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September 17, 2012 / subramanyam

What Young India Wants :: My Take


           Read Chetan Bhagat’s What Young India wants over the weekend. This book, the first non-fiction work of Chetan Bhagat,  is actually a collection of selected essays and columns Chetan Bhagat has written for various Indian news papers. The book covers a wide range of topics from corruption, terrorism, economics, foreign relations, falling standards in education, dearth of seats and suicidal tendencies among India’s youth to name a few. Written in simple prose, these columns speak about various problems we Indians are confronting today. 

           I am no big fan of Chetan Bhagat, I am one of those who cribbed about the way he write books, I was unhappy after I read Revolution 2020.

Chetan Bhagat @ What Young India Wants

Chetan Bhagat @ What Young India Wants release/promotion

However, I am happy Chetan Bhagat actually felt writing about social issues, wrote about them  and got this book published.  The prime reason why I say this is, whether we like it or not Chatan Bhagat is a brand in India.  Let’s accept this,  for  we might like him, hate him, crib about his grammar (or the lack of it), dismiss his views as shallow  but we cannot ignore him.  One cannot ignore brand “Chetan Bhagat” and its potential in India.  For, perhaps he is one of the very few authors who is discussed in all sorts of places in this country. From the corridors IIT’s  and IIM’s to the college with the very very less number of facilities “Chetan Bhagat” is discussed and is a brand.          When a person of this sort and brand speaks about the burning problems of the country, they actually reach a wider audience. Thus more people discuss about these issues and we can expect more and more probable solutions for these issues. The good job Chetan did in this book is that he actually proposed some solutions to each of these problems.  This actually makes these solutions more and more debated by the youth of this nation.  That if anything, is the best thing that can happen to this nation.  We need solutions to a lot of problems in this country and this book might stir a set of new debates in this country’s educational institutes.

          Ok, coming to the book and the contents. The book opens with a letter from Chetan where he explains the purpose behind the book.  Then there are three sections in the book, with about 10 -13 essays in each one of them.  The first one being Our Society, the second dedicated to Politics and third one that speaks about the problems of the youth. The book ends with 2 short stories, the latter is a perfect finish to the book.  The issues raised in the book are indeed real burning problems our country faces today. 

         On the flip side, I felt that Chetan could have delved a little deeper than just giving a shallow treatment to the issues.  I think any one who reads political stuff rather seriously would feel that this book lacks depth.  It makes one feel that the author is jumping  to conclusions a little quickly.  A news paper column must have had its own limitations but when it is coming as a book, I think the author does have the liberty to add a few more details.

           Still, as I told earlier I am happy someone so popular wrote some stuff about burning issues and has increased the  number of people who debate it. Do pick this book, it definitely deserves a read.  It will definitely make us think.

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