Biju’s cultivation of self-pity depicts his dismay at the impoverished predicament he finds himself. His dismay at the fact that he needed to move to the other side of the world in order to taste rice is apparent. Hence the rice is significantly symbolic to the disparity existing between the lower and upper classes. Baju’s reflection at the journey that he has undertaken in order for him to taste the rice, which is grown in his own country, demonstrates the differences in social settings between various societies and communities. The fact that the poor in his country cannot afford the rice, whereas, in a foreign country, those who are considered to be poor can afford it asserts is a definite indication of disparity in social groupings amongst various communities. The assertion that a commodity like rice cannot be afforded by those who grow it highlights the plight of the lower classes in developing countries, where the labor force is unable to access or taste the object of their labor. Poverty levels in the lower classes have increased to the extent that the social economic gap between the higher classes and the lower classes is reflected in food accessibility like in case with rice. Biju acknowledges his lower class status in his musing at the circumstance in which he finds access to rice, which in essence is produced in his own country. His comparison of his journey and that of the rice places the rice at higher pedigree in value aspects to himself. He refers to the rice’s journey as tender, asserting the fact that, in his own society, the rice had a preferred social place in contrast with his social class; therefore, its mode of transport was far more superior to his. Biju’s observation illustrates the significant disparity in poverty inequality between his country and the foreign ones.
Sai’s observation, on the other hand, criticizes the religious and superstitious associations to poverty. Hindu doctrines of reincarnations depicting individual lives as a reflection of their past lives are significantly misconstrued. These assertions function as repressive factors which create contentment with poor social status. Sai perceives poverty as an economic condition that results from social-economic aspects rather than religious superstitions. Therefore, poverty can be eliminated through social-economic attainment. Hindu religion can be equated to other religions which perceive poverty as an aspect of the divine or supernatural dictum. It is essential to view economic aspects of individual’s life as aspects of social, economic, and political environments. Hence appreciation or degradation of individual economic position has no relationship with past misdeeds.
In spite of the end of British colonization of India, significant aspects of the colonialist lifestyles were emulated by the Indian communities. Modernization and industrial development are among the most apparent aspects of Indian emulation of the British colonialists. While the British contributed to the modernization of Indian traditional practices, the Indians stuck their traditional beliefs and practices with conformists to the British way of life adapting the modern lifestyles. The characterization of Indians with their British colonialists led to a significant number of Indians migrating to the west. These sought to find greener pastures; hence a better life. The inheritance of poverty depicts poverty as its central theme significantly illustrating the economic effects the British colonialists had on the characters. Despite the creation of critical modern trade structures in India, the departure of the British left incorrigible economic and business structures which were unable to sustain themselves after their departure. This aspect led to a significant Indian population living below the poverty line; while an increasing gap between the lower and upper classes was created. The characters in the book illustrate the desire to relieve themselves from redundant cultural demands while seeking to balance their traditional practices and modernization. They attempt to find the optimal means that will facilitate their elimination of poverty without compromising themselves and their beliefs.
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