Chetan Bhagat on plagiarism accusations: I’m not foolish to copy from published work | books$ht-picks | Hindustan Times
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Chetan Bhagat on plagiarism accusations: I’m not foolish to copy from published work

Anvita Bajpai, an author, has reportedly filed a lawsuit in a Bengaluru court which granted a temporary injunction restraining sales of the book One Indian Girl.

books Updated: May 10, 2017 20:06 IST
Chetan Bhagat poses for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Half Girlfriend.
Chetan Bhagat poses for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Half Girlfriend.(AFP)

Author Chetan Bhagat says a plagiarism case slapped against him by a Bengaluru author over his One Indian Girl, is bogus.

The complainant, Anvita Bajpai, has reportedly filed a lawsuit in a Bengaluru court which granted a temporary injunction restraining sales of the book One Indian Girl.

Bajpai said on social media that “characters, places and emotional flow” of Bhagat’s book have been lifted from one of her books Life, Odds and Ends.

A court hearing in this regard is slated for Thursday.

Indian author, columnist and screenwriter Chetan Bhagat (L), Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor (2L) and Shraddha Kapoor pose for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Half Girlfriend, directed by Mohit Suri (R), in Mumbai on May 8. (AFP)

Talking about the issue, Bhagat told IANS here: “I am not so foolish to copy anything from a published work. The court is yet to hear me. That is absolutely a bogus case... A false allegation. She went to the court and filed a case just before the court goes to summer vacation. So it is taking time, but once the court hears me, truth will come out.”

Bajpai had sent a legal notice to Bhagat on February 22, asking him to withdraw his book One Indian Girl and pay an amount of Rs 500,000 as damages. According to her, the central character of Bhagat’s book has a similarity with one of her short stories Drawing Parallels.

But Bhagat said in his defence: “I did not read her book, and I have written my story which is original.”

“Plagiarism is a serious charge and if I have done that, by now screen shots of her work and my work would be all over the places on social media. The charge (of plagiarism) is absolutely baseless. I am in the middle of a film release (‘Half Girlfriend’ which is based on his eponymous book), so I am suffering... But what to do?

“Of course my legal team will address it and I know I will win it,” he added.

This is not the first time that the author has faced a controversy or criticism. Whether it was his comment on intolerance in the country or on the work of historians -- Bhagat has often been trolled on social media.

In fact, after the announcement that one of his novels will be a part of Delhi University’s syllabus for its undergraduate degree in English, literature experts were quick to slam the development.

Asked if he feels he is a soft target, Bhagat said: “I am a writer with an opinion. My job is not to be Mr Charmer. I cannot impress everyone, and why should I? I want to bring a change in this society. As it is happening now, it is quite obvious that some people will feel agitated.

“As long as I know I am doing the right thing, I do not care about what the other people think... It is their choice.”

The author is currently busy promoting Half Girlfriend, releasing on May 19.

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