Indian author and columnist Chetan Bhagat struck a controversy on Twitter after getting into a spat with a netizen who had criticised his book's readers. In his tweet, Bhagat said that the netizen's attempt to mock him failed and he was proud that he had made an 'auto driver' read a book in India - a reference to the netizen's criticism. Bhagat also slammed the netizen for mocking the auto-rickshaw drivers by calling him an 'elitist snob.'
This tweet is meant to mock me and the auto driver, but I’m proud to be the one who made auto drivers in India read books.Even more proud of that driver who reads and goes to litfests.Without knowing his circumstances, to judge him like that speaks more about u than anything else https://t.co/3qmzoAzutc— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) January 26, 2020
Do you know what it’d have taken for an auto driver in India to reach a level where he can now read a Chetan Bhagat book? Do you know how little educational access he may have had or how hard his life is? As you mock him, do you know what kind of elitist snob you come across as? https://t.co/3qmzoAzutc— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) January 26, 2020
Apoorv Sharma, the presumed name of the netizen who criticised Chetan Bhagat in his tweet, had mentioned a personal conversation between him and an autorickshaw driver, wherein he mentioned that on their way to Jaipur Literature Festival when the auto driver revealed his favourite author the guy decided to ditch the fest.
Here's a translation of their conversation:
Me: Bhaiya will you go to Diggi palace?
Autowala: Yes yes, please sit, I am going there only
Me: Wow, you also read?
Autowala: Of course
Me: Very good, who is your favourite author?
Autowala: Chetan Bhagat
*After this he went to JLF alone, I came back to Mumbai*
Me: Bhaiya diggi palace chaloge?— Apoorv Sharma (@oyeapprove) January 25, 2020
Autowala: Han han baitho, mai bhi wahi jaa raha hu
Me: Arey wah, aap bhi read karte ho?
Autowala: Aur nahi toh kya
Me: Badhia hai. Achha, fav author kaun hai?
Autowala: Chetan Bhagat
*iske baad wo akela gaya #JLF. I came back to Mumbai*
Chetan Bhagat is among India's best-selling authors and also now a name in the Entertainment industry. After working as an investment banker for almost a decade, it was in 2004 that his debut novel Five Point Someone was published, with the story set in IIT-Delhi and capturing the life and times of three IITians who are at the wrong end of the normal distribution curve in terms of their GPAs. The same was later made into the blockbuster film 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Kareena Kapoor Khan. After the success of his novel, Bhagat not only became a bestselling author but also wrote screenplays of films such as Salman Khan’s Kick and Sushant Singh Rajput’s Kai Po Che. In fact, he was also one of the producers of Half Girlfriend - another of his books.