Book Review: ‘India Positive: New Essays & Selected Columns – Simple Takes on India’s Burning Issues’ By Chetan Bhagat (ISBN 9781542044165)

India Positive: New Essays and Selected Columns is an exciting new collection of non-fiction pieces by Chetan Bhagat, the best-selling Indian author. In this book, published by Westland Publishing in 2019, Bhagat discusses issues relating to India’s recent political, economic and social past, and its potential future.

What’s ‘India Positive’ About?

In these thought-provoking essays and columns, Chetan Bhagat challenges the popular view that nothing in India has changed during the last decade and discusses ways in which members of the public can play their part in the nation’s development. It includes an array of intriguing pieces, which are divided into four themed sections: ‘Indian Society, Indian Culture’; ‘Politics, India-Style’; ‘Indianomics; and ‘Young India’.

Bhagat addresses a host of contemporary issues within India Positive, such as how young Indians’ employment prospects can be improved, the functionality of the country’s healthcare system, and ways in which India can deal with the challenges posed by the Internet and social media. He believes that party politics should take a backseat when the state of the nation is at stake and thus adopts an unbiased approach to the subjects that he considers. Although he analyses India’s failings, Bhagat’s message is one of optimism. He leaves the reader with the feeling that they could become what he terms an ‘India Positive Citizen’ and help the nation to become a truly progressive one.

Of note, however, is that Bhagat makes no mention of some of the most pressing issues in today’s India: environmentalism, or a lack thereof. Climate change, global warming and pollution are just a few hot-button topics that continue to go unaddressed…

Who Is The Book Written For?

Written in an engaging and accessible style, India Positive will be of interest to readers who want to learn more about the challenges and opportunities modern India is facing. The essays and commentaries within it also give readers an overview of how the country developed politically, socially and economically between 2009 and 2019, providing those who aren’t well-versed in the subject with a superb introduction to it.

However, this book differs from others of its ilk in that the author focusses on potential solutions to India’s seemingly stagnated development. Therefore, it’s an appealing option for anyone trying to understand how the average Indian can contribute to his or her country’s future success.

About Chetan Bhagat

One of India’s most successful and internationally well-recognised authors, Chetan Bhagat has previously had eight novels, including Five Point Someone and The Girl in Room 105, and two non-fiction books published. More than twelve million copies of his books have been sold worldwide. He is also an award-winning screenwriter, and a columnist for Dainik Bhaskar and the Times of India.

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