I kind of don’t like the insistence with which CB is loved and talked about as the greatest literature available just because it is an easy read while commuting and easy on the pocket. The problem is not just showing them a new/ better writer, now that itself is a subjective stand. The problem is some of them don’t want to read a better writer. They still stick to the easy read of CB. The second kind of trouble I have is the content, if this material gets circulated, and if books influence people is true, I’d run around the roads saying horror horror
Every piece of writing is hard work, even writing a comment and articulating well is. But popularity and best selling in this case, seems to be a domino effect. So if best selling lists of book stores are the way in which people choose a book, then the book stores should be careful to have an assortment of books in that list, or they should have multiple lists for different categories. Anyways all the books published even within fiction by Indian authors since we are geographically restricting it to India cannot be placed under one roof.
There are a few writers and their books which are highlighted so to speak. When that happens, people who want to read, just begun reading as the article refers to, will pick those up. It is up to them to then finish that book, and explore. But if the readers are not ready to explore, and in the meantime CB becomes a favourite author, they wait for his newer books. There isn’t any problem in that. The problem is I can’t stand his books and I think he needs to write more responsibly if there is a larger target audience who is reading. So teach them through his own works how to look for better writing.. which I don’t think he will do. If he does, well good. otherwise he still gets my goat!
I am no fan of Chetan Bhagat (CB). The mediocrity of craft in CB’s books keeps me away from them. His tweets and columns and speeches are often terribly offensive and rather unintelligent and crass.
I cannot wish him away just as I cannot wish away the reality of Dengue and Chikungunya. Some try, of course.
UK-based journalist-writer Salil Tripathi says “He exists for readers who are new to the English language and new to the idea of reading.” Author-columnist Santosh Desai agrees, “It marks a breakthrough of sorts – writing in English becoming popular in a mainstream sort of a way, moving away from a desire to exclude, speaking to a new set of aspirations with simple but resonant stories, cocking a snook at elitism.”
Moving away from a Desire to Exclude! I am not going to focus on the Desire, but lets just go with the word Exclude…
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