One of the points of The White Tiger is to change the conditions for people like Balram while we still can. Everyone now in India, poor and rich, has the same dreams. This is new. To take control of your own life, to become an entrepreneur, to get rich quickly, is now a fairly common dream. You don’t want to wait three or four generations. But only the middle class and the rich have access to the education, the health care, the law and order system that will help them get there. By some estimates there are between three and four hundred million people who barely get by. I come to this problem not as a social critic or as an activist, but as a writer who wants to write a book. If you write about middle-class Indians, that novel may be true to experience, but it leaves out a vast proportion of society. I want readers, and especially the middle-class readers here in India, to realise that unless the poor are given the infrastructure to achieve their dreams – schools, better hospitals, a responsible police system – they will have few options other than crime or radical politics to achieve their goals. I don’t know if a novel can change anything, but I at least want to stir debate, to get people talking and thinking.