Aravind Adiga’s award-winning The White Tiger is full of contrasts – ‘twinned pairs and dualities‘. These highlight, not all too subtlety, the widening gap – this ever-present divide – between the rich and the poor, between progress and under-development, between promise and hopelessness. The passages are abound with irony.
“Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like Negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty?”
“We were never trying to deny our femaleness. Instead, we wanted to expand the notion of what it means to be female. The notion of “female” should be so sprawling and complex that it becomes divorced from gender itself. We were considered a female band before we became merely a band; I was a female guitarist and Janet was a female drummer for years before we were simply considered a guitarist and a drummer. I think Sleater-Kinney wanted the privilege of starting from neutral ground, not from a perceived deficit or a linguistic limitation. Anything that isn’t traditional for women apparently requires that we remind people what an anomaly it is, even when it becomes less and less of an anomaly.”
Senaratne, M (2017) ‘Testimony and Trauma in Sri Lanka’s War Narratives’ In Cakirtas, O. (ed) Ideological Messaging and the Role of Political Literature, IGI Global, 1-317, doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-2391-8 Continue reading “‘Testimony and Trauma in Sri Lanka’s War Narratives’ In Cakirtas, O. (ed)”
Senaratne, M. (2017) ‘The Transition from MDGs to SDGs: Rethinking Buzzwords’ In Servaes, J. (ed) Sustainable Development Goals in the Asian Context, Singapore: Springer Continue reading “‘The Transition from MDGs to SDGs: Rethinking Buzzwords’ In Servaes, J. (ed)”
Growing up, I remember a young woman, who lived down our lane, walking with a limp on her leg. I gradually learnt that this was as a result of polio, where one of her legs were shorter than the other, and that she had contracted the virus at a young age. I came to understand polio this way. But, that is all I knew about the virus.
Polio is rare. In fact, it is close to extinction, and this is seen in the numbers. Continue reading “Why we still need to write about polio”