One of the recent books I read was ‘Half Girlfriend’.
This book deals with elitism, rural life, education scenario in India, child labor, Firangis coming down to help Indian villages, domestic violence, attitude towards divorced women and many such issues.
Yet, any simple English reading Indian can enjoy it. Unless you can’t.
It was when i reached the middle of the book and put it down for a minute when it suddenly hit me. I knew why the so called ‘intellectuals’ dint like Bhagat’s books. It wasn’t because of the Indian English, it wasn’t the simple dialogues, and it wasn’t even because he opened up a new demographic (in his own words, ‘I’m competing with candy crush’).
No, it was because the only characters the pseudo intellectuals could relate to in his books were the bad ones, the villains you could call them, or the people in his book whose shade of grey was not the best.
If I watched a movie and the only character I had something common with was the bad guy, I would hate it too, no one, really, no one wants to be the bad guy.
It is almost cool to dislike Chetan Bhagat, you are automatically in a different league when you do that. Where you discuss policies usually left liberal, without knowing what most of them are, while drinking overpriced coffee. A place, where, you complain about the poverty and deprivation in India, but bargain with a gypsy selling trinkets.
My maid, a 21 year old with English reading skills, can enjoy ‘One night in a call center’ or ‘two states’ and that is something that I think most people find difficult to take in. They don’t want to read with their staff is reading. I think the elitism that Bhagat talks about in his book, is pretty much the reason that makes our fancy-college educated intellectuals find faults with him. They don’t want to read something that the masses enjoy, they dont want to be defined a ‘commoner’.
The only Indian authors you want to read are the ones educated abroad? Well doesn’t that tell you something about yourself?
Dont be a Macaulay putra/putri
Just like you need different types of food to make a balanced diet, you need to open up your mind and read different types of writing for balanced thinking.