No more Chetan's 'Half Girlfriend' in railway stations: Here's why
Earlier this month, writer Chetan Bhagat was seen buying one of his own (pirated) books from a traffic-signal vendor. That might soon become a necessity, as one of Bhagat's more popular literary works, Half Girlfriend, may be banned from railway stations. Passenger Services Committee Chairman Ramesh Chandra Ratn recently deemed the 2014 novel too "obscene" for a traveler's reading. Here are more details.
According to Dainik Jagran, Ratn was conducting an inspection of the New Delhi Railway Station on Tuesday. While surveying the facilities available at the station, he stumbled upon Bhagat's Half Girlfriend at a bookstall and was enraged. Reportedly, he directed railway administration to remove the book from all stations on account of its "obscene" nature. It remains unclear if he has read the book.
According to the publication, Ratn said that such "obscene" reading material sends a wrong message to society, and creates an unsafe atmosphere for women. He added that he has found similar objectionable books and magazines at several other railway stations. Further, he said that railway stations should offer newspapers instead, along with other sorts of reading material that emphasize on Indian culture.
Notably, the Passenger Services Committee Chairman has lost his temper earlier too. In January, during another inspection of the New Delhi Railway Station, Ratn entered the station director's room, and allegedly threatened him, sources stated. At that time, the station staff accused him of misbehaving with them, and reportedly even held protests against Ratn. Fortunately, there was no such incident this time around.
Apart from the questionable ban on Bhagat's novel, Ratn also spoke to several passengers during the inspection. Reportedly, some complained of overpriced food at the Jan Ahar stall on Platform 16. Apparently, the food vending stall did not have an item rate list, nor did it have clean drinking water. Ratn then instructed officials to impose a fine of Rs. 50,000 on the stall.