I've read very little of today's Indian literature which is pro-poor and details the life of the poor and the unlucky in India. I did try to read a Salman Rushdie (i don't remember the name of the book) and Aravind Adiga. Somehow, i couldn't go beyond the first few pages. Maybe, i lacked that interest to continue with those books.
That apart, i've read novels by Indian writers on similar themes and i've liked them. Perhaps, why i don't like Adiga or Rushdie and why i prefer Premchand is, i guess their approach towards the subject. I think the former ridicule issues of the poor in their (superficial, if i can add) writing. On the other hand, the likes of Premchand wrote on it with depth maybe because of the fact, that they've been through it. And they treat it with respect, and yes, can empathize with people.