His books are breezy. The English is actually Hinglish, Tinglish, and many other variants. He doesn’t write about superheroes, he just makes heroes of ordinary Indians. No university is going to prescribe his books as necessary reading. But Chetan Bhagat has done what so many before him failed to do – he has got the MTV generation reading. He is the David Dhawan of Indian Writing in English (IWE). Suddenly people are reading books again, and that is Chetan Bhagat’s biggest contribution to our society.
Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Arundathi Roy – all successful writers, but they wrote for a limited audience. Those were the days when you had to be a recognized thinker before you could actually publish a book. Chetan Bhagat demolished the pedestal, and ushered in the era of writing for the masses. I have nothing against high-brow writing. I enjoy it thoroughly. But somewhere along the way, Indian authors take themselves too seriously. They have forgotten that books are also meant to be a source of entertainment. Chetan Bhagat makes his money from entertainment.
This success has meant that other authors are now writing for the masses. The IWE shelves in the bookstores are getting increasingly cramped. A lot of it is crap. But there is also a lot of good stuff there.
Say what you want about the man, I think he is brilliant. He is the promised savior for the Indian publishing industry.