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The anatomy of a liberal or the lobotomy of Chetan Bhagat?

Nirupama Sekhri | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 7:33 IST

Dear Mr Bhagat,

Poor you, with no award to return. The Filmfare honour for your screenplay of Kai Po Che doesn't really count now, does it, since they were the only ones to detect the searing brilliance of your writing - the film bombed everywhere else!

Your efforts though - to secure some from the present government while it's still in power - are commendable. It is intriguing to wonder under which category though. After all, it's the players on the field or court who get the awards and honours - cheerleaders just grab eyeballs. So, instead of writing embarrassingly foolish articles that make sweeping generalisations and throw up the worst stereotypes, you should concentrate on honing your writing skills for a real chance at an award (however slim).

Dear Mr Bhagat, there's a reason your novels didn't win you awards and your articles aren't doing much to improve your chances

To get it out of the way, I am not a 'liberal', even by your silly definition of them; I am radically anti-Hindu. And you are dead right, I do not speak or write about what's wrong with Islam because, you poorly read man, there are plenty of Muslim women (and men) doing a fabulous job of it such as Mona Altahawy, Amal Farah, Irshad Manji, to name a few. They don't need Hindus, who kill their girl-children, and have one of the poorest rates of social mobility due to caste, class and colour, to proselytise them.

Neither am I anti-Hindu because it's fashionable, where did you get that daft idea anyway? It is, in fact, highly fashionable to be Hindu. Did your wife not mingle with the rest of the teeming educated, middle-class or rich, mooning around on Karva Chauth? Surely she must've, you Hindu hero, you!

For your information - which you seem to be trying hard to ignore - the educated in India are also staunchly, even blindly, Hindu. You know, "modern" like yourself, and like you, with deeply "traditional values". That's why rationalists get killed with impunity - not because it is the radical Hindus who hate them but because liberal Hindus too disapprove of them. Did you see any of the chest-beating liberal anchors who love to hate Pakistan have a single debate on Indian rationalists?

That's because they too, bye and large, are 'good' Hindus or god-fearing folk who can't wrap their heads around why these intellectual, rationalist loonies say such mean things about their wonderfully 'tolerant' religions!

In writing about 'The Anatomy of a Liberal' Chetan Bhagat has displayed a stunning ignorance of anatomy, liberals and pretty much everything else

What you mean is that being anti-Modi is tantamount to being anti-Hindu.

What an argument! Like being anti-ISIS is being anti-Islam! The reason why liberal Hindus hate Modi and Amit Shah is not because of their accents but because of their bloody politics. Instead of catching the culprits who burnt alive innocent Hindus on the trains, they unleashed a pogrom against Muslims, who had nothing to do with the trains, in their state. For TWO months, Mr Bhagat. You don't need to apologise in polished English for such a gargantuan lapse of moral judgement, a genuine sorry in Gujarati will do just fine as a start.

And about this diatribe against the 'liberals' produced by Doon School and foreign colleges; for your information, the overwhelming majority who pass out from schools like that speak like yourself. Doon School doesn't hold a monopoly over the Queen's language; Arun Jaitley, Sambit Patra, Vijayaraje Scindia are not exactly struggling in the English department. To remind you, the smoothly spoken Maoist, Kobad Ghandy, is also from the Doon School.

There is no doubt that some outstanding writers who speak with mellifluous eloquence and very cool accents have also been associated with Doon School. Vikram Seth, Roshan Seth and Amitav Ghosh among others. But believe me, that's not exactly the group your particular brand of 'liberals' who support Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are hanging out with.

In fact many of us who think your writing is rubbish and speak with the kind of accent that gets your goat - or should I say cow - mock the Gandhis and their Congress cohorts for struggling to sound intelligent in any language! Conversely, one of the most respected politicians, not just in India, but in all of South East Asia was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who spoke hardly any English at all.

So your logic seems as challenged as your writing skills. Anti-Modi does not mean anti-Hindu. In fact your Hindu idol won with an overwhelming majority also on the shoulders of Hindus who don't think Muslims should be sent back to Pakistan. And being anti-BJP by no means equals being pro-Congress.

I would educate you further on how being anti-Hindu and being anti-Hindutva are also two radically different things but based on your piece, that seems like a woefully lost cause.

Lastly, most of us radical anti-Hindus prefer coffee in mugs or black tea in coarse glasses.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the organisation.

First published: 2 November 2015, 6:34 IST
Nirupama Sekhri

Nirupama Sekhri is a teacher by profession, she also published the book OK TATA Travelling with an Indian truck driver after travelling for 3 months around the country on trucks, as any high school lady teacher does. That might also explain her driving skills.