Tue, 13 Apr, 2021

Book Review: Revolution 2020

By Asmita Subedi

“Revolution 2020”, Chetan Bhagat’s fifth book,is one of the usual stories with a little fiction and much like a Bollywood movie. The story is about three childhood friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who have different ambitions in life; Gopal wants to become rich, Raghav wants a global revolutionary change and Aarti wants to become an air hostess. The story circles around their struggles in finding their love, happiness and ambition in life in a small town of Varanasi, India. The story also includes rivalry for love and fight against corruption and unfair society. The story’s plot is cleverly set so as to catch the attention of the readers. It is about the incident where Chetan visits the Ganga Tech College and meets the director, Gopal, the narrator,who unfolds his story to the readers through Chetan. The writer initially entertains the readers with childhood friendship story, then slowly grabbing their attention and finally telling them what he intends to say. The story starts with the tale of friendship between the characters, advances with the triangle love story leading to failure and frustration, highlights their struggles to achieve their ambition and finally ends dramatically. Gopal, a frustrated guy, who loses both his love and his father’s dream of being an engineer, turns out to be a corrupt director of an engineering college in the verge of earning money. He pays bribes to everyone, from the college faculties to government officials for running the college and achieves his dream of becoming rich. He, as a character, represents the rotten Indian education system and corruption that still exists today. Raghav, the antagonist, chooses to bring about a change in the society through journalism.Despite having graduated as an engineer, he starts his own newsletter called Revolution 2020. He reveals the truths about the corruption in the Ganga Treatment Scam and leads the corrupted MLA, Shukla, the trustee of Gopal’s college, to the prison. He has to face several hardships in his life due to his fiery activism and yet dreams of bringing a revolutionary change by the year 2020. Aarti, the District Magistrate’s daughter, is caught in between the love of both of her friends. There are several twists in the story which takes her from one guy to the other. At the end, the final and unexpected twist gets Aarti married to Raghav whereas Gopal paves his way out of their life wishing them a happy future life. Unlike what the title suggests, the novel is not entirely about revolution. It is more about a triangle love story among the trio; Gopal, Raghav and Aarti. Gopal realizing his mistake is the only veiled hint of revolution in the end. But still the type of revolution is not made clear.  About the subtitle of Revolution 2020, “LOVE.CORRUPTION.AMBITION”, somewhat seems to be justified because it goes on well with the story and its characters. Chetan has made a great attempt to enlighten the inherent corruption rooted in India's education system. However, I feel that the story lacks the fun elements, for which the author is well known and appreciated. Twists and turns seemed to be inspired and more like a Bollywood drama. Yet, the fast paced story keeps  the reader’s attention, and the writer’s smartness to play with emotions of characters doesn’t disappoint a reader.