Chetan Bhagat – as soon as a critical reader listens to this name, he must already by leaving the space or get ready to burst with tirades of critical opinions. However, if a teenager listens to the name of this popular Indian novelist, he must remember all those page numbers with sensual details… feminism and social causes? Ah! Forget that already! This is Chetan Bhagat we are discussing, damn it!

Casual introduction to the person:

Before I prepare myself to criticise Chetan Bhagat as an author, yet again, let me accept that he is a genius when it comes to marketing mediocre literature. It appears, after careful observation, that Chetan Bhagat has studied the Indian book market and the lack of connectivity in mainstream Indian English literature (between authors and readers) well enough. Consequently, the combination of relatable narratives, contemporary themes, and effective marketing has translated into substantial book sales, with several of Bhagat’s novels becoming bestsellers in India. Bhagat’s success in the field of writing ensures that those who pose as traditional or literary authors in India (or call themselves Indian sitting abroad) just do not understand the Indian book market… and Indian readers. Give credit to Bhagat because he understands what he is doing and also accepts the same. Chetan Bhagat may not be a writer of repute, but he is so popular as a writer for readers who are frustrated with their jobs, careers, studies, life and almost everything around them. Reading what someone does in bed or how good someone is in sexual encounters may give them respite and help them escape the mundane truths of life… however, after the casual bookish ejaculation, Chetan Bhagat’s literature is not even worthy of being seen twice on the same table (unless one needs to have a casual literary ejaculation once again).

Why is Chetan Bhagat so popular? An analysis and opinion literature popular novelist Indian author

Why is Chetan Bhagat so popular?

As a person, Chetan Bhagat is popular for many reasons along with his status as an author. He rose to prominence with the publication of his first novel, Five Point Somone, in 2004. The world was just expanding for Indians with an expanding horizon of private jobs in various sectors. Youths reacted to the aspirations of the characters shown in the novel and Bhagat’s popularity kept soaring with the subsequent publications. With popularity as a writer, came stardom and fandom, almost instantly, and Bhagat did not look back from there. With the dawn of Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, Chetan Bhagat’s popularity only went higher. His regular engagement with readers made him, perhaps, the most popular Indian writer of the contemporary period. However, with fame, every minute action by a celebrity comes under the scrutiny of fans. The same happened with Bhagat. His opinions were points of controversy among his fans and critics. Recent examples are his opinions on COVID vaccines. He was proven wrong on many occasions with his know-it-all style of opinion-making. However, his popularity remains intact for right and wrong reasons.

Read – One Indian Girl Book Review

Why is Chetan Bhagat popular as a writer? 

  • 1. Relatable Characters: Characters, as mentioned earlier, make a fictional work appealing or mundane. Bhagat’s characters often represent the aspirations, struggles, and dilemmas of young Indians, making them relatable to a wide audience. And therefore, anyone with the same struggles and ambitions can find his or her reflection in Bhagat’s works.
  • 2. Contemporary Themes: His novels address contemporary issues such as love, relationships, career challenges, social pressures, and the generation gap, resonating with the concerns of modern Indian society. Not only themes but also the treatment that Chetan Bhagat applies to such themes are very close to the thinking style of contemporary readers.
  • 3. Simple and Engaging Writing Style: Bhagat’s writing style, if there is anything to discuss beyond say a story narrative, is accessible and easy to understand, appealing to both avid readers and those who are not frequent readers of literature. His straightforward storytelling keeps readers engaged throughout the narrative. However, this very thing is the reason for Bhagat’s interminable criticism among literary scholars and researchers. He just writes… without caring for the merits of literary standards.
  • 4. Broad Appeal: Bhagat’s books attract a diverse readership, including young adults, college students, and professionals, due to their universal themes and relatability across different backgrounds and age groups. Well, in the same breath, one can say that sexual and explicit details about physical encounters make his novels popular among various age groups.
  • 5. Cultural Context: Bhagat’s portrayal of Indian culture, customs, and traditions provides a sense of familiarity and connection for readers, particularly those from India or of Indian origin. Two States and One Indian Girl are good examples.
  • 6. Cinematic Adaptations: This one, perhaps the most prominent reason, makes sense. Several of Bhagat’s novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films, which further amplifies his popularity and increases exposure to a wider audience. Many movie lovers might want to know who this person is, what kind of works he writes, and many other things about Chetan.
  • 7. Wide Marketing Reach: Bhagat has effectively utilised various marketing channels, including social media, book tours, and media appearances, to promote his books and engage with his readers, strengthening his fan base. And no doubt, he is the leading figure in terms of marketing strategies when it comes to promoting a book in the Indian context.
  • 8. Bestselling Success: Bhagat’s novels have consistently topped bestseller lists in India, further solidifying his reputation as a popular and commercially successful author.
  • 9. Cultural Impact: Bhagat’s work has had a significant impact on contemporary Indian popular culture, influencing discussions around relationships, social issues, and the aspirations of the younger generation.
  • 10. Easy Entertainment: Bhagat’s novels offer light-hearted and entertaining reads that provide an escape from daily life, appealing to readers seeking leisure and relaxation.
  • 11. Sexual Content: Almost in all of his novels, Chetan Bhagat does not forget to add a few pages of explicit content. After the release of his books, many book reviewers and critics make a few pages containing those details of sexual encounters viral. It might be a strategy or a paid campaign to ensure such things reach teenagers and young audiences. Consequently, a person who does not understand the intricate nuances of marketing might be compelled to know more – what if there are other pages with such content? And a book sale is at hand!


It is important to note that while Chetan Bhagat’s popularity is undeniable, opinions regarding his literary merit and critical acclaim may vary among readers and scholars. It is equally important to note that Bhagat’s popularity as a writer has opened the floodgates of emerging writers in Indian literature. Many mediocre authors with sexual undertones (even overtones) have tried their luck in producing explicitly absurd and senseless novels. Is it good for readers, overall? NO! Is it good for the optics that Indian English literature may put on the global forums? NO! Bhagat’s rise to fame might just have made contemporary Indian literature notorious – bereaved of merit and depth, unknown to literary standards and devoid of the emotional and intellectual dimensions necessary for appealing to a global audience. With these things in the background, I am compelled to conclude that Chetan Bhagat is a phenomenon on the horizon of Indian English literature. However, this phenomenon has caused a chain reaction which will not stop until a reset is in sight – a grand reset that will, once again, establish the value of sensible and meaningful literature kicking out Bhagat’s cheap style that inspired many mediocre and frustrated novelists to produce anything they want. And Mr Bhagat, while one’s sexuality may be a part of life, it does not define life! It certainly does not lie in the closet adjacent to one’s bed used to store condoms or a casual physical encounter on the beach. Shoehorning sex in any narrative might give an author a few pages of readership spikes in the KDP select program, it can never bring respect that an author needs!


By Ashish for The Best Books

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