Rupa & Co
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Bhagat is a symbol of new India. A torch-bearer for an unafraid generation - India Today
Many writers are successful at expressing what’s in their hearts or articulating a particular point of view. Chetan Bhagat’s books do both and more - A.R. Rahman, in TIME magazine, on Chetan’s inclusion in the TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World
The voice of India’s rising entrepreneurial class. - Fast Company Magazine, on Chetan’s inclusion in the 100 Most Creative People in Business Globally
I have one request. I never write an essay or discuss an Indian problem without proposing a solution, no matter how simple that resolution may sound. I urge you to do the same when you discuss a national issue anywhere. Let us not only complain and whine, but understand things and work them out.
Also, I am not perfect, nor are all my thoughts in every section in this book perfect. But let this book be a starting point. Let it generate more ideas about how we can turn our shared dream into a reality. Disagree with me, but at least havea point of view about the problem and a solution in mind. Do that, and in my eyes you will be what I call an awesome reader. And when we will have enough awesome readers who care about our country, nothing can stop us from Making India Awesome!
The average Indian anywhere in the country is looking for a better quality of life, a certain amount of hope and security and the freedom to make personal choices. The issues that really matter to us are the same. Differences exist, but they don’t run as deep as our politicians would have us believe. A Maharashtrian father wants a good college for his son and doesn’t care whether his MP is a Maharashtrian. An Assamese girl wants the freedom to marry her boyfriend, as does a woman in Karnataka.
This similarity of aspirations, at a fundamental level, is what gives me hope. It offers me—and others like me on a national platform—an opportunity to connect everyone. While fiction is fun and entertaining, writers like me also need to share common concerns with the population and propose a few deliverables.
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Transforming society’s values is especially important. Let’s take an example. If we want to eradicate the menace of corruption, every dishonest act must create deep revulsion within us. Fighting corruption is not restricted to naming and shaming a few corrupt officials. If we think it is okay to cheat in exams, lie to a ticket collector in the train about our kids’ ages and pay a bit of money to avoid a big traffic fine, then at some level we clearly don’t care about eliminating corruption all that much. At best, we hate the politician who gets to steal (while we don’t).
It has been over a year since Modi won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. What’s amazing is that the criticism has not stopped even as the Godhra riots’ censure has subsided. Anyhow, one thing is clear—Modi’s political graph has continued to rise. Even the always-righteous-but-not-always-right Arvind Kejriwal, who has successfully tarnished many reputations so far—Nitin Gadkari, Robert Vadra, Mukesh Ambani, Sheila Dikshit, to name a few—has been unable to really puncture the Modi effect. As he enters his second year in office, Modi’s popularity has not nose-dived, as so often happens with politicians who are voted into office with landslide majorities by voters who think that these leaders are their new messiahs.