Philosophy

Beautiful and the Damned Portrai on New India

Precisely, Deb argued that modernity in India is an ambiguous phenomenon—while there are obvious developments in the fields of information technology, economics, and business, majority of middle class Indians are still reduced to poverty. Indeed, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. And this phenomenon, as Deb further pointed out, is wreaking a more profound effect on the common mindset of Indians. Capitalism and consumerism have bore a culture of pretense among Indians—of frantic and mindless pursuit of material ‘nirvana’. In this essay, we look closer at the novel and its author, and evaluate whether his thesis rings some hardcore truths not only about Indian society but modern global society in general. By revisiting Deb’s distinct writing style, as well as examining the primary flow of his narrative, we intend to gather concrete evidences that will aid in better understanding his thesis. The findings that will be obtained in this phase will be used to study his philosophy in its entirely, and judge it according to the principles of ethics and social order. Thus, we support Deb in his thesis that any economic and social development, when divorced from the basic principles of morality and ethics, or when it fails to uphold the dignity of the human person, may bring the course of human development into its unnerving downfall. Understanding the Author: Siddhartha Deb Deb’s writing style in this novel was heavily influenced by his background in broadcast journalism. Unlike past novelists like V.S. Naipul who had trouble representing the status quo of modern Indian society, Deb maintained the journalistic value of ‘upholding the truth’ in his novel. However, of course, he maintained a sense of creativity and originality in the way he told his story to the readers. In this sense, much of his reportage was done on significant areas in urban and in rural Indian society. Like a seasoned field reporter, he went to prominent I.T. service firms, to highly commercialized factories, and to villages in slum areas and those situated in far-flung mountains to give the stories of people in each location. Indeed, his narrative achieved a contemplative, rambling rhythm that absorbed his passing sights and sounds of his adventure into a quasi-anecdote. Understanding the Narrative: The Beautiful and the Damned Deb began his narrative by describing the benefits of gilded India—the beautiful people, the booming commercial industry, the culture of prosperity and affluence. In this part, Deb underscored that India’s economic ascent not only propelled the country out of poverty but also chased away the unsightly class divisions. The strength of his detailed descriptions immersed the readers in a wondrous state of approval—a technique that attacked both the readers’ logic and emotions. But Deb did not there, behind the glamour and the increasing dollar laid a bigger dilemma, that is, the development of unequal social, political, and economic conditions in India. Indeed, modernization in India has destroyed the lives of farmers, has stoked the people’s appetites for materials wealth, and has nourished the scoundrels and profiteers. The irony is clear and crisp. To further strengthen this claim, Deb mentioned that between 1995 and 2006, two hundred thousand debt-ridden farmers committed suicide, while seventy percent of the

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