I hope you are riding high on your new found glory in Indian Television. I also hope you are basking in the glory of the ‘intellectual’ tag that will henceforth be associated with you. You are an inspiration Mr. Chetan Bhagat. Truly you are. Or should I say you are a master salesman? Selling every moment is not everybody’s cup of tea. You just did it Mr. Chetan Bhagat. I wholeheartedly congratulate you for this.
I understand your concern. Trolling is becoming an integral part of anyone who wishes to speak up on social media. But Sir, from someone of your stature, we expect a very wide perspective of things.
I also understand you are a little rattled by the critiquing of your role as a judge in Nach Baliye. Also I hear about some plagiarism charges associated with your book – ‘Half Girlfriend’. Trust me I do not believe any of it. I’ve in fact blogged in your support. But would you care to tell us why you took the straight and sure path when you decided to write – Anatomy of an internet troll: How social media birthed a strange new phenomenon in India, the bhakts ? The Hindu-Hindi bashing is a very tried and tested formula, Sir. I realize blogging about how sick and bad Hindu men (who refuse to be Nehruvians and leftists) is easy. But why you Sir? You have made a career out of writing about these Hindu Men, who don’t essentially have great communication skills; do not know English and who don’t have a girlfriend. And in your book they are heroes. You had started to almost behave like the rescuers of these men, and lucidly wrote English in a very non English way; complete with intellectual high points like –deti hai to de, warna kat le. Why this self denial Sir?
I understand there is certain Bonhomie in the intellectual class and it is associated with the term ‘internet Hindoo’. But what gives you the right to bash Hindus, Mr Bhagat? Does that right come along with the Bestseller tag that you carry everywhere? I quote your subtle and carefully worded malice –Fourth, there is an over-riding sense of shame about being Hindu, Hindi speaking and/ or Indian. Deep down they know that Hindi-speaking Hindus are among India’s poorest. They also know that India is a third world country with third rate infrastructure and few achievements on the world stage in science, sports, defence or creativity.
You have got it completely wrong Mr. Chetan Bhagat. There is no sense of shame about being Hindu. Yes there is a sense of shame among Hindus hungry for doles from the Congress- leftist intelligentsia. But Mr. Chetan Bhagat, there is a Hindu world beyond that. Some Hindus are still proud of their rich heritage of friendly Gods ( I say friendly because of our bubbling industry of mythology books and no blasphemy charges), Upanishads and Vedas. Mr. Bhagat, India is a very vast country. How did you map this – Hindi speaking equal to India’s poorest? There are poor people in Khasi hills. There are poor people starving in tea gardens of Darjeeling. There are poor people in the south and in the west. Why are you singling out the Hindi speaking people Mr. Bhagat? There are also poor Muslims and Christians, Mr. Bhagat. Why shame the language and the religion?
However, you are right. India doesn’t have too many achievements in terms of infrastructure etc. And isn’t that because of a dynasty that has been too busy in awarding Bharat Ratnas to themselves and branding every project with their surname? (Thank you for pointing the 60 year rule of Congress). As far as achievements are concerned I can send you a list of it. But let’s talk about the recent Mangalayan( or maybe that isn’t an achievement for you. It was criticized by the Goras after all). Or India launching the UK’s satellites.
You’ve got me all charmed in your pointing out that we don’t have too many achievements in terms of creativity. I know you mean Five Point Someone and Half Girlfriend. It takes courage to talk about it, Mr. Bhagat. And that is why you command respect. However, I would also take a moment to remind you – ‘Kick’ might have not have the desired results in film festivals, but every year India sends films that do a smashing tour of film festivals. I hope they get the creative tag.
Modi is unabashedly from the Hindi/ Hindu/ modest-means background and represents the best people like them can be. – Yes. You are right. Modi’s followers defend him at whatever he does. But Sir, isn’t that what happens with all icons? The fans go that extra mile to defend them. And ‘protect’ is a very wrong word here. Modi doesn’t need to be protected by his fans. He has enough good work behind him that speak pretty loudly.
Mr. Chetan Bhagat, you say BJP must distance itself from ‘trolls’. I am floored with this point. But pray tell me how is Modi or BJP to be blamed if some anon troll is abusing someone on social media? Remember the Sharapova incident? Or aggressive Salman Khan fans? Or the mad fans of Drashti Dhami? Are any of these celebs to be blamed?
Sir, this is still a democracy and you are a little too early to predict about voters going back to Congress. You might be in a hurry to canvas for them, but trust me the masses are not.
Smarten up, learn English and practise it. Mr. Chetan Bhagat, I’ve studied in one of the famous English Convents of the country. And to tell you the truth, I feel no pride in my English education. It is an easy language and an essential communication tool. But it has nothing to do with smartening up. With great position comes great responsibility Mr. Bhagat. People look up to you. And with this sentence you are belittling the thousands of men and also women who have not have access to English. Why should English be the benchmark of our social skills?
You break my heart, Sir. Somewhere you also objectify women. Even if these alleged Bhakts are frustrated, why should we women take it upon ourselves to help them? Why should we? Make some female friends and ask their advice on how to talk to a girl. When confident, try to ask someone out and date her like a gentleman. – Sir this sounds like, ladka bigad gaya. Iski shaadi karwa do. As though women have nothing better to do than help sexually frustrated men!
I hope you do not take offence, Sir. I am still one of your fans. I might not possess your books, but I ardently respect you and understand you need to write a few more of these blogs. But you’ve already appeared in the ‘intellectual’ circuit.
A female Bhakt, who speaks English, dates men and tries to be creative.
P.S – That Selfie with Modi was fantabulous.
( Born in Shillong, Paulami Duttagupta (Loreto Convent and Jadavpur University alumna) is currently based in Kolkata. She has worked as a journalist (TOI & The Shillong Times), radio artist (AIR Shillong), television analyst (ETV, Sony AATH, Akash Bangla), and copywriter. But amongst all these, her favorite job is that of a ‘dreamer.’ She has written novels- Pinjar, Unplanned Destiny and Ri. She is also the screenplay writer of the national award winning Khasi film – Ri Homeland of Uncertainty. Her short stories and articles have been published in various anthologies and magazines. Currently she is working on her second film and a couple of books. )
( First Published in The Frustrated Indian )