Friday, June 18, 2010

Chetan Bhagat's article in Maharashtra Times translated

Here is Chetan Bhagat's article in Maharashtra Times which was in Marathi, translated to English. It was a tough job and I have tried my best. Hope you appreciate it. And excuse me if I have made any mistakes while translating.

'मार्क'वादाची भीतीच वाटते   ( Am scared of the whole 'marks' system)



"Best wishes to the readers of Maharashtra Times on the anniversary. Through my English writings, I have reached many people and since Maharashtra has a good tradition of book reading, many young Marathis are also my readers. Finally today I get to talk to you. Even though English may have a larger voice, the real India lies in the regional languages. Therefore if you want to change anything in India, only regional newspapers will work. Today's youth read my books therefore I am thinking of diverting their attention to different topics.

All four books of mine have received great accolades. My decision to leave a good job of Deutsche bank and to become a full time writer was a risky one. On the one hand, you cannot trust today's youth. Today they are on Orkut, the next day they might go to Facebook and Twitter. Even though they might be reading Chetan Bhagat's books today, there is no guarantee that they will like it in the future too. Many Publishers refused to print my first book "Five Point Someone". So I was really dejected. But I thought that anyone can do a job of working in a bank and having my wife working there itself, money was not a big issue. Many people's ego would hurt to ask money from their wives. If you can learn to gulp down your ego, many problems can be solved. And this is not taught in any school.

In the results that were announced yesterday, many got 100 % marks. I am really scared of these marks and percentages. In one commerce college, the cutoff list was at 97%. Just imagine what would be the environment in that class! How fearful would be the students. Each student would be tense. Without thinking about anything else, their whole lives would revolve around marks and only marks. This is a dangerous situation. The problem lies with the education system. We are not educating children but putting them in an elimination round. Those who can't cope up are thrown out and the Government is not doing anything about the education system.

If the Government can't solve the problems, the result, as an example is MNS's revolution. I am not saying that all the revolutions by MNS are appropriate but I feel that they have provided the people's stifled voice a medium and that is why people have supported them. Maharashtrian culture is really wonderful. It's economic growth is more than other states, there are cities like Mumbai and Pune but along with it, there is also the farmer's suicide in the Vidarbha areas and besides this there are issues like corruption which deserve a thought. Another thing- Raj Thackeray by going against the Centre has not done well. The Centre has the pulse of the states. Besides, whether the marathi issue is the remedy, has to be thought by Maharashtrians.

Many times you cannot avoid trouble, which is what I myself have witnessed. During the time of '3 Idiots', it was alleged that I was doing it for publicity. If I had to do that, I would have done that through my books by writing against a politician or something. "Three Mistakes of My life" was against the backdrop of Godhra riots but still there were no issues with it. To make a movie based on a book is really difficult. Many things are changed from the book in the movie and the writers voice is suppressed a bit. I felt I was being made the guinea pig and thus I voiced my opinion. The condition of Indian books and Indian writers isn't particularly good. Even today, books on small children, social subjects, information related, self help books are scarce. There haven't been many writers after R.K.Narayan, Gulzar, Amrita Pritam, Premchand. This is not something to be proud of. On the other hand, in the regional languages, there would be changes in the future. The script of languages would change, mixed languages would come. Even now you can get the idea from the SMSes and Twitter. In Indonesia, they have accepted English script for their Bahasa language. In such times, more importance should be given to get such languages flowing. In some Hindi and Marathi newspapers, it has started, which is worth praising."

* Here is the link to the original article in Marathi, in case someone wants to read it (Even if you don't know marathi, the letters are practically the same as that of Hindi)- http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6061352.cms

And although Chetan Bhagat did not retweet as he had promised, he did reply on Twitter- "@achyutktelang will do buddy...just did column so in a bit..thx for the hard work! "  And that is fine for me.

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