The White Tiger is structured as a letter to Chinese Premier Jiabao because Balram, the protagonist of the novel, hears that Jiabao is coming to Bangalore in the coming days. The Premier's motivation is to find out how entrepreneurship has developed in India because China, while advanced in many ways, does not have entrepreneurs.
Balram's purpose in addressing Premier Jiabao is to expose the cruelty and hard realities behind the superficial pride that India takes in its entrepreneurs. He also wants to show that the business world's appraisal of the strength of Indian entrepreneurship is based on a complete misunderstanding of the way the system really works. While people praise India for its fostering of entrepreneurs, people like Balram show that the system is based on corruption, intimidation, and even death. Balram intends his letter as a warning to Jiabao to avoid India's path.
There are two main reasons the story is structured as a letter. One is internal to the story, and one is
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