'Our elite believes that good literature existed 200 years ago': Chetan Bhagat slams trolls over DU controversy

Chetan Bhagat held the elitist attitude responsible for inhibiting growth of budding writers in English literature

Controversies have become inseparable part of Chetan Bhagat’s life. Recently, he was targetted by trolls after his first novel five point someone was included in the syllabus of popular fiction in Delhi university. The 43-year-old author himself confesses that he manages to stir people just by being himself. “I manage to stir people up just by being who I am,”

The techie-turned-author is currently in London delivering lectures at the Imperial College and Cambridge University on the ways of modern Indian writing and film adaptations. Speaking with Mumbai Mirror, Bhagat admitted he felt honoured by DU’s decision. However, he also expressed surprise over the online outrage.

“When teaching a course on popular fiction, wouldn’t you want students to read the highest selling English writer in the country?” he said adding that his books are already a part of the curriculum in many schools and colleges,

He also took potshots at his detractors and said,”our elite believe good literature only existed 200 years ago and it cannot be a novel that has sold five million copies in India.” He also held the elitist attitude responsible for inhibiting growth of budding writers in English literature.

Speaking about the film adaptation of his 2014 bestseller Half Girlfriend, Bhagat dissed rumours that he will have a role in the film. “My books always open with the protagonist meeting the author, it’s a writing device I always use. But it doesn’t adapt well on screen. I never wanted to act in the film anyway,” he said.

The author also said that he does not let his ego come in the way of film “This is my fifth film adaptation and understand that while I remain close to my material, I also need to detach myself when needed. I do what is right for the film and not for my ego.”

Bhagat was effusive in his praise for actor Arjun Kapoor and said that he and the protagonist of half girlfriend are quite similar. “We’ve both been scorned and laughed at for real and understand the nature of this business,” he added. He also said that director Mohit Suri even jokes that Arjun is his real half girlfriend.