In all honesty, I am not sure I would consider him the anti hero. I think that Shiva plays this role much better in the novel. Perhaps, we could try to reconfigure Saleem as an atypical protagonist. If this could be the case, I would propose that one reason he can be seen in this light is that he lacks the qualities of the heroic protagonist. Rushdie creates a character that is supposed to be the champion of Modern India. Deliberately, he makes him awkward around women, possessing a runny nose, and a heroic quality of having a strong sense of smell. His attempts to be a "hero" don't exactly work out for the best, as seen with his attempts at organizing the Conference of Midnight's Children and his desire to protect Parvati. In the end, he is a symbol of endurance, one whose talents and aspirations lead him to work in a spicy pickle factory. One has to search for the traditional definition of a hero in this capacity.