Wait, were you expecting to see someone else? Rikki-tikki is very clearly the protagonist in "Rikki-tikki-tavi." He's the character the audience is meant to relate to and want to see triumph. His quest is to protect the humans and the cute critters of the garden, and he does it while being courageous and strong and loyal and smart and a spiritual bag of awesome chips.
He's a little rude, to be sure, but that's just his youthful attitude. He'll grow out of it.