When you name your novel Revolution 2020, one expects a kind of soul searching, revolutionary story about a country that needs a change more than ever. But, Revolution 2020 never even comes close to that. Instead, it becomes a highly clichéd love story which has nothing to do with revolution whatsoever. You almost feel that Bhagat wanted to cash in on the Anna Hazare movement against corruption. To say that the story is extremely shallow might be the understatement of the year.
Two boys try to get into IIT/NIT in order to become engineers. Bhagat implies it on every page that it’s either IIT/NIT or bust. If you cannot get into IIT/NITs, the only option left is private colleges or to become a watchman (Seriously, he wrote that). Does Bhagat even know the admission procedure in engineering colleges of India? There are engineering colleges in India which even though are not NIT/IITs are government funded and quiet reputable (In some cases, even as good as the NIT/IITs). And the admission procedures are centralized state wise. If you cannot even crack that, then and then only private colleges come into the picture. He seemed to brag about himself in the first couple of pages by listing his achievements in the dragged form of a story if ever there was one. He even tells that, in general, if someone does Btech in India, he/she compulsorily wants to do an MBA too. Why Mr. Bhagat? No Mtech? Not anything else? Oh we get it. Because you did the same. And that is the only option, right? Chetan Bhagat might be the least knowledgeable author this country has ever produced. I wonder if he has even read more than 10 good books in his life. Because his stories do implicate that these are the most under researched works of literature ever to come out of India.
To sum up the story, the main character Gopal loves his childhood friend Aarti who in fact loves their common friend Raghav. As we are in Bhagat’s universe, Gopal becomes a major failure just because he couldn’t crack the IIT/ NIT entrance examinations. So he naturally turns corrupt and becomes successful. On the other hand, Raghav starts dating Aarti and gets his engineering degree and turns a reporter, because hey, it is mandatory that you need to be a reporter to change the world, right? And Aarti might be one of the silliest characters ever to come out of fiction in recent times. Her character has even lesser depth and understanding than a 10 year old; that is, if a 10 year old is mentally challenged. What will become of them in the end? Believe me, you wouldn’t care. There is no depth to the story. Chetan Bhagat has sleep walked through the entire story and I guess it’s only fair if you would do the same. As I said earlier, he is the least knowledgeable published author to come out of India in the recent past. His books about his own life, “Five Point Someone” and “2 States” were good, but when he tries his hand at a total fictional work, which requires total imagination, he fails drastically, which alas, I am sorry to say, is not a good thing for a writer of fiction.