“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

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