Indian Society

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Marginalisation affects a large part of Indian society, who are subjected to loss of rights and mistreatment due to their place in the caste system. In the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup, a street boy, Ram Mohammad Thomas narrates the events of mistreatment and abuse in not only his life, but several others characters with the same fate. Throughout the novel, the experiences of Ram, Salim and Nita are told, contributing to the privileging of social, gender and religious marginalisation in Indian society as foregrounded by Swarup. Ram Mohammad Thomas, throughout the novel narrates his experiences of marginalisation and mistreatment due to his social status in the caste system. Ram’s social marginalisation is privileged through the foregrounding of the caste system in Indian society where he is seen as an untouchable, someone who lives in a chawl, with no education, Ram states “…The brain is not an organ we are authorized to use. We are supposed to use only our hands and legs.” (pg.12), this foregrounds how as an untouchable in society, Ram is only seen as a slave to others, not someone with any kind of intelligence to have the mental capacity to partake in a quiz show. This is further foregrounded when Ram states “Like Godbole, you believe I am only good for serving chicken fry and whisky in a restaurant. That I am meant to live life like a dog and die an insect. Don’t you?” (pg. 29), further stating how in Indian society people believe the place in the caste position you are born, you must stay and not partake in activities which are meant for higher class people. Swarup positions the reader to feel sympathetic for Ram, by story after story of discrimination and see him as a representative of the untouchable class, someone who is just a street boy, with no control over their fate, and being at the bottom of the caste system leading him to be clearly shown as socially marginalised. Salim Ilyasi in the novel is Ram’s best friend, much like Ram, he is socially...
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