, Feb. p.13.
Swarup, Vikas. (2009), available at http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jul/11/ between-assassinations-aravind-adiga-review Dr.Radika Chopra Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English SPM College, Delhi University,