Bridging a gap
With reference to “The revolution man” by Swati Daftuar (November 20), there are politicians who preach through mikes, standing a 100 feet away from the people and then, there are those (really?) who delve deeper into the issues and walk shoulder to shoulder with the aam aadmi (or at least that is what we want them to do). Chetan Bhagat, even though a writer and not a politician, does exactly that. While literary giants are concerned with the grammar and style of their writing, Bhagat strikes a chord with his reader by simply speaking his heart out. Almost everyone can relate to his characters. He has bridged the gap between a writer and his readers. We have no right to label his writing as ‘bad', else why would his books be selling in millions? His may not be ‘real' literature and let's not forget, he never claimed it to be. He is here to make reading enjoyable and fun. Critics may not approve of his writing, but we the youth certainly want more. Kudos to the author for calling him an equivalent of our very own desi chaat and paani puri.
Aparna J. Pai
Chetan has aptly pointed out that people reading his works are mostly looked upon as “inferior” readers. This notion has to change. Though people continue to argue that Chetan's books have no literary value, they have nothing substantial to say, when asked to elaborate on the same. Bhagat's novels are like a breath of fresh air, and perfectly capture the mood of the quintessential Indian youth. He connects with you, entertains you, and takes you on a journey that always ends on a high. When there is so much to cheer about, why complain?
Project Enginner, Wipro Technologies
Thanks for publishing the interview “A sense of belonging” with Chetan Bhagat by Swati Daftuar (November 20). I am 51 and recently read, back to back, all the five books of Chetan Bhagat. I must say that though his audience is the youth, all Indian parents who can, must study Chetan Bhagat books to understand the inside and outside life of our youth and how they are struggling to tackle various issues at academic, professional, physical and emotional levels. Chetan Bhagat's books give the much-needed insight and will definitely help parents in adapting themselves to the rapidly changing scenario in which our present day youth are aspiring to meet various challenges. I am, indeed, eagerly looking forward to reading his forthcoming books.
Chetan Bhagat's popularity as a novelist assumes significance in the context of the back seat that reading for pure joy has taken in recent times. Though Bhagat's works aren't great, they have at least inspired many, especially the younger generation, to read. It is quite possible that some of them may graduate to serious reading in course of time. It is no mean achievement to persuade couch and mouse potatoes to consider reading too as a source of entertainment and pleasure.
P. Prasand Thampy
The article by Harsh Mander (“An unfinished agenda”, November 20), highlighting the issue of child labour, was timely and spot-on. It was on November 20, 1989 that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was signed. It is indeed a pity that even after 22 years of signing of UNCRC, the scourge of child labour is following an upward trajectory in our country. This can be partly attributed to our system of education which hardly lays emphasis on skill building and employability in the primary and secondary school levels. So poor parents end up losing faith in the idea of providing just basic education to their children as they are not sure about providing them higher education. This, coupled with the lack of basic amenities at schools and improper implementation of government schemes, often result in an exodus of children from classrooms to fields or factories. It is high time that we revamped our educational system on the lines of countries like Germany and Finland by providing greater emphasis on vocational education at the school level. This could combat the rise in child labour by providing the twin advantages of making schooling more interesting and increasing the economic potential of students after they are done with schooling.
Thomas Boban Mattathil
While much is said and written and laws framed nothing significant is being done. We watch children working as labourers, feel sorry and move on with our lives. The education cess being collected as part of Income Tax should be made accountable. Every school must enrol children who are orphans or live in extreme conditions. Mandatory conditions imposed with severe punishments to the guilty could reduce the child labour to a great extent.