Revolution 2020 – Book Review

The much anticipated latest novel of Chetan Bhagat is in essence a love triangle set on the backdrop of the rapid emergence of privatisation in the education sector. Although, as the title suggests, it does articulate the need for a revolution but the story on the whole talks very little on the revolution itself.

The story, set in Varanasi, revolves around three protagonists Gopal, Aarti and Raghav who struggle to find success, happiness and to realize their ambitions. The emotional bonding between our two protagonists Aarti and Gopal forms the fabric of the story on which our narrator Gopal’s journey of transition from a loving and caring friend to a money minded and lonely person has been meticulously weaved.

It also largely focuses on the mindset of the majority of the Indian students who do not make it to the elite institutions of the country and suggests that the lack of quality choices for these students has created a void in our education system, which has paved the way for emergence of private institutes to fill in that void. The author has provided an insight to the chain of corruption and the political nexus involved in such institutions to which Gopal falls prey.

On the other hand is the journey of Raghav who resists corruption and fights the system and envisions a revolution, which he hopes will be a reality by 2020. Eventually, who wins this race to achieve love, success and ambition forms the rest of the story.

As far as character development is concerned, apart from Gopal, the other characters are not well polished. But the very fact that there is nothing different in them makes us feel they are amongst us and represent us. Chetan Bhagat captures the ambience of the holy Varanasi very well. As expected he also delivers some nice and funny moments which form a crucial part of his style of narration.

At the end of the day the book lingers on to the love triangle for most part of the story and reveals the
alarming condition of India’s education system as of today but fails to focus on the very revolution that every Indian student is desperately waiting for. Nonetheless it is an entertaining and a light read that every Bhagat fan will surely enjoy.

Atharva Sontakke