Trying to answer a question by Dr.Ryan Fernandes on Indiblogger
What makes Chetan Bhagat So Popular? Are there not any other Indian writers who deserve an adequate praise. If there are, why are they not popular.
It is an interesting question and I have often pondered about this myself and I came up with these answers
1) Freshness of the story.
His first book – 5 point someone was a really interesting one, not just cos it has become so popular but there sure was some freshness in the story. Till then every other book talked about romanticism or something else which provoked a thought, this book was simple- it had humor and a real life story in it. There was a rebellious attitude which said screw you to the IITs which most of the engineers were able to relate to. There was something which said life is more important than books and life need not be ideal or perfect. For once there was someone who was telling that it was ok to make mistakes and it was ok to lead a normal life. And that perhaps stuck a chord with most people. His other books – 3 Mistakes of my life and Two states also got to be quite popular following the same trend. He was clever enough to ride on the popularity tide very well.
2) Ability to relate to people
One of the strongest suit of every writer is in its ability to relate to the reader – either through humor or a life incident which the novels of Chetan Bhagat played on very well. And it surely was very well received once it gained certain popularity. But I think the biggest strengths of Chetan Bhagat were his simplicity of writing which made most people relate to him very well and vice versa.
And once a book has been made to a movie, and esp the one starred by the likes of Aamir Khan, I would be very surprised if the sales do not sky rocket. The audience would certainly love to read and relate more to the stories and imagine the reach bollywood has. Even if that has had a 10% conversion, it means that most people know his name
4) The Use of Media
Something you would have observed about Chetan Bhagat is his constant presence in the media, how well he has established himself both on the social channel and the print media. I think this is perhaps the only writer whom I have seen in so many controversies and most of those have gone on to make huge news. And if one questions why, it may lead to some interesting answers. I am not necessarily saying that it was purposefully done, but it would be too naive of me to believe that it had no impact on the spread of popularity for the writer.
If you know the right people, then half the job is done. I am not sure of the connections of Mr.Bhagat and I would refrain from commenting on that as well. But I am talking about a well known marketing strategy here, it pays to network well in any industry since people are the driving forces behind every market and I am sure the IIM knowledge would certainly have played a significant role here.
Are there no better writers?
Of course there are. Although I liked his first book, I personally have not been a fan of others. It might just be my opinion but somehow, I find myself looking for that freshness in the newer publications. There are some other interesting writers, not many have gotten to be this famous. Perhaps the answer doesn’t lie in the fact that the books are not good. Perhaps the answer lies in any one of the above reasons or more..
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