A Fine Balance

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Ethan Bartol-Byers History 450: Short Paper A Fine Balance “All is true.” -Honore de Balzac, Le Pere Goriot Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance evokes the statement made by the Honore de Balzac, “all is true,” and sets the stage for a complex yet fragile existence forged out through historical makeup. Mistry argues life is a fine balance especially when considering both sides: government envisagement and individual hardship. The government's role in poverty alleviation, extension of educational, security and access to water were all major issues faced even before Indira Gandhi came to power in 1967. On the ground level Mistry is able to portray how the individual is effected and the daily struggle faced by the poor of India's rural and urban populations. A fine balance is barely maintained by the poor individual, fighting for survival consequently of historical social, political and cultural influences, moreover which cultivate a hope and despair endeavor for each individual. As with any pursuit in interpreting history and its benefits vs misfortunes bestowed upon its subjects, it must be understood India's populace has always existed in a fragile situation and where the Emergency begins our segue to the Indian Saga. The year is 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has declared a state of emergency, intensifying the argument for a fine balance dealt and felt by multiple actors. The Indira Raj began in the dragon's den, in which the dragon had already been awoken. It is estimated that India is called home by over a third of the world's poor, a problem rooted and grown through imperial marginalization. However poverty alleviation barely surface-scrapes issues the Prime Minister needed to mitigate. Providing access to education for the nations growing population was on the government's top agenda, including the controversial discourse of population control. Indira's
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