‘Khan market gang mentality in literature must go’

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Indian literature has no place for a ‘Khan market gang mentality,’ stated Chetan Bhagat, decrying elitism in literature whereas defending the simplicity of labor at a session of the Times Litfest in Delhi on Sunday.

The simplicity of his books, Bhagat stated, is the rationale behind their recognition. “Most of us have a myopic view of literature. What is literature? Telling what is happening in society in simple words. Rather than criticising my books, one can simply accept the fact that it can help connect many with the written word,” he stated.

The author stated he thinks Indians have an ‘aukaat’ (loosely translated to ‘status’) drawback. “You won’t find this problem anywhere else. It forces you to think within a set mould according to your reach, education and upbringing,” he stated.

Bhagat stated his success helps shake elitism out of literature. “I feel that my popularity scares those ‘elite’ people who think that if this guy, who has no prior exposure in this field can be so successful then it is a cause for concern,” he stated.

He stated the division between ‘elite’ writers and the ‘lesser mortals’ was holding Indian literature again. “This division can actually have a negative impact on the reading habits among people which is on a downward spiral,” Bhagat added.

He stated kids right this moment spend hours on social media however the accessibility of his writing can draw readers away from their telephones and computer systems, and spark an curiosity in books. “If a kid reads my book one day and takes a liking to it, then somewhere my book is helping take an interest in reading,” he stated.

“Now, when a parent then tells them to stop reading Chetan Bhagat, then the kid goes back to YouTube/Instagram quitting reading altogether. So ask are you helping literature or are you hurting literature?” he stated.

In the face of criticism and trolling, Bhagat stated he has developed a thick pores and skin. “Initially it bothered me a lot. Over the years, I have realised that critics will criticise about me and I have made peace with it,” he stated.