Neetu Chandra has claimed that popular writer Chetan Bhagat has made fun of Biharis or showed them in poor light in ?HalfGirlfriend?. Chetan Bhagat however decided not to respond to her statement. Here are our observations:
1.She probably skipped the parts that were written in appreciation of Bihar. Actually, the conflict in the book is more to do with the character’s inability to speak English properly and the type of college he studied in.
2. Partly agree with Neetu Chandra that Bihar excelled as a center of education in the days of yore. But the fact is this enviable position saw a steady decline during the medieval period, with revival during the latter part of the British rule. Though the students in Bihar are bright and have a keen sense of learning, Modern Bihar has an inadequate educational infrastructure which is compounded by increase in population and corruption. The inclination for higher educational pursuits leads to student migration to places like New Delhi and Bombay. Biharis still have a problem with fluency in English as reflected in this 2012 article, written much before Chetan Bhagat wrote his book . Here is the link from Times of India, which supports the view.
3. Neetu’s views are very subjective here. Fellow Biharan Sonakshi Sinha read the book, she loved it and sent sweets to Chetan Bhagat ‘s home. How do you explain this?
4. English Vinglish was a movie that talked about how a Tamilian has issues with English. Nobody from Chennai objected to the film, though many of them have accent and dialect issues, which act as stumbling blocks to jobs where spoken English is paramount, like BPO.
5. It is a book of fiction, so it is best to treat it as one.