Personality of India

As the second part of the novel opens up, and with his trip to Delhi, Balram begins to describe his masters more and more personally. We begin to see how Mr. Ashok is not really a bad guy. In fact, it seems that the servants are all the more devious in this novel. For example, the eldest, and former number one servant, Ram Bahadur tried to bribe the driving position in Delhi from both the muslim servant and Balram. In addition, the servants in Delhi are so brutal that Balram choses to live alone. Balram’s family, and people from his village such as his school teacher were corrupt as well. It amazes me in this novel, that he is obligated to send money back home, which he neglects to do finally. Even upon returning to visit his family, he is treated as a money making object rather than a human being, and therefore storms out. Ironically, the Landlords, Mr. Ashok in particular are the ones who are not out to humiliate everyone else. In fact, it seems like they pay their staff handsomely and even at one point, refer to Ram Bashadur as a family member after 35 years of service. When we meet the Great Socialist it is sad to understand that corruption has fully infiltrated India from the poorest levels of society (the Dehli driver with a skin disease) up to the highest levels of government, who Mr. Ashok had come to bribe. No where in India does one find true console, at least that’s how Balram has us thinking. For a country of extreme religious value and exploding population, one would think they’d be less malicious and devious to each other than they are. Balram also specifically diverts blame away from the Caste System for this. Earlier in the novel he claims the Caste system was beneficial to Indians, where a harmonious order was accomplished and where no one really ever starved. It is the British, he claims, in 1947 who left and destroyed everything in the process.

Lastly I would like to comment on the Murder Weekly Magazines published in Dehli by the government to keep lower castes submissive. Balram mentions that every driver and servant (over a billion of them) are probably constantly thinking about killling, more specifically “strangling” their masters. He says “When your servant starts reading Ghandi” is when to be afraid. This an is interesting tactic by the government, aside from it being sick and disturbing. Rape and murder fantasies are the unhealthiest means to keep people under control. Is this a true allegation about the Indian Government? I’ve heard about similar programs in other countries where the government subsidizes harmful products to keep people at bay – like the Russians subsidizing Vodka for all government employees (which includes everyone) so that people can stay drunk and docile all the time.

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