Be a matter of wonder for anyone to know that the author Chetan Bhagat has lunged into this favorite arena of him and is coming up with his latest book- ONE INDIAN GIRL that deals with the very sensitive issue of Feminism and Female liberation. If wee see the responses, the teaser of his Book is getting, it will not be wrong to say that the Book is already a great success in Social media.
The brief reference made about the theme of the book that it is story of a sexually liberated woman, has given a tantalizing topic of debate to both his supporters and protestors and the so called protectors of Indian values and Cultures.
The teaser is getting all types of reactions on YouTube; people are clearly criticizing this bold attempt of Bhagat and talking in context of Indian society they find it obscene to some extent.
He concept of One Night stand as justified in terms of modernization of society does not really go well with the notions of people and what they had to say about it is clear from the Statements they are making on social media.
“Glamorizing One night stands in the name of modernity is intellectual bankruptcy. Let the people choose what they want is a nice thing to say…but if grown ups are only exposed to such compulsive disorders then. Sleeping around is compulsive. They have right to their compulsiveness, but big writers like CHETAN BHAGAT should not glamorize such things. Youth get inspired to be compulsive.”
SEX OR FEMINISIM
Well the basic question arising is – Does Bhagat wants to use the element of sex to market his book or there is a more deep meaning to the work?
Bhagat referring himself to a male feminist fighting for the rights and honor of a successful, ambitious Indian woman has tried to answer these questions.
In one of hi statements he said, “I have wanted to write in female first person for the past several years, Not only that, I wanted that book to be about women, and deal with feminism. To do all this as a male writer was a huge challenge. I didn’t have the confidence earlier that I could do it. After writing for over a decade, I finally attempted One Indian Girl.”
Through his work Bhagat wanted to make an allusion to the absurd choices women are forced to make while being a part of the society.
His idea of an Ideal Indian woman made him to ask the question to the public, “Feminism is equal rights. There’s nothing too fancy about it… do we easily permit a woman to have a successful career and be a great mother at home? Both could be core needs for a woman, but we often ask them to make a choice. We feel we have done our feminist duties by giving women the ‘freedom of choice.’ Why? Why should they have to make a choice? Do we ever ask men to make a choice between their core needs?”
Indian celebrities always go for some serious social issues to get their products marketed. Be it a movie about tribal matters or a Book about Female liberation, since these tactics always bring success to them.
For this particular work – ONE INDIAN GIRL, the risks of getting real feminists active are fairly high because of its bold mention to Female sexuality.
Some would feel that Bhagat is dealing with this complex issue of female liberation by merely connecting it to one night stand, but that Is not what he actually tried to do.
To a question that If Bhagat is worried how would he deal with the reactions of feminists to the book he replied- “The book is an opportunity to bring out their issues to the forefront”
He believes that writing about these concerns of the society in context of women is not a monopoly granted to acknowledged feminists only and needs not to be written as a boring intellectual and esoteric work.
For the same he stated, “While I respect intellectuals and experts, no issue should be hijacked or appropriated by them alone. I have as much a right to talk about it as they do.”
Bhagat made a request to not to pre judge the book before actually getting into the matter he had worked hard on. Bhagat also mentioned that the piece took a long time to develop and he is quite contented with the result and his efforts should not go in vain. Test readers have appreciated the book and most importantly women could actually connect and relate to the it. They accepted that the book represents their reality in some way or the other and accredited it as one of the best works of Chetan.
Bhagat concluded the Q/A with the statement, Of course, everyone doesn’t have to like it, but at least don’t judge it without reading it. Also, let’s not get lost in the personal attacks so much that we lose sight of the big picture – this book, and the attendant publicity that will come with it, is a great chance to highlight the feminist cause. If you really care about feminism, that is a good thing right?”
Perhaps how convincing we find the Book and its reference to the life of a woman in Indian society would make us analyze the efforts of the author and we will see how his advocacy and justification of this sensitive topic helps in marketing the book.