I think it's very interesting that Rushdie chose to write about a character who was torn between two different identities. Aziz lived in Germany for five years and then returned to India. He suddenly couldn't figure out who he was nor where he belonged. Since Rushdie was originally born in British India and has ties to both Britain (his nationality and where he attended college) and India (his homeland), he himself could be very similar to Aziz. British India was a difficult time for everyone living in India. One would grow up following every order that the British officers commanded, but also develop a bond with the British. I don't know much about the British rule of India, but I think it is a huge (if not the most important) influence in Rushdie's work.