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Simpletons’ simpleton

Although celebrated as a best-selling writer-intellectual by half-educated youth of the country who according to our cock-eyed politicians are the nation’s demographic dividend, there’s a simpleton quality about popular novelist/columnist Chetan Bhagat. Recently in a television interview, he discerned anti-Hindu bias in the Supreme Court order (October 9) banning the sale of fire crackers in the national capital during the Diwali festival, when air pollution levels rise to well beyond WHO (World Health Organisation) norms, endangering the health of citizens. According to informed environmentalists fighting a losing battle against Delhi’s quasi-educated majority, the ambient quality of air as measured by suspended particulate matter shouldn’t exceed 60 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) in any 24-hour cycle. Against this, it is around 300 in Delhi NCR at the best of times, and during Diwali it touches a deadly level of 700. 

This alarming statistic isn’t good enough for this celebrity writer whose simple linear-plot novels with a social theme snatched from newspaper headlines tagged on, are lapped up by equally naive youth, most of whom readily agree that they read them for ‘time pass’. According to Bhagat, the apex court’s judgement smacks of anti-Hindu prejudice which he has noticed in several (unidentified) judgements of the apex court. 

Following widespread acclamation of Bhagat’s novels, I was persuaded to read one (Revolution 2020) and review it in EW (March 2012). I was appalled by its predictable Bollywood-style plot, lack of background research and simplistic use of italics to distinguish the inner musings of the protagonist. It was depressing to learn that India’s youth, which is enamoured of Bhagat’s stereotypical oeuvre, is expected to compete internationally and reap the country’s demographic dividend. No way. 

209 Views  | Posted on: 7 Nov,2017 Add Comment  Show Comments (0)