I think by now everyone has read the excerpt from Chetan Bhagat’s recent book “Half Girlfriend”, if not, be my guest.
For those of you who still question why Chetan Bhagat shouldn’t write books, allow me to answer it. It might not change your opinion about the same but it may give you a rational perspective.
I wasn’t a Chetan Bhagat hater. As a young reader, you search for things which are easy to read. As a young writer, you write things which are easy to write. So, at that point of time our frequencies kind of matched. Years passed and luckily I got aware about foreign authors. I started reading works of Dickens, Camus and Kafka. I started liking them. But no, I still didn’t hate Chetan Bhagat. Even after reading all his four books and finding three of them disgustingly ridiculous, I didn’t hate him. Because who am I to hate him? It all started when he released his fifth book, Revolution 2020. This time, people were seriously expecting a mature piece of work from him. Five books in a row is no joke. The kind of promotion he did for this book was something beyond my comprehension. He actually fought with Rushdie (I don’t think he can even understand Rushdie’s work and contribution to literature, and neither do I expect him to), started moral policing and declared himself the messiah of Indian literature. In one interview he even had the guts to say that after Tagore he is the only one who has affected the Indian literature. And he wasn’t wrong. He was absolutely correct. He has affected the Indian literature, but adversely. In short, he did everything possible to attract the audience. And what did he serve? Shit. That book couldn’t have been any shittier. Yet he gained a whole new set of followers and this time a larger set.
The problem with this guy is that he is not realizing his responsibilities. He has got an audience which no Indian author has ever had. He is starting to influence people. Saying that people like his books, so be it, is nothing but a reflection of our apathetic attitude towards society. Now here is someone who has got the power to influence people, but what is he doing? He is selling shit. To the dumb people. He is setting himself as an example for young writers to be like him and sell shit because the audience is dumb. I am calling the audience dumb because instead of ignoring his books, they choose to read these masala flicks. You can make a mistake 3 times, but not six times. If they haven’t realized it yet, then sorry to say, they are dumb. And they are the source of inspiration for his next few novels. This guy is simply making money by writing cheap porn novels. Had I been in his shoes, I’d have taken a break of a few months and worked upon my writing. I wouldn’t have dared to serve the same kind of shit again and again to my audience. It’s high time you realize your responsibilities, Mr.Bhagat. Stop hiding behind your followers and face the heat. Contribute something to Indian Literature, not Indian porn. With great power, comes great responsibilities. Be the messiah you claim to be. Grow the fuck up.