Monday, September 10, 2012

Review- Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition by Chetan Bhagat

Goodreads Summary:
Once upon a time, in small-town India, there lived two intelligent boys.
One wanted to use his intelligence to make money.
One wanted to use his intelligence to create a revolution.
The problem was, they both loved the same girl.

Welcome to Revolution 2020. A story about childhood friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who struggle to find success and love in Varanasi. However, it isn't easy to achieve this in an unfair society that rewards the corrupt. As Gopal gives in to the system, and Raghav fights it, who will win?

From the bestselling author of Five Point Someone, one night @ the call center, The Three Mistakes of My Life and 2 States, comes another gripping tale from the heartland of India. Are you ready for the revolution?


From Five Point Someone: What Not to Do at IIT to Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition, Chetan Bhagat is- as Times Of India rightly puts it- the rock-star of Indian publishing.
Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition is going the be the new 'brand' of the Indian youth. The story, set in Varanasi, one of the holiest places in the country, considered to be the destination to go to get rid of your sins, is absolutely practical, definitive and gripping. It is the tale of Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who are childhood friends and even though they set out to find their own place in the world, their destinies are intertwined with that of one another and also with that of their own beloved city. The tagline of the book- Love, Corruption, Ambition suit the characters perfectly well.
Aarti is the typical Indian girl who has the dream of becoming an air- hostess and yet cares a lot for her family and friends. The daughter of a District Magistrate and the grand- daughter of an MLA, her life is already on the threshold of getting political. Aarti, however, does not consider herself one of those people who would go about raising their hand and participating in election campaigns. Her life revolves around her two friends, Gopal and Raghav. Gopal being her best friend, she shares a special relationship with him with lots of on- again off- again signals coming from her side. Gopal talks about her 'natural maternal instincts'. She is there for both of her friends, whether they need her or not. The best thing about her is her belief that one must do what one loves to do and follow ones heart.
Raghav, in my opinion, is what every young Indian should be. A true radical reformist, Ragahv believes that the country will change only when we begin grass- root level change. Even though he completes his engineering from a prestigious college, he discovers that his true passion is journalism. He puts immense efforts in bringing news to the people as it is, in its correct from. After being fired for writing about corruption and politicians involved in scams, Raghav starts his own newsprint '
Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition'. This is where everything starts. From helping poor farmers to providing a clean environment, Raghav attacks it all. He will have a special place in the readers' hearts for just being who he wants to be.
Gopal, our main hero or villain or as Chetan Bhagat rightly puts in the end- "I'll let the readers decide how they want to consider you. I simply write about people. I don't cast them as heroes or villains." Really, it is for the reader to decide whether Gopal is the hero or the villain. Coming from a poor family, one cannot help but feel sympathy towards him. He is what ever Indian farmer's child is- born in debt. His father works hard to get loans for his education and Gopal disappoints not only his father, but also himself. It is but obvious that when Gopal gets an opportunity to start off the path of becoming rich, he takes it without looking back. And there you have it, within a few years, Mr. Gopal Mishra is the director of a brand new college, where students idolize him. What more could he have asked for? The only factor that binds the childhood friends together, Gopal is truly a significant character. He believes that no matter what, we will never loose the 'Keshav' or the innocence and goodness that is there within us.
One of the other characters who really caught my attention was MLA Shukla. He is the epitome of the Indian politician, 'I will arrange for it' being his favourite sentence throughout the book. A father figure and mentor to Gopal, Shukla also is a good person, only if that is what you want to believe. The faculty of Gopal's college 'GangaTech' as also the people involved in its establishment play a very significant role in the book.
Somewhere in this entire scam and corruption scenario, the entire concept of Varanasi being the place to get rid of your sins hits you in the face, making you think that maybe the reason behind the backdrop being Varanasi is the clearance of our sins. After this book, 'Tourism Varanasi' will definitely be the need of the hour. Varanasi is already flooded with foreign and Indian tourists, another fact Chetan Bhagat has stressed on. It is really wonderful to read about how wonderful our country is and how wonderfully we perceive it as being so.
The remaining characters too play an important role and manage to shine in the presence of Aarti, Raghav and Gopal. Raghav and Gopal are IIT and AIEEE aspirants and I am sure every Indian, whether in the engineering field or not, will be able to relate to the anxiety before these competitive exams as also during the time of the announcement of the results, since all of us know someone or the other who goes through the same. In that sense, Chetan Bhagat sticks to the domain of engineering as always. However, students of other fields will also relate easily with the situations that take place, whether in the households, school or with friends and family. It is an Indian's book.
For me, the story begins from the 30 acres of agricultural land owned by Gopal's grand- father. That is where all the corruption starts, from the family to the national level, corruption exists everywhere. The timing of publication has been well thought of, given that we just witnessed the humongous Anti- graft movement led by Anna Hazare. It shows us the true colours of life in the villages of India and also the true work that our representatives 'claim' to do. Basically, it describes India as she is without any edits and cuts. This is the book that will help us change our own outlook and do something about putting it into practise for the betterment of our country. I personally wish the book is made a compulsory read in colleges. It is up to us to decide what we perceive as good and what is the bad and it also up to us to think of changing that which we think is bad and how we go about changing it.

Revolution 2020 is a book that will not take up much of your time, so give it go! It is high time for a real Revolution to take actually take place. I would want every Indian youth to read this one. It is our country and we need to take charge of it. Chetan Bhagat does an excellent job yet again of making readers believe that everything is possible. You do not necessarily have to be grand to do something, you just need to believe in yourself and what it is that you want to do. Make way for the rock-star and a new generation! 


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For those of you who haven't heard of Revolution 2020 but would like to check it out, you can do so right here on Goodreads.



  1. Thank you for putting this book on my radar! I haven't heard of it before, but it sounds super interesting!

    1. You are welcome and thanks for stopping by, Nina! I'm so glad to hear that you find the book interesting. Chetan Bhagat is an Indian author and he has written some really great books. I'd like to know what you think if you get to read them sometime! :)

  2. I personally don't like Chetan Bhagat. He's spoiled the reading culture in India, where the youth can only read books which don't have substance. Don't know about this one though. It sounds interesting.

    1. Ah, most people share your opinion, Ritesh. But personally, I like and enjoy his writing and I tend to be a little partial towards Chetan! ;)

  3. I liked reading this book. Easy reading and interesting plot! Great review!

  4. This book is a fun ride as early works of chetan baghat. But there was something lacking in this book that was there in the author's previous outings.. But a good thought in the end.
    Nice read...


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