Adiga beat favourite Sebastian Barry to take the 50,000 pound (USD 47,000) prize. The other authors in the shortlist were Amitav Ghosh, Steve Toltz, Linda Grant and Philip Hensher.
Adiga's novel was described as a "compelling, angry and darkly humorous" novel about a man's journey from Indian village life to entrepreneurial success. It was described by one reviewer as an "unadorned portrait" of India seen "from the bottom of the heap".
Adiga, who wanted to be a novelist since he was a boy, was born in Madras (now known as Chennai) and now lives in Mumbai.
He becomes the fifth Indian author to win the prize, joining V S Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai who won the prize in 1971, 1981, 1997 and 2006 respectively.
In addition, "The White Tiger" is the ninth winning novel to take its inspiration from India or Indian identity.
His book, "The White Tiger", has been published by Atlantic Books and has already won rave reviews.
Michael Portillo, chairman of the judges, said: "In many ways it was the perfect novel.
"The judges found the decision difficult because the shortlist contained such strong candidates. In the end, The White Tiger prevailed because the judges felt that it shocked and entertained in equal measure.
"The novel undertakes the extraordinarily difficult task of gaining and holding the reader's sympathy for a thoroughgoing villain. The book gains from dealing with pressing social issues and significant global developments with astonishing humour."
Portillo went on to explain that the novel had won overall because of "its originality". He said that "The White Tiger" presented "a different aspect of India" and was a novel with "enormous literary merit".
Adiga had been given odds of 7/1 before the ceremony by bookmakers William Hill. Irish writer Barry had been tipped to take the prize at 7/4. The bookmakers' favourite has not won since Yann Martel in 2002.
Adiga was born on October 23, 1974 and raised partly in Australia. He studied at Columbia and Oxford Universities and is a former correspondent for TIME magazine in India.
His articles have appeared in publications such as the 'Financial Times', 'Independent' and 'Sunday Times'.
Adiga's book "The White Tiger", a tale of two Indias, tells the story of Balram, the son of a rickshaw puller in the heartlands, one of the "faceless" poor left behind by the country's recent economic boom.
It charts his journey from working in a teashop to entrepreneurial success.
The award, which honours the best fiction written in English by an author from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth nations, was handed out at the Guildhall in London.
The win means Adiga can expect an upturn in sales and added recognition.
You wrote an ultimate book.
Adiga sir, you wrote a ultimate book I read ever
The literature was simple and great in that book, but i don't feel he has the enough maturity to criticize many things in that book.. for example he said Tamils are Negros and Aryans are superior..who will buy these sayings..it's really absurd..He really need to think more before commenting the whole community..hope he'll get the right maturity soon..
its really a good book to read....he has done a good job....well done aravind
we really proud of him and i wish he get many more award
This is all about India's image and the truth behind the metro cities.You must read this book...
The White Tiger, at one level, can be thoroughly dismissed as another India-bashing book. It takes a grim view of everything Indian and slams every Indian evil – caste system, poverty, poor-rich divide, etc. – that has already undergone enough literary battering by several Indian authors writing in English. Sometimes the book makes you feel bad for being an Indian; sometimes the book makes you feel bad that you are reading it despite being an Indian.But, sadly, each time you put it down, the what-happens-next curiosity gets the better of you and you start reading it again. There lies the strength of The White Tiger. The novel is a breath-taking piece of storytelling: it is a fun read with simple language, minimal plot detours (the subplots have been skillfully weaved into the main narrative and don’t keep the reader waiting to know where the main plot is headed) and wry humour.
A great achievement again by another Indian...making us proud...am looking forward to read the book.
Congrats, Arvind Adiga, you have made all of us proud of your achievement in your maiden venture. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Please keep it up.God bless you.
At first i was happy,now after going through Mr Raj's comments i am confused.i reserve my congratulations to Mr Adiga.If he betrayed this country in his book certainly he doesn't deserve any appreciation from the true lovers of this land
A fitting reply to all these boot-licking, antihindhu, literary hacks would be to organise a nice book burning like some "aryans" did in Germany in the thirties. Mr Advani and his party could even light the torch.
Heartiest Congratulations Mr Adiga!! A pround moment for the Indians! Well done and I look forward to read the "The White Tiger" at the earliest!!With fond regards
"COPY CAT OF THE INTERNET"?!. Right says "CAT MATAHARI"(15/10/08 Wednesday)
Let us hope that the doesn't go the Arundhati Roy way by declaring himself a republic with his own constitution.
(continued from previous post)And so to Agida, I say, congratulations on your award. Enjoy the money and fame, but it represents nothing but your slavery to Europeans; The Indian and Hindu culture that you love to hate and profit from is much stronger than your measly, overrated book. This will probably be the last book you write that gets any sort of recognition. I'm sure your bosses will find another eager Indian in a few years to replace you.
A well-balanced appraisal, Raj; huge chip on each shoulder - eyes wide shut - mind open for narrow business only. All that hatred is only in YOUR head. Adiga's novel reflects many aspects of Indian society in a clear, comedic way which may help all take a more comprehensive view of what is, without offending anyone.
(continued from previous post)In his cliched book and interviews, Adiga whines on and on about India's social system, completely failing to realize how unique, tolerant, strong, just, diverse, and ancient it is. But Adiga, like many others, realized he could get some prizes and fame by bashing India. How pathetic. It's time Indians and Hindus get organized and establish their own awards instead of continuing to rely on our colonial masters for recognition. We shouldn't rely on others for our succcess, because when we do, we fall into a system where we must constantly denigrate ourselves and our culture to do so. The good news is that in the end, people like Agida, Mishra, Senupgta, Roy, and others will be mere footnotes, nothing but servants desperately trying to curry favor with their white masters. Ultimately, Indian culture will survive and continue to grow, as it has for thousands of years.
It's the same old story: an Indian decides to get famous and make a quick buck by bashing India and Hindus. And so it is with Aravind Adiga, the latest in a long line of Indian sell-outs rising in the West by bashing their motherland. We see this pattern all too often, whether Pankaj Mishra obsessively knocking Hindus and India, or Somini Sengupta attacking Hinduism anytime she can in the pages of the New York Times, or Arundhati Roy (another literary star loved by the West) irrationally siding with Islamist extremists and murderous Maoists over India. At the same time, it's not surprising. These people are so eager to please white Americans, Europeans, and Arabs by showing they can hate India and Hinduism as much as white people can. These people have no support among Hindus and Indians; their only backing is from places like America, England, or other European countries that have nothing but contempt for the cultures of the East.