A case of plagiarism.. an apology to Trisha Gupta..


It was brought to my attention today that Saurabh’s piece on Masaan was plagiarized from Trisha Gupta’s original Mumbai Mirror piece. Naturally she is rather upset about this. I hadn’t read either piece but then I quickly did a comparison and her complaint is entirely justified. I am rather disappointed I must say. I still did not wish to go public with this because I did not wish to shame anyone this way. Therefore as soon as I learnt about this I deleted the post and tweeted Trisha Gupta about this (she’d registered her complaint on twitter as well) but then someone left a comment on Saurabh’s post highlighting the similarities and I felt it only fair to give the other side a chance. I certainly owed it to Trisha Gupta. Obviously Qalandar wasn’t aware of Trisha Gupta’s piece either when he posted Saurabh’s article. Anyway I am now referencing the comment that was left today by someone below. I have of course deleted Saurabh’s post but I can testify to the fact that the claims below are entirely accurate. To this end I am appending a paragraph (as example) from Saurabh’s piece at the end here and one can compare it to the opening one in Trisha Gupta’s piece. This is completely unacceptable. My apologies to Trisha Gupta..

[This “review” is a rearranged word-for-word copy of a review in the Mumbai Mirror, written by Trisha Gupta, that was posted online on July 26, 2015 at 2:00 AM IST, or about a day and change before this was posted. (http://www.mumbaimirror.com/columns/columnists/trisha-gupta/A-river-runs-through-it/articleshow/48220795.cms).

For instance, paragraphs 1-3 of this “review” are paragraphs 6-8 of Ms Gupta’s review.

The remaining paragraphs of this piece, beginning with “Masaan ticks many of the boxes…” are paragraphs 1-5 of the Mumbai Mirror piece.

It is astonishing to me that the “author” has the audacity to simply copy-paste an entire other article, switch the order of paras a bit (not even that much) and pass it off as his own article. This is indeed a beatifully written piece, but it was not written by Saurabh and was first published on the Mumbai Mirror’s site. A removal and an acknowledgement of this travesty would be in order.]

from Saurabh’s piece:

[Masaan ticks many of the boxes people might think of when they think of Benaras. There is a retired Sanskrit teacher, and a drunken “dom” raja. There is the pulsating excitement of Durga Puja, and the quiet tableau of life along the ghats. But this Banaras is neither the sweetened Yash Raj variety that leavened the teariness of Pradip Sarkar’s “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag”, nor the relentlessly dialoguebaaz version that enlivened the first half of“Aanand L Rai’s “Raanjhana”. Rai and his scriptwriter Himanshu Sharma might be said to have specialised in a self-referential, sardonic, streetsmart Banaras – opening their film with Kundan (Dhanush) remembering his first sight of Zoya (Sonam) in childhood as “Benaras’s first gift to me”, or having Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub wistfully declare, “Mohalle ke laundon ka pyaar aksar doctor aur engineer utha ke le jaate hain” only to have our hero Kundan retort with “Murari, yeh Benaras hai. Agar launda sala yahan bhi haar gaya, toh jeetega kahan?” The masculine energy of the city that the film channelled was perhaps best summed up in the song “Banarasiya”, in which Irshad Kamil punned on the word for a denizen of Banaras and the fact of becoming a pleasure-seeker, a lover: “bana rasiya”.]

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66 Responses to “A case of plagiarism.. an apology to Trisha Gupta..”

  1. On that note I hope there isn’t a ‘serial’ problem here. If such is the case with other pieces that have been posted the author would be best served to tell me privately and I’d remove those as well. I certainly can’t have a repeat of this episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thecooldude Says:

      Satyam….great job on handling this in a extremely professional way. I am surprised that anyone can think of doing this in the age of google!

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      • thanks.. can’t say it’s a job I’ve enjoyed!

        To be honest I have a personal discomfort with doing things publicly this way. For a number of reasons but the most important one being that when anything happens publicly this way it sticks in the mind and it’s hard to get rid of it. People make mistakes for all sorts of reasons. This is not acceptable by any means but perhaps making the mistake public and therefore permanent is a rather high price to pay as well. At the same time I had an obligation to respond this way to be fair to Trisha Gupta and of course to send out the clear message that this wasn’t acceptable. But I add this because I am not being judgmental about it, at least in the usual sense of the word. I do consider this wrong of course and I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same again (and I’ve also taken further action in certain ways regarding this) but I guess I am a bit squeamish nonetheless at the public spectacle involved here. Not one of my making of course!

        Liked by 1 person

        • AamirsFan Says:

          Satyam, dude, sir, you are the one of the most humbled ‘persons’ I’ve encountered in my life. My comment below wreaks of judgement lol…and here you are feeling uncomfortable taking this kind of action. This was indeed the right thing to do and props to you for always handling things in the utmost professional manner. Maybe should create a separate post to Ms. Gupta’s full review.

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          • I’ve added a hyperlink here to her piece..

            on the rest that’s way too kind but as Rajen will testify this line of mine is by now as stale as contemporary Bollywood masala! Still mean it though.. and thanks..

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          • thecooldude Says:

            ‘persons’??

            What’s the implication here?

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          • Hope he hasn’t caught on to my schizoid personality!

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          • AamirsFan Says:

            yeah i re-read that and it didn’t make sense. lol. I’ve never met Satyam hence why I put the quotation marks.. I should’ve had encountered in quotations instead. Of course Satyam is a person…I think…but can someone really be that nice? lol. JK.

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          • LOL, now you’re getting carried away!

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          • thecooldude Says:

            Nice? BOI may have a different opinion 🙂 Wait until All is Well comes out. The Nice will turn to Ice!

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        • omrocky786 Says:

          Very well expressed Satyam, but I think the guy is young, very eager to please/ impress people and therefore prone to this.
          IMO deserves a second chance

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          • haven’t stopped him from contributing as he has been so far..

            Liked by 1 person

          • omrocky786 Says:

            Saurabh- as you know there is hardly any love lost between you and me, I still think that you are a great contributor to this blog.
            treat this as a valuable lesson on Guru Purnima day, and move on !!

            Like

          • I’d second that but he would need to take stock of the situation in a sensible way. I have looked into some stuff randomly and I have discovered this has happened before also. I can’t look into everything of course.

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    • AamirsFan Says:

      WTF! Unreal stuff. I was just about to post that it has been such a great couple of weeks on SS with the quality of reviews that have been written here (even though I don’t comment on them, I still read them!). This isn’t to take anything away from the recent solid pieces written by Qalander and others..but damn this is a shame. I’ve been coming here ever since this blog took off and never have I seen anything like this. Saurabh seemed like the most knowledgeable and informative people on this site.

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      • yes extremely disappointed myself and said the same thing the other day.. that between Q’s pieces and Saurabh’s this had been one of the best weeks on the blog.

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  2. I just feel sad.

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  3. omrocky786 Says:

    theek hai hota hai, koi qatal toh nahee kiya becharey ney !!!
    Aside- what is the BO report of Masaan-
    all its supporters / backers/ customers were probably busy first trying to stay and the mourn the hanging of a Terrorist. Toh picture kahan sey chalegee !!

    Like

    • lol.. on the last bit!

      though I think there is a place to critique the justice system in this respect on the large issue of treatment of minorities when you see cynical groups (Muslims ones and otherwise) and use this guy as a poster boy for their criticism of the system it’s quite appalling and if anything hurts the cause. There are many other legitimate examples that could be taken up. Now on the issue of whether this guy was cheated or not by the govt and whether this might represent a practical problem going forward in terms of others who might be dissuaded from coming back that’s another debate. But otherwise it’s shameful to use him as the excuse to launch that sort of politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s amazing: there were dozens of innocent Muslims jailed for the Mecca blasts or the Samjhauta Express blasts, people detained and tortured who ultimately were released as completely innocent, years later. And these guys want to pick Yakub Memon as their poster boy?! It’s really bizarre!

        Liked by 1 person

        • omrocky786 Says:

          As Madhu Trehan said – oppose the death penalty but don’t peddle lies !!

          Like

        • unfortunately for many the terrorist fulfills a kind of fantasy of ‘blowing up’ the system. If one has felt excluded or oppressed or whatever, rightly or wrongly such an iconic ‘villain’ becomes a means to release those desires. This is hardly a unique psychological condition and occurs in many circumstances. Obviously this doesn’t mean I consider others blameless in this regard but one cannot prevaricate in these matters. Every political actor should be criticized for whatever one thinks is objectionable but each one should also be criticized precisely. one can’t be abstract about these things not can one criticize only with the condition of balancing it out somewhere else. Which is why I always mistrust a certain move in these debates whereby the moment you criticize one side for something you immediately have to criticize the other as well and come up with artificial moral equivalence. I don’t find it necessary to bring in Delhi ’84 or Gujarat 2002 when discussing this guy (it’s obscene to play competitive politics with victims anyway) and the opposite is also the case. A victim is either one absolutely or not. Similarly a toxic politics though it belongs to a larger context must be called out first and foremost for its precise articulation. and if one wants to argue against the system or invoke whatever other grievances one might have the worst starting point is to begin with a Menon defense. At least I would stop listening! In the same sense all these absurd legal technicalities (again a strategy adopted by various sides) is also something I have little patience for. Because those aren’t really the central debate here. and it also allows people to pretend they really don’t know what’s going on.

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      • omrocky786 Says:

        Satyam, again what a great comment. agree totally.
        reading this comment I was thinking abhee hope hai !! LOL
        Bahubali seems to have brought you back to mainstream !!

        Like

      • Re: “whether this might represent a practical problem going forward in terms of others who might be dissuaded from coming back that’s another debate.”

        Yeah, that’s the bit that resonated with me in the Raman piece, and reminded me of A Most Wanted Man (what a good film that was, by the way)…

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    • “theek hai hota hai, koi qatal toh nahee kiya becharey ney !!!”
      Look what you started. can of worms. hahahah

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  4. I for one never read Saurabh. Ther e is a certain lack of polish in writing of ‘real’ people writing real reviews. e.g. Q’s review on bahubahi (not all his reviews) or Satyam going-on and on and on (sorry Satyam), which makes a review delight to read because it is unsophisticated and very real even though a good edit or re-draft would make it publication worthy. Sorry you had to go thru’ all this Satyam (something else happened few years ago with Saurabh as well which totally made him lose credibility/respect for me) and like everyone else said, well handled.
    P.S. There may be lot of “critics” out there who might be copying you Satyam. lol

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  5. I appreciate your discomfort with permanently tarring and feathering someone. But there should be some consequence . And since the “crime” was done online ,so leaving some of that evidence online is not that harsh in my opinion. After all, the plagiarizer intended it so himself.

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  6. kudos to Satyam for sorting it out in most uncomplicated manner.That’s the best possible way to deal with such a sensitive issue. But i would not go to the extreme deeming this as if Saurabh has committed some unpardonable sin! It’s up to Saurabh to redeem, restore, win back fellow bloggers’s “bruised” trust once again. Let’s give him a chance as whatever i’ve read written by Saurabh has been of “Elevated quality in each instance”, mirroring his outstanding growth as a reader of societal facets presented in movies. And i find it incredulous that Saurabh’s might have been repeating this charge, if at all, would be crestfallen!! But Satyam is the best person to take the last decision.

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    • as I said he’s free to come here as before and I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. we can get into the bahubali discussions right away. And again because of the nature of the problem it had to be sorted out publicly. Otherwise hey I’m sure if some of all our issues became public we’d be hard pressed to live with them too. So I’m certainly no saying that this is something unique or whatever. In a certain sense I even understand it (without condoning it) but this would take too long to explain and this certainly isn’t the right place for that.

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  7. Saurabh has do a mohanlal of drashyam here to save his face 🙂 jokes apart – ajay devgn’s act has not gone down well at all and hindi drashyam is bound to sink despite Tabu’s superlative performance (that woman can not just go wrong – isn’t it?) what an actress!

    Like

  8. Very well handled and very considerate of you,Satyam.
    I am still fond of Saurabh inspite of everything and hope he learns the lesson and continues to contribute.

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    • I agree Rajen — saurabh we want you back here too!

      Like

      • Why try to impress bunch of strangers on an online-virtual world? I can never understand that! This is all about credibility, even virtual one. Once you lose face, it is once too many times and then this happened in past. In future all comments wll be suspect…kaha sey “cut paste” kiya ho. All of you begging on him to comment! Shame! He should kill his virtual id, purge himself of “sins”, acquire new name and start over. 😦

        Like

        • I am a bit Christian in these matters. I cannot so confidently judge others and consider their mistakes to be final. This is not ‘noble’ on my part but pure self-interest!

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          • As Rajen would say kabhi kabhi mistake sey galti ho jata hai. You lose respect in your own eyes. So why keep old ID. The best way to redeem-resurrect is to create new ID and come back in new avatar.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Di,
            One can’t be absolute in this respects.
            I would respect him more if he owns up and continues to post as Saurabh. It is much easier to hide under a different name but more
            Respectable to maintain one’s identity even under less than perfect circumstances. All
            Of us have done things we may not be proud of. I am not judgemental unless somebody maliciously and intentionally tries to cause harm to others.
            It would take much more than a little bit of plagiarism for someone to permanently lose my faith and respect. I am all for second and third and fourth chances in such matters.

            Liked by 1 person

          • agreed on all counts..

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        • “In future all comments wll be suspect…kaha sey “cut paste” kiya ho. All of you begging on him to comment! Shame! He should kill his virtual id, purge himself of “sins”, acquire new name and start over. 😦 ”
          Di why are you being so judgmental and harsh when almost all others are in favour of giving him a chance and it’s not as if he has been indulging in this kind of act time and again. Let’s be empathetic and at the very least give him some leeway to restore his credibility. Only once he committed a mistake and you are making him a sinner, this is so below the belt and crude!! And Saurabh has proven his worth on myriad topics, ranging from cricket to politics to regional cinema, so it’s just a one-off till now. I wish Saurabh returns with the same id and agree with Rajen that it would be much better if he owns his mistake and starts afresh. 🙂

          Like

          • its virtual world…so doesn’t matter so much, I suppose. He had dual ids in past and he lied. This time he got Satyam to apologize to a writer. What is the point of saying sorry to an author and then to keep welcoming the guilty party and invite them again and again! I personally, in real life, not prefer to have a friend, who lies or lacks a certain integrity. On virtual world, it is easy to get hoodwinked. Journos do that. Create stories. But then they are paid for it, I could imagine why journo would do that though I don’t condone it by any means. It is beyond my imagination why would someone do this on a blog and not acknowledge the source and go MIA. And it is repeat offenders that make me upset. I guess Raghavan would find material here for his next script. lol

            Like

          • Di problem with you is that you are making your judgment sounder than all others blog members put together, which makes it autocratic, which this blog certainly doesn’t advocate and believes in democratic way to cope with the issues. You seem to have some past issues with Saurabh which are coming in your impartial understanding of the this very case in particular.

            Like

  9. The manner in which this has been dealt with is a lesson for onlinre blog owners. This is what separates the men from the boys.

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  10. Shit happens. We all make mistakes. Each day is a new day, and with the kind of people here and their reaction like Rocky,Q, etc, I am sure Saurabh come’s back. Kindly do the same.

    Like

    • Between I have often thought this, and I shall like to say that the only place where you can copy/plagarise the idea of other person and the same shall be allowed is the job of a lawyer! It’s legal! The brief prepared by a lawyer can’t be copyrighted!

      Anyways jokes aside, great work by Satyam and Q. It was nicely handled.

      Like

      • “and I shall like to say that the only place where you can copy/plagarise the idea of other person and the same shall be allowed is the job of a lawyer! It’s legal! ”

        it’s also quite ok in Bollywood!

        as for lawyers they’re allowed this stuff because they have far greater sins topping the list!

        Just kidding..

        Like

  11. Thanks to Saurabh, TG has become quite famous here and she should write for SS sometimes.
    As for Saurabh, he has passion for cinema and a true devotee of good cinema. So many of his comments have exhibited that he is a capable writer and discerning one too.
    He is a valuable member and hope to see his response soon.
    We all love you, Saurabh.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Well handled Satyam Sir..
    I echo my thoughts as Sanjana and many others above…Saurabh had good taste for regional cinema as well and some of his mentions were notable and very good watch..I always followed the them and a good contributor to this blog…….Saurabh, please don’t consider this episode as bad one, but a learning one and come back to this forum..As you see you are already being missed by many.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well handled Satyam.

    Like

  14. Hmm… interesting …

    Btw who picked this up ie who was the ‘whistleblower’ ..aka mr /ms snowdon…

    Like

  15. I will (try to) reserve my comments…

    Like

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