Saturday, February 24, 2018
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Now you might have predicted what this book is all about.  What Young India Wants is a collection of Mr. Bhagat’s articles and essays on many relevant issues, published in various newspapers, precisely one three aspects of India i.e. Society, Politics and Youth.  A catchy title and flashy cover do half of the job while rest is done by Mr. Bhagat’s name itself.  I am not much fan of his fiction writing, but I quite admire his articles on Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar, in fact, I’ve read almost every article he ever wrote.  However, that doesn't mean I am his blind follower because I too use my brain when it comes to thinking about social and political issues.

With this book Mr. Bhagat is stepping out from his comfort zone and trying to take up a responsibility of being true to a Youth Icon Image.  In his latest book, What Young India Wants, Chetan Bhagat asks hard questions, demands answers and presents solutions for a better, more prosperous India.  The series of questions that are raised are as to why do our students regularly commit suicide, why is there so much corruption in India, why can’t our political parties ever work together, does our vote make any difference at all, we love our India, but shouldn’t some things be different, etc.  All of us have asked these questions at some time or the other.  What Young India Wants is based on Chetan Bhagat’s vast experience as a very successful writer and motivational speaker.  In clear, simple prose, and with great insight, he analyses some of the complex issues facing modern India, offers solutions and invites discussion on them.

First ten pages are dedicated to his life and his journey as an Engineer to Investment banker to Policy Maker to finally, become an Author and the reason why he decided to write this book, which is good to read.  Some will call it bragging for his achievements while some other will call self-delusion, but it’s always good to know about author’s intentions, especially when reading a Non-fiction.  Second Section is Politics.  In India, we love discussing politics, specially blaming them and abusing them for little mistakes (little mistakes such as 2G Scam, CWG Scam, Fuel Prices to infinity).  So here Mr. Bhagat tried to tell us what politicians are not doing and how to make them do it.  Being a neutral about political parties, he covered both aspects of politics, ruling party and opposition.  Nevertheless, it indeed confers a strong message to bring the change, and if we really want to bring a change, it must start from individuals. Good for discussion, hard to implement, but not impossible.  I would only like to mention the third and the best section of the book is ‘Our Youth’ where finally, Young India is addressed.  All articles in youth section are fun to read and are well thought.  Targeted to 70% of the country’s population, they address issues such as educational pressures, importance of good English, flaws and needs of current education system, brain-drain, and communications gap between students from different backgrounds.  Stories are good, and gives your brain a little relax after reading so many articles on a wide variety of issues.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Chetan Bhagat, one of the most successful author of 21st century, in terms of fan following, in terms of sales, and in terms of haters.  Some people call him Rockstar Author, while some say India’s most Loved Author, some other call him one of most influential person ranked 21 by TIME magazine in 2010 in Artiste category, and he is often considered as a Youth Icon, but does everyone truly love this person? Not really, critics hate his writing style; his articles in various newspapers are considered as Blabber of a Lesser Known, and his novels are often tagged as ‘Bubblegum Literature’ and even once he was called Rakhi Sawant of literature.  However, he shuts them all by his polite smile and a simple sentence that it is a lazy criticism.

MY TAKE:  I must admit that almost 75% of the book was like a re-read for me, as I am quite obsessed with editorial columns hence it bored me a bit, and I even skipped a few articles.  Many of his solutions are logical but far from reality and volatility of country’s political situation also made them not applicable.  A little more depth of thought would have brought some impact and instead of taking articles as it is, a little rewrite would have made it good book to read.


BOOK:  What Young India Wants

AUTHOR:  Chetan Bhagat

PUBLISHER:  Rupa Publications


LANGUAGE:  English

PRICE:  Rs. 140

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