“The Road to Awesomeness”: The Environment, Language and Rhetoric in Chetan Bhagat’s Postcolonial India
This paper aims to discuss how environment, language and rhetoric interplay in the postcolonial context, in particular by focusing on Making India Awesome (2015), a recent collection of essays in which journalist and novelist Chetan Bhagat offers suggestions to handle many of the challenges of India, ideally positioning the country ‘on the road to awesomeness’. Although ecology is not specifically treated, it obviously constitutes the backdrop of the themes of the book as it intertwines with broad social and cultural domains. I will look at the postcolonial environmental intertext, and its ideological implications, which the author builds up via specific frames, metaphors and devices from an interdisciplinary perspective informed by postcolonial critique, environmental humanities and ecolinguistics. The purpose of the analysis thus is to provide a critical reflection on how language shapes, creates and hides values at the interface between the postcolonial and the environmental.