“In Bastar, I learned that my books were used to teach English to the tribal children”: Chetan Bhagat on his sense of belonging and literature as entertainment

[…] I know most writers want to be published in the US and UK after becoming famous in India, but for me, it’s very important that even the smallest part of my own country experiences my writings and feels like a part of it. […]

Do you think part of your popularity is also connected with who you are, and how you are?

It’s important for the author to be easy to relate to, as well as the book. I have to travel a lot for my books. And I always wonder to myself, who are the people reading Chetan Bhagat there. In Bastar, I learned that my books were used to teach English to the tribal children. At the same time, I’ve gone to pan-IIT conferences and been invited to New York to address a financial company. Of course, I write my books in English because yes, I am most comfortable writing in that language, but I’m almost equally comfortable with Hindi too. So it becomes possible for me to relate to a diverse readership. […]

I’m not saying enjoy just my books, but I think it’s unfair to judge my readers or my books based on the fact that it isn’t highbrow literature. It’s a form of entertainment, and it should be available to anyone. It’s a consolation though that my critics haven’t been able to stop me. My books are still selling. And my readers are loyal to me. That’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Source: “A sense of belonging”, Chetan Bhagat interviewed by Swati Daftuar, The Hindu, November 19, 2011
Address : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article2641941.ece
Date Visited: 3 January 2020

“The natural wealth with which much of tribal India is endowed is also its bane. […] The Adivasi is wedged between the state programme for development, meaning mines, dams, steel plants and roads, and a private agenda for quick money, which is currently termed ‘real estate’.” – Madhu Ramnath in Woodsmoke and Leafcups >>

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“Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected.” – One of the five principles for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals formulated by Jawaharlal Nehru >>

Tip: to find books released by Indian publishers type the name of author in combination with “tribal” or “Adivasi” or include name of an Indian State, Union Territory or region (e.g. “Bastar”, “Northeast India”, “Nilgiri”).

Try the following in case Google Custom Search window or media contents are invisible here: (1) switch from “Reader” to regular viewing; (2) in browser’s Security settings select “Enable JavaScript”; (3) check Google support for browsers and devices | More >>

Publications on the above issues may be found here (title descriptions and libraries):


Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>

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  2. for details and hyperlinks click on the rectangular button (left on the map’s header)
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