Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat took to Twitter on Monday to express his displeasure at an article published in an online daily criticising a 'sexist' comment he made at the annual Rendezvous 2014 festival of Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.
"Firstpost attacks my feminism . Women defend me in comments. Firstpost attacks my English. But spell snooty as snotty," the author tweeted with a link to the article titled "Snotty girls and HMT boys: What Chetan Bhagat gets wrong about relationships".
Talking about his new novel, The Half-Girlfriend, Bhagat had said at the IIT event, "Educated girls don't want to date a guy who doesn't speak English and this is what I have tried to bring out in my novel".
His comment had led to a passionate response both for and against him. The Firstpost article had criticised the author who has in the past written books like 2 States and One Night at a Call Centre - both bestselling novels.
Rajyasree Sen, the author of the article started her piece with "Why is it that every time Chetan Bhagat makes a statement about women, he seems to put his foot in his mouth?"
Bhagat went on to call Sen an 'idiot', ending his series of tweets with "Final word on my writing: padhni hai to padho, varna kat lo."
Every time some idiot writes I am no Tolstoy or Tagore (never said I was) he or she acknowledges that I might deserve that comparison.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 20, 2014
Moderate stance taking all views into account creates lasting change.Outrage, posturing and extreme views achieves nothing.Feminism included— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 20, 2014
Sen who goes by the name Brown Sahiba on Twitter was quick to respond. "Whoops. @chetan_bhagat got angry and called me an idiot. How mean. And, snotty does mean snobbish. Just saying." she tweeted with a screenshot of his tweets.
"Confused, since my piece is not about literary merits of Half Girlfriend or @chetan_bhagat's English or that he's not Tolstoy." she added.
Many Twitter users, including journalists, tweeted in favour of Sen. Sandip Roy, a senior editor at Firstpost, went on to tweet a link from Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online) to Bhagat explaining the meaning of the word 'snotty'. "Synonyms include toffee-nosed, elitist, snooty," he added in the tweet.