I picked up this book mostly out of a certain agenda in my mind, I was sure for one that this book would be lame, but I always abhor hypocrisy and it would be my mistake to judge CB's work based on his previous fictional work. Also his fandom is around me, All the time. I get to hear how CB is a "thinker" (See, now THAT is using a word loosely). So with this conflict in mind I picked up CB the last time I was in Bangalore.
Do I need to say how I think the book was?! God save me, I have never heard or read of a more simplistic version of solutions to problems in India.
Here is the general theme of the book.
Accha, poverty hai. Thik hai, kuch karo
Oh! Corruption hai, Kuch karna toh banta hai.
Oh! Yeh suno maine life me kya kiya.
Youth ko bas direction chaiye.
Politics ko Un-corrupt karne ki zarurat hai. Anna ekdum awesome insaan hai.
'ladies' nahi hogi to picture kaise banaoge?? Aur dekhega kaun!!
Sara defence budget toh show-sha ke liye hai
Land Mafia toh hai hi nahi, Property bas avai expensive hai.
I can't do the english bit of this, because English fails communicate how lame the solutions sound, which is probably why the book sold.
Arre bhai! The book is called 'What young India wants', not 'WHAT I WISH YOUNG INDIA WANTED' OR 'LISTEN TO ME, BECAUSE I WANT THIS' or 'I HAVE NO DETAILS, BUT YOU KNOW I HAVE WORDS'
Ok after being extremely mean, I will go back to the actual review. I thought this book presented very very simplistic solutions to the big problems in India. I have no qualms about the fact that somebody tried to word our problems, but CB went too far with it and lost focus of the 'Young' bit. He made this book about his high headed ideas. The youth of the country really cares, but not about the issues he addresses.What the young in India really want is an identity, they want their dreams to take flight, don't tell us we have problems, don't accuse us of not doing enough. Dear CB, many of us don't vote because we don't think either party is worthy. The young in this country deal with shit like reservations, equality, being able to manage their relationships personally and professionally. I don't see how he could have missed the most obvious conflicts within us.
This book, if anything, talks to the government of the country and given how simple the solutions in the book are, I don't recommend the book to our policy makers either. I am surprised at how CB writes one quote, scribbles for about a page or two and then claims to write 'solutions'.
Glaring mistakes in the book pop out like a bunny rabbit out of magicians hat. In the attempt to simplify our world, CB ignores that our problems our deeper. We don't really mind the greater problems because we are dealing with some of our own, including family, love, life and ambitions. If you are referring to the 35 something population,then CB is not really talking to the 'youth' as much as the 'relatively- young- settled-in their-jobs' population.
By mistakes I mean, things like How badly do we want Kashmir? I wish to ask the question -Ever heard of, This war like between these two countries. The baddest kind. Ya! Them, those people want a part of a country we are emotionally attached to. And not just simply sir, We do care about what we call India. Its not a geographical thing and peace is important, yes. How would CB like if I moved in on his terrace and said c'mon bro all I want is your terrace, please what will you do with it anyway?! Peace Out (V)
The second most horrid mistake he made was to simplify the shit we women go through. I wanted to really stop reading, but then I stuck to my mission of reading this book. When he says why women are important, he points out how the world would be filled with men who will have body odor (Thank you ladies for making your men use deodorants), How the world would be full of dirty socks (Because, that is what women do, wash and clean up after men). I could not stand the disrespect. CB was being stereotypical, naive, saying more about the way things are at home, than a comment on what I as a woman do. I quote here "There would be body odor,socks on the floor and nothing in the fridge to eat" *Holy crap! This should have been my cue to stop this book*
The Land thing almost cracked me up! Oh how simple, Land is expensive in Delhi because of our official government buildings and stuff, yes why not move them out and like sell the available land for a great price! the reason why land is expensive is most obviously because of the kind of development there is and also because of the scarcity of land. You cannot move quasi-government buildings, MP bunglows or any of them for that matter to Noida or Gurgaon (NCR). Call it whatever dude! CB chooses to ignore reconstruction expenses in Gurgaon or Noida which I am told is not exactly "cheap". (LOL). Also create better facilities in Noida and Gurgaon which will further increase the prices there as well. *Whatte like genius you are*
CB goes from one blunder to another, how he chooses to ignore that the US is not exactly an ally and will use India to gain enough support on a certain issue, however the US has and like any country should be, looked out for its own good. How in the world can you suggest stuff like OUTSOURCING of our defense needs!? Again I quote
" for instance, America has a big need to ensure safety of its own borders and cut global terrorism..... (Either I get the sentence wrong, Or i just want to be mean -When did we come close to America, some massive tectonic shift I must say)..... we can work with them, - yes, by giving them some access to our country (ever heard of these guys they call the, English. They kinda came in and like treated us like scum for a few hundred years,remember how that started with a 'little' access). For Us it can save the cost of protecting ourselves! *Awesome* For them, They have better control over a volatile region. We may Shudder at the presence of the American involvement in our defense, but frankly What advantage could they gain against us if they help us protect our borders?" *Refer to previous comment about the English who came in with "frankly no advantage".
After reading 2 chapters and skipping from one topic to another, on how joy and peace and prosperity can be restored in our country, I gave up. I failed at my task of reading this book. Its a tiny book for anybody who just wants to think there are solutions and wants to believe in fictional solutions CB provides. I understand there is certain merit to the solutions except they are not well researched. It is a book about the surface solutions and it will remain nonfiction fiction. And a really weird autobiographical account of his day to day life.