Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: Stealing the Ideas is The Idea

Monday, November 24, 2014

Stealing the Ideas is The Idea

                                  Plagiarism is the worst kind of Theft


Whoever may steal whatever is most precious in the world is not as condemnable as the thief of literature. And there are lots. This is one of the most heinous, shameful and despicable kind of theft invented by the mankind. The original creator remains anonymous and thief who is apt in the management skills climbs the stairs of success. Constant repetition of a lie, and finding that no one has disputed his claim of authority, boost his self confidence, and he trusts the distrust created by himself.

Recent charges of Plagiarism against Chetan Bhagat by Dr. Birbal Jha an academician of Bihar (author of Englishia Boli) has once again raised the controversy which once began with "Snapshots from hell" which was copied into "Five point someone". Contemporary Indian authors have started claiming that they may not be sold as much as him, but at least they are original.

The irony is, just by changing few narrations, dialogues, descriptions and sequence of events the copyright authorities can be manipulated to issue you a copyright certificate of a duplicate or plagiarist work. So plagiarism is different from copyright infringement, since the later is a punishable offense. In modern age where communication is so fast and Global exposure is instant, such plagiarism is brought to light later or sooner, though by that time plagiarist has already enjoyed the fruit of his labor(?).

Unfortunately, such charges are levied against successful people, most of the plagiarist are not exposed till they are successful. Many films are made on the same subject simultaneously, but one is successful and others are flop, that is how if the same story is written by two different authors, one may sale like hot cake and other would stale. Language, thought, idea and expression and their representation in any literary work could also be a coincidence and judiciary may pronounce a clean chit to the offender.

There are of course different kinds of plagiarist depending upon the intention by which offense has been committed. A student while doing a research project or dissertation may omit to mention the source of his citations (University of Illinois at Chicago) or a Journalist may hide the source of his information, multiple publication of his own work by an author are various kinds of theft of artistic creativity.

So extrovertly a reader is the best judge to compare two works and decide if one is a copy of another, and introvertly  the conscience of an author can judge if he has lifted the idea and transformed it into a viable project in his own name. Many authors are the writers who consider it as profession to earn money and fame, while the true purpose of the literature is to create a work that develops a better understanding of human nature and the Universal determination of it. Once we acknowledge this, there would remain a chance when World would be a peaceful place to live without war, killings, poverty and hunger.

Remember what T.S. Eliot said "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. Bad poets deface what they take."


© Vipin Behari Goyal

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