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In StereotypeSouth Asia in the Global Literary Imaginary$
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Mrinalini Chakravorty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165969

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165969.001.0001

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Slumdog or White Tiger?

Slumdog or White Tiger?

The Abjection and Allure of Slums

(p.85) 3 Slumdog or White Tiger?
In Stereotype

Mrinalini Chakravorty

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses stereotypical portrayal of squatter colonies and slums, examining particularly the appearance of slums in the novel, The White Tiger, alongside the more commercially successful film, Slumdog Millionaire. Both the novel and film stake their success on reflecting the flashy opportunism and stark inequality of globalization in India. These fictions pose the material deprivation inherent in slum dwelling as a catalyst for inventive ways of living on the thresholds of late modernity. Thus, the slum arguably becomes a stereotypical placeholder for both the most abject subalternity and the most “magical” space of community under globalization. However, stereotypes about slums also come to represent the dead ends of the story of globalization; they serve as indices of failure and locations for possible alternative imaginings of community that, however hesitantly, delicately ask us to reconsider whether a self-interested globalization is the only viable option for postcolonial worlds.

Keywords:   squatter colonies, slum stereotypes, Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, Slumdog Millionaire

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