His forthright yet neutral view, towering presence and multiple accomplishments filled some with uncritical adorations, but to others they were the cause for jealous denigration.
He has single handedly changed the face of Indian publishing and when someone achieves such stupendous success obviously they are bound to be surrounded by controversies. Some have talked against him in whispering tones as a non serious, non-prolific writer while others lashed him as consumerist, economist, a marketing genius and self proclaimed modern day Gandhi. While other set of critics have commented that his books need to be more complex to deserve a better recognition, but Chetan Bhagat himself quoted on a TV show “ It’s not simple to be simple”. On being questioned by one TV journalist on how he thinks he will compete in the highly competitive space and with no prominent literary background , pat came his reply “ Don’t worry about my existence, I will create my own existence”.. . People have tried to deter him and demean him but that didn’t put him off.
On a positive side, his fans have praised him as “influential”, “pragmatic” and “gutsy” writer. Some have also commented that his writings are like “ketchup” which goes with everything.
I personally believe he became what he is for what he is so why should he change. His weakness in inadequate experience as a literary writer was compensated by the strength of his will and fierce determination.
He has all the splendors, all the nobleness, all the courage and most importantly all the loyalty to stay afloat. It is not too much of a stress to say that amongst the youth he has become a notable part, and done his best from first to last.
After the release of his first novel “ 5 point someone” based out of life of 3 students studying in IIT , Chetan Bhagat the writer, the author came into being and after the phenomenal success of the movie “3 Idiots” in which was “possibly” based on the theme of his book, his popularity grew to an absurd level.
He arose to fame as if by magic beyond his own wildest dream. His fame spread far and wide . It grew like a gale.
Chetan has recently has taken the Columnist position at The Times of India one of India’s most widely read English daily. Few days back I stood at the window of my room, surfing through his article and immediately my mind strayed back to the time when he was rejected by all the publishers big and small, including the one’s in Daryaganj, I was not at all surprised as It is often the fashion of our countrymen to denigrate and belittle their talent works in the matter of this kind and to exult superior craft and ability of foreigners.
He emerged from the ordeal alive and safe, his resolve unshaken, with conviction and focus as never before. He worked feverishly, labored incessantly and launched books one after another and as the years rolled by blockbuster movies were produced based on his books.
Victory and success for him has come after all the setbacks, failure and heart breaks in all the absolute and unlimited form. He has become immeasurably wiser and mature over time as a writer while his fellow contemporaries are learning very little. He has changed with the changing circumstances quite like the layer of fresh experiences and feelings have covered up his past accumulations.
But I believe it to be unquestionably true, that during that early phase and now in the present time he was more skillfully organized, more daringly pursued and thus achieved far more significant results as a writer and a person that any other person in any other country could acieve. He is head and shoulders above the rest.
He contributes significantly expressing his views on various subjects on a high profile Sunday column. I would rather hesitate to give rulings in my present capacity but it seems highly that he has a loyal desire to share the tribulations of the fellow citizens and has the sacred obligation to fight for social cause at the grass root level. Amid darkness and confusion he is a voice who says things which are unbiased. and can say with certainty, “ This is the way” . He always takes an independent stand and not acts as a satellite of any power.
He has also made several appearances in the various public forums and platforms from regularly appearing in the news channels to travelling across parts of the country to give talks at the so call “Non Elite colleges”. Remarkably, I must say he has behaved very well and wherever he has spoken, either in public or in small gathering during his motivational talks, he has not said anything to which I should take exception. He has not quoted anything which could unnerve the individuals. He has managed to keep his end up throughout and made more than a minor impact on the audience. Acting as the spokesperson and messenger of the youth, he proposes actionable solutions rather statements of intent all around.
His columns and blogs carry much heat and seem to have high enriching potency and thus has gained high readership. His fans are lured, enticed, persuaded to open and read all his blogs and thus so discover his unbiased and frank opinions stored within its content. I must admit he is not a writing genius as he is sometimes credited but undoubtedly his way of writing is a vital departure from the traditional style of writing. There is an impression, which I think is justified that he is someone who has set of broad and elastic ideas and is a strong advocator of corruption free India particularly in education sector, non- elite culture, lack of ethics in education, retired growth of economy, liberalization and free markets.
If such things such as openness are marks of boldness and audacity, then Chetan is certainly courageous to that extent.
Chetan has played a significant role in our thoughts. Now it is our role and our duty to put them into operation. The lever must be pulled.
If India has to be saved, as I pray she must be saved from all the vices, she must be saved by leading advocators like Chetan. It must be with dynamic people like Chetan with their manhood, courage and virtue that the rescue and regeneration of the once mighty nation can alone be achieved.
I hope the efforts of young leaders like chetan will pay rich dividends and India will pick itself through the rubble and carry on the way it has done in the past.
All Images Credit: ChetanBhagat.com