The White Tiger

Mr. Ashok Character Analysis

The Stork’s son and Balram’s master. Ashok recently returned from America and has a gentler, milder personality compared to his wealthy and entitled family members. He feels disillusioned by the widespread corruption in India and his family’s role in it, but goes along with his relatives, handing out bribes to ministers and currying favor with politicians. Compared to the other wealthy people around him, Ashok demonstrates more outward signs of compassion for Balram, seeming to take an interest in his servant’s welfare and trusting him entirely. Ashok becomes increasingly decadent and goes into something of a downward spiral after his wife, Pinky Madam, leaves him and goes back to America. Balram feels a strong, mysterious connection to his master, but after several months in his service concludes that Ashok is no less cruel and selfish than his father and brother, that the generosity he offers is not nearly what he could afford to give.

Mr. Ashok Quotes in The White Tiger

The The White Tiger quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Ashok or refer to Mr. Ashok. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Free Press edition of The White Tiger published in 2008.
Chapter 2: The Second Night Quotes

“Many of my best ideas are, in fact, borrowed from my ex-employer or his brother or someone else whom I was driving about. (I confess, Mr. Premier: I am not an original thinker—but I am an original listener.)

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4: The Fourth Night Quotes

“We’re driving past Ghandi, after just having given a bribe to a minister. It’s a fucking joke, isn’t it.”

Related Characters: Mr. Ashok (speaker), Pinky Madam
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 5: The Fifth Night Quotes

“... But where my genuine concern for him ended and where my self-interest began, I could not tell: no servant can ever tell what the motives of his heart are... We are made mysteries to ourselves by the Rooster Coop we are locked in.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok
Related Symbols: The Rooster Coop
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6: The Sixth Morning Quotes

“The rest of today’s narrative will deal mainly with the sorrowful tale of how I was corrupted from a sweet, innocent village fool into a citified fellow full of debauchery, depravity and wickedness, All these changes happened in me because they happened first in Mr. Ashok.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 7: The Sixth Night Quotes

“We went from bank to bank, and the weight of the red bag grew. I felt its pressure increase on my lower back—as if I were taking Mr. Ashok and his bag not in a car, but the way my father would take a customer and his bag—in a rickshaw.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok, Vikram Halwai
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 8: The Seventh Night Quotes

“There is no end to things in India, Mr. Jiabao, as Mr. Ashok so correctly used to say. You’ll have to keep paying and paying the fuckers. But I complain about the police the way the rich complain; not the way the poor complain.”

Related Characters: Balram Halwai (speaker), Mr. Ashok, Wen Jiabao
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Mr. Ashok Character Timeline in The White Tiger

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Ashok appears in The White Tiger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The First Night
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Indian entrepreneur Balram Halwai (alias Ashok Sharma), the novel’s narrator and protagonist, begins composing a letter to Chinese official Wen Jiabao,... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
...a slave. When he returns to the village years later with his wealthy master Mr. Ashok and his mistress Pinky Madam, he finally gets the courage to visit the fort alone.... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Second Night
Education Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...comments that he continues to feel a sense of loyalty and closeness to the murdered Ashok and his former wife, Pinky Madam. He attributes many of his best ideas to Ashok... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Balram first meets Ashok in the city of Dhanbad, where he moves after his father dies from tuberculosis in... (full context)
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
...is not rewarded for this so-called “entrepreneurial” behavior until at one house he meets Mr. Ashok. Ashok is the son of the Stork of Laxmangahr, and has recently returned to India... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Ashok, the Stork, and Ashok’s older brother Mukesh Sir (also known as “the Mongoose”), question Balram... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Balram gets his first opportunity to drive Ashok and his wife in the Honda City when Ashok decides to visit Laxmangahr, their shared... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Fourth Morning
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
...mines, apparently the source of their fortune. Balram listens in on the conversations that follow: Ashok, Mukesh Sir, and Pinky Madam decide that they have to move to Delhi to ensure... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Fifth Night
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...back to the US, leaving India forever and putting an end to her marriage. Later, Ashok becomes furious with Balram for helping Pinky escape and nearly throws Balram over a railing,... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Mongoose arrives in Delhi to help Ashok through his separation from Pinky, and also bearing a letter to Balram from Kusum Granny.... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Sixth Morning
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
...Delhi corrupted him, made him capable of murder and rebellion, only after the city corrupted Ashok. After Pinky's departure, Ashok begins going out to bars and clubs at night. As his... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
During one of Ashok’s evenings out, Balram wanders into a nearby bookshop to pass the time. He chats with... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
The following evening, Balram drives Ashok around the city to deliver bribes. One minister’s assistant joins Ashok in the car and... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Sixth Night
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Soon after Ashok’s evening with the minister’s assistant, Balram asks Vitiligo Lips to find him a golden haired... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Using the money he stole from Ashok, Balram hires a golden-haired prostitute with the help of Vitiligo Lips. To his disappointment, she... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
When Balram returns home, Ashok is waiting for him in the servants’ quarters. Ashok claims that he is tired of... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
Ashok continues to bribe ministers on schedule, distributing money in a red, Italian leather bag. One... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The following day, Balram finds an iron wrench in the parking lot outside Ashok’s apartment complex. Intending to use it as a weapon, he brings it back to his... (full context)
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
Shortly after Dharam’s arrival, Ashok learns that the ruling national government has lost the election to several oppositional parties, including... (full context)
The Self-Made Man Theme Icon
...companion discuss how they will be sure to get the correct amount of money from Ashok, and decide that it is not worth the trouble of threatening him with physical violence,... (full context)
Education Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
The following morning, Balram asks Ashok for time off so that he can take Dharam to the Delhi Zoo. Balram’s nerves... (full context)
Social Breakdown, Self-Interest, and Corruption Theme Icon
The following morning, Balramdrives Ashok from bank to bank to fill the red bag with money for his master’s final... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Morality and Indian Society Theme Icon
The deed done, Balram covers his tracks as best he can and scatters Ashok’s body with stickers of the holy goddess Kali, thinking that they may help his dead... (full context)