It isn't very long after arriving in the big city that Balram realizes just how corrupt and rotten to the core public life in India really is. He soon discovers that the rich live by their own rules, able to do largely as they please. Their continued ascendancy is maintained by a political system riddled with graft and corruption, which the likes of Ashok and his family exploit to their advantage.
In such a toxic social environment, poor people like Balram don't stand a chance. It's virtually impossible for him to move up the social ladder. Even working for a rich, privileged family like Ashok's confers no real benefits upon him. In fact, it has its own dangers, as one can see when Balram is expected to take the rap when Ashok's wife, Pinky Madam, knocks down and kills a child while driving under the influence.
If Balram doesn't take the rap, there's every danger he'll be set up for the crime in any case— such are the levels of police corruption in New Delhi. Under the circumstances...
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