White Tiger Exemplify Bernard Shaw's 'Between The Assassinations'

2001 Words 9 Pages
The resumes of the Great Socialist and his cabinet colleagues in The White Tiger exemplify Bernard Shaw’s dictum. Politics has indeed become the last resort of the scoundrels. In India, it will remain so until the middle class with its acute sense of political morality starts participating in it more actively. Political thinker Pavan K. Varma observes that “politics is dirty because good people do not enter it, and because good people do not enter, politics is dirty” (154). In the Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai even goes as far as to say that as there is not even one honest politician in the country “the parliament is made of thieves” and among them the Prime Minister is “the biggest thief of them all” (Singh, “A Tale of Two Indias” 142). …show more content…
Whatever communal harmony that persists is also in a precarious state as there have been systematic attempts at cultivating distrust and hatred among the Hindu majority and the various minorities. The unemployed and illiterate among the marginalised fall an easy prey to the lies and misinformation spread by those who preach the religion and politics of hatred. In the story “Day One: The Train Station” in Between the Assassinations, Ziauddin, the young, uneducated Muslim boy, is sent out from home by his parents due to their extreme poverty. Zia comes to Kittur in search of a livelihood and falls an easy prey to the wiles of a terrorist recruiter. When he first comes to Kittur, he is taken care of by the goodhearted Ramanna Shetty who employs him, thereby breaking the age-old tradition of not employing a Muslim in a Hindu …show more content…
D’Mello, the tyrannical disciplinarian, is a votary of the iron-handedness of Mrs. Gandhi and practises similar ruthlessness in disciplining his boys. It escapes his notice that not even a single pupil is refined for the better by his exhortations and canings. A similar lack of self-respect is shared by many characters in the pre-liberalised India of Between the Assassinations including Gururaj Kamath, the Sub Editor of the Dawn Herald, in “Day Three: Angel Talkies,” Murali – the failed Naxalite in “Day Seven: Salt Market Village” and D’Mello who all feel helplessly trapped in a crumbling world they find it impossible to come to terms with. A man at the bus stop remarks that buses no longer keep time and blames it squarely on India’s inability to self-regulate the conduct of its own affairs because “everything’s been falling apart in this country since Mrs. Gandhi was shot” (173). Sharing the general mood of a nation that has so far been ruled by a highly centralised political dispensation, and in total disarray ever since its unexpected removal, the man notes that “buses are late. Trains are late. Everything’s falling apart. We’ll have to hand this country back to the British or the Russians or someone, I tell you. We’re not meant to be masters of our own fate, I tell you”

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