I read The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga´s novel that won the 2008 Booker prize.
From the New Yorker review:
In this darkly comic début novel set in India, Balram, a chauffeur, murders his employer, justifying his crime as the act of a "social entrepreneur." In a series of letters to the Premier of China, in anticipation of the leader’s upcoming visit to Balram’s homeland, the chauffeur recounts his transformation from an honest, hardworking boy growing up in "the Darkness"—those areas of rural India where education and electricity are equally scarce, and where villagers banter about local elections "like eunuchs discussing the Kama Sutra"—to a determined killer. He places the blame for his rage squarely on the avarice of the Indian élite, among whom bribes are commonplace, and who perpetuate a system in which many are sacrificed to the whims of a few. Adiga’s message isn’t subtle or novel, but Balram’s appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order are both winning and unsettling.
The narrator of the book was born in Bihar--which he calls "the Darkness:"
I am talking about a place in India, at least a third of the country, a fertile place, full of rice fields and wheat fields and ponds in the middle of those fields choked with lotuses and water lilies, and water buffaloes wading though the ponds and chewing on the lotuses and lilies. Those who live in this place call it the Darkness. Please understand, York Excellency, that India is two countries in one: an India of Light and an India of Darkness. The ocean brings light to my country. Every place on the map of India neaer the ocean is well off. But the river brings darkness to India--the Black river.
Which black river am I talking of-- which river of Death whose banks are full of rich, dark, sticky mud whose grip traps everything that is planted in it, suffocating and choking and stunting it?
Why, I am talking of Mother Ganga, daughter of Vedas, river of illumination, protector of us all, breaker of the chain of birth and rebirth. Everywhere this river flows, that area is the Darkness.
One fact about India is that you can take almost anything you hear about the country from the prime Minister and turn it upside down and then you will have the truth about that thing. Now, you have heard that the Ganga called the river of emancipation, and hundreds of American tourists come each year to take photographs of naked sadhus at Hardwar or Benaras, and our prime minister will no doubt describe it that way to you, and urge you to take a dip in it.
No!--Mr Jiabao, I urge you not to dip in the Ganga, unless you want your mouth full of feces, straw, soggy parts of human bodies, buffalo carrion, and seven different kinds of industrial acids.