By P.T. Bopanna
Being a hardcore journalist, I have not taken the writings of author Chetan Bhagat (in picture) seriously. Chetan Bhagat is India’s bestselling novelist and his books include Half Girlfriend.
I must admit that since I am preoccupied with my professional work, I hardly get to read books. But I did try to read one of Chetan’s books which came my way. From what I gathered after reading his book was that his writings were tailor-made for the millennials.
Chetan Bhagat has been criticized for his poor writing skills and even been accused of plagiarism.
Early this year when I was putting together a website of my books www.coorgbooks.in, I visited the websites of many Indian and foreign authors. Finally it was Chetan Bhagat’s website which I used as a template for designing my website.
In the past, I did try to read his columns and op-ed articles in newspapers, but I hardly got to read the entire article.
My opinion of Bhagat changed after reading one of his recent articles which went viral on social media. The article highlighted the state of nation and how people were preoccupied with an actor’s death when the nation was ‘burning.’
He hit the nail on the head when he wrote: “While this may be far lower priority item for Indians busy solving Bollywood conspiracies, it is worth noting that the Indian economy is in big trouble. The GDP shrunk by 23.9% last quarter, a level not completely unexpected but terrible and unprecedented nonetheless. It doesn’t matter if it is coronavirus, God, government policies or a combination of all of these factors that caused it. It’s like a spilt bowl of milk in the kitchen. We can argue all day whether someone kicked it, it fell on its own or the cat spilt it. The point is, there is no more milk in the house, and we need to replenish it. We need to bring our economy back.”
Like Bhagat, many of us in the independent media have noticed there has been a systematic game plan to hide the focus away from the burning issues like economy, Chinese intrusion and coronavirus impact on the people by highlighting trivial issues connected with the death of an actor.
On my part, I have tried to highlight some of these critical national issues by featuring them on my Facebook page Coorg-Kodagu News which has nearly 14,000 followers.
To my surprise, I have found there is lot of traction for these posts. Of course, the trolls have tried to brand me as a ‘Communist’. A few have wondered why I am posting non-Kodagu news and even gone to the extent of asking me to change the name of my FB page!
But these are extraordinary times which call for unconventional methods to sensitise people to the burning issues.