Author Chetan Bhagat had more than 27,000 followers on Twitter. What changed on Monday was an argument with two other tweeters, whom he later threatened to block.
@Chetan_Bhagat posted a tweet, "Almost anyone who is reading my pirated books can afford the original. It hurts me a lot personally. Just sharing."
He added, "Piracy kills publishers, esp domestic literature. Gives incentive writers to move westwards. Don't do it if you care for Indian creativity. At a broader level, a society that doesn't respect intellectual property never excels at innovation. See what kind of India u want".
To this a tweeter @flyyoufools commented: "Tying everything to India's progress today, aren't we?"
The debate took an ugly turn. Bhagat tweeted, "Well it is tied to progress. Close ur eyes to it if u want to." Flyyoufools replied, "In a bad mood today, aren't we? Let me guess: Royalty check came in?"
This enraged Bhagat who wrote, "Buddy, one more smart one and u r blocked. ok?"
This didn't to go down well with other tweeters. Tweeter Jojo Philip popped in with "Don't blame the consumer. If he/she gets the product at a fifth of its cost, they have every right to pick it up".
Now, Bhagat was on the edge and he said, "If i can access your bank account, i have the right to steal from it?"
Pat came the reply from Jojiphilip, "Piracy happens only when there is huge gap between d market cost & buying it otherwise. Greedy publishers plz note. There is a nexus between cops, illegal printers & publishers who r responsible for piracy. Attack d system, not the consumer."
And the argument continued with Bhagat tweeting, "nobody is greedy. if u cant afford it, dont buy it. do u steal cars if u cant afford them?"
Jojiphilip was in no mood to accept defeat. He wrote, "No, i don't steal cars, but if someone was offering me one for Rs 1000, i wud buy it. Blame the guy who is offering me this. as a consumer i have done no wrong. I have paid the guy on the street corner my hard earned Rs 100 & i did not steal it from him."
Bhagat seemed to be losing his cool. And gave one more threat to block the prompt tweeter. The author posted, "U have. ask a lawyer. And one more defense of illegal stuff and will block u. ok?"
It wasn't long before, the portal was flooded with thousands of others with the author finding no support.