Sara Banerji's novel Shining Hero revolves around many characters living both the poor and rich life in India and how their worlds collide around a scandal. Throughout the novel, there are many different examples of how Indian culture displays gender and the meaning of family.
Banerji displays this through the marriage of Koonty and Pandu how differently each sex is treated within an Indian family. If it was found out that Koonty had had a child with another man before their wedding, her life would have been ruined. She would not be able to wed, her parents would exile her out of shame and the town would shun her. While on the other hand, Pandu is able to come home every night from a brothel smelling like the perfume of another woman without any consequences whatsoever. There is a clear distinction here on who holds power over who in the marriage based on how a woman is expected to be faithful, proper and conservative and a man can do whatever he wishes. Also, when Pandu dies, the money of the household goes to their 8 year old son because no one would leave money to a woman.
Overall, this novel taught me a lot about Indian culture and how harshly woman can be treated even within their own family