Interview with Ganga Bharani: @ : who says that Nikita Singh has got the Inspiration from an earlier work of hers which she read couple of years Back.
There are news about Nikita Singh latest work's Right Here Right Now Ideas being picked up from an earlier work by Ganga Bharani.We Spoke with Ganga Regarding the same and got to know certain Facts about the same as well.She did submitted the proofs and we are publishing the same.We are not publishing this Interview to malign or to publicise anyone , We are doing a plain interview and publishing the same unedited.The Views expressed below are solely by Ganga Bharani.We Can only say that we dont Support Plagiarism and are strictly against it.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself ,your blog(s)/website(s), and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
I am a simple girl with complicated dreams. I have a book published but I still don't call myself a writer. It takes many books to realize for ourselves if we are the "Writer" that the word actually means; so I have a few more to go before I call myself one. I love to make short films and videos as a hobby. Two of my short films have won awards at WE CARE international film festival. I work as a software engineer and I love my job.
My dream to become a writer began with the hobby of writing articles to newspapers. When those articles were published in various newspapers like The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and the like I gained a lot of confidence. I created a blog to archive the rejected articles. That's how it all started. Now, I am running towards my dream of becoming a chief guest at my (when I have one) kid's school function (To be worthy of it).
That's pretty much about me.
2. How you first got to know that your content had been copied or plagiarized.
I won't say copied or plagiarized because I am really confused with those words. According to my understanding reading something and then intentionally using it without giving credits is plagiarism; be it the plot or even as small as a character sketch. Plagiarism, according to me, is not just something that is related to words but something that's majorly related to the "INTENTION".
When this book was a manuscript, I had sent the first few chapters to Grapevine on 15th January, 2013, as a part of my proposal. On 4th March 2013 I received a reply from Nikita Singh, Editor Grapevine saying that the editors enjoyed reading my manuscript and they would like to take a look at the entire manuscript before making a final decision.
My mail to Grapevine:
While I was still waiting for their reply, I met with another publisher, Tales4 Publication, and they were ready to publish the book in a traditional way, without getting a single rupee from me. So I thought it would be right to check with Grapevine and keep them informed about the other publisher. I mailed them asking for an update. In reply to that, I got a rejection mail from a different editor, below is the screenshot of the rejection mail. I am a sport and it's okay to get rejected.
In December 2013, I got my book, Just you, me and a secret published with Tales4 Publications.
28th April 2014: I saw a poster that Nikita published on her Facebook page promoting her book. Below is the poster I am referring to. The synopsis of the book was a lot similar to my book. I got a little doubtful and sent a mail both to you and Grapevine to receive nothing in response. The mail was sent with the subject, 'Doubt of plagiarism' and yet both the publishers ignored my mails. I did not mention such a doubt anywhere in social media respecting the publisher and writer. I didn't want to jump to conclusions before I checked it.
I, calmly, waited till the book titled 'Right here, right now' got published. A lot of blogger friends told me how so much similar the two stories are. I read the book myself and was shocked. The plot, the narrator chosen to narrate, the theme and mood of the story and most importantly first chapter, including the tiny details in it were just like my book.
For instance, in my book I have spoken about the beeping sound, ECG to the "right". The same details are in the epilogue and the beginning of the first chapter of the other book. I have also attached a screenshot of a reviewer's comment about both the books.
First chapter of my book, Just you me and a secret:
First chapter of Nikita's Right here, Right now:
I need to mention Sachin Garg the owner of Grapevine replied to another mail had sent saying that Nikita is not with them anymore. It was also mentioned that Right here, Right now was published under Penguin's banner and they can't do much about it.
The point I am trying to make is that she has read my manuscript, which is clear from the mail she has sent. After a few days she publishes a book with a very similar plot. How often do two people, who write a story with an amnesiac protagonist, start with the same hospital scene. Okay, let's say this is common. But how often do they write about just the same details in almost the same style? Considering that she has read my manuscript already, how far can we consider this coincidental?
We budding writers actually research the market to understand what sells and what doesn't. We spend years in coming up with a plot that's not much touched upon by the Indian market. We take years in finding a publisher. If it was rejected I won't flare up and falsely blame. I am a sport I can assure you that. But when we send to the publisher and the writer, who is also the editor there, sends a mail asking for full manuscript, then the next book she writes is of the same concept are we not supposed to question? If it was the same concept I won't call it a act to be questioned. The first chapter clearly reveals the intention. I am against that intention.
Also the publishers (Both penguin and mainly grapevine) did not take this seriously when I had mailed. They might say that they receive 100 such mails about being plagiarised. But I am sure they get 10 times more number of manuscripts a day. It's their duty to protect those 1000 writer's who send their manuscripts with trust by replying to the 100 mails about plagiarism.
With what trust will we send the manuscripts to them? I might not be a famous writer, maybe I won't even turn into one, let's say. What if a highly potential person sends a concept that's not like anything in the Indian market in the recent times and what if that ends up like this?
Also, what if Nikita's book had the same story as mine? The publishers did not even check it when I had mailed. If they had now they would have confidently said it is not plagiarism. If that was the case her book would have got published and even if I file a case I won't be able to publish my work. (Thank God! It was already published.)
My question here is, if I am an editor of a reputed publishing house I get to read manuscripts of budding writers every day. Am I allowed to pick the concept I like the most, reject it and then write a book with the same plot but a story of my style? Will this not question the way we need to feel protected in sending manuscripts to publishers?
Another question I have is, if a not-so-famous writer has a concern of plagiarism which involves a famous writer, will it not be taken seriously by the publishers? My mail was not replied to.
If this is the case, editors are free to reject good concepts and make use of it quickly in their book. They will obviously get it published before the struggling writer approaches another publisher, in my case it was luckily quick. So, this will make the editor have an edge over the writer to get appreciated for the concept. The pain for the other writer doesn't stop there, when she/he publishes the original work, people will say it's similar to the famous author's book. How are we, writers, protected today?
I am not saying the entire story of Right here, right now was lifted from my book. All I am saying is I am against the intention.
3. What did you do about it?
After receiving no response from the publishers, I posted it on facebook but did not get an support at that time. I thought I won't be able to fight against big names and people won't actually try to understand what I am trying to say, so left it there.
On 11th February, I was tagged in twitter to promote her book, the same one I am complaining about and I got really annoyed. I felt humiliated. But keeping quiet about this was even more humiliating. I thought I should voice about it with all the proofs on social media though I assumed no one will relate to what I am talking about; THE INTENTION though the stories are different. To my surprise, people understood it very well, a lot of them supported me including your site which came forward to give me a chance to voice it here.
Penguin then tweeted asking me for all the proofs and the details to be mailed. I have mailed it to them. I hope they will do justice being such a reputed publisher.
4. What is the proof of the accusation ?
I have attached all the proofs in my previous replies. The first chapter being very similar and the plot being same, considering her reply confirming that she has read my manuscript and the timing of the book being published a few months right after the reply from her makes it more intentional than coincidental.
5. Did you try contacting Nikita Singh Directly over email or twitter or facebook.?
I thought it was not professional to directly mail her asking if she had done. So I just mailed the publishers and waited enough assuming someone would take action for me until I understood that if someone would talk for me it would be ME. I tweeted two days back asking where she got the concept from and if she remembers reading my manuscript. That's where everything started. She is yet to respond.
6. Why don't you plan to send a legal notice , that must not be a problem ?
Penguin has replied to my mail, NOW, saying that they will look into this and get back. I will wait to know what they decide before I decide what I need to do.
7. Did you try contacting other publishing agencies and sellers like flipkart etc ?
No. I don't think contacting Flipkart will solve the issue. Also, when people involved don't take it seriously, like Grapevine and Penguin, how will others take it seriously.
9. What do you want if they agree that the accusation is actually correct ?
Right now I got what I wanted. As I have already said in social media they should not easily do this and take struggling writers for granted. I wanted them to understand that we struggling writers won't let it go easily without being a pain by voicing it, out of fear. I think I have made that very clear to them.
10. Do you feel demotivated that its been done to you or are you motivated enough
to fight for justice ?
I am not demotivated as my book got published before hers and mine has a different story. Also the reviews I have got so far are very encouraging an positive.
I feel stronger after the kind of response I got from people in social media. I was happy that people understood what I pointed out as a mistake from their side; THE INTENTION.
11. What do you have to say if some one calls it fake publicity?
If all I wanted was publicity I would have planned and executed this a long time ago. I never had this in mind. Opening up was not planned. It was a sudden outburst seeing someone tagging me to promote that book. Also, if you still think it's all for publicity all I can say is everything stated above are facts and I don't fear being called names for raising my voice for my right and fellow writers' rights.
Similarities between Right here, right now and my book, Just you, me and a secret:
1. Clearly first chapters are very similar.
Similarities between Right here, right now and my book, Just you, me and a secret:
1. Clearly first chapters are very similar.
2. In the second chapter of my book I have written a scene with the laptop. It can be read here http://scribbledbygb.blogspot.co.uk/…/just-you-me-and-secre… A scene in Right here Right now is very similar to this scene.
My argument here is, it's about a 17 year old girl. So when she was a kid, it would have been a year in 90s when Digital cameras were not there. So it is natural for anyone to say that the amnesiac was showed a physical photograph. Why a laptop? I had written laptop because that scene occurred so to me and also it was about the recent photographs. In her defense, she can say it was all digitized form of physical photographs. But why a laptop? It could have been a tablet or a phone. The only conclusion I can come to, with this point also, is that it's taken from my manuscript.
3. Her book starts from 2nd April 2013. I would like to point out that the first five chapters of my manuscript was sent to Grapevine in January, 2013. I received a reply from Nikita asking for full manuscript on 4th, March, 2013. I sent the manuscript immediately as I had it ready. As writers we tend to make use of the date we start the book, we don't write a date too much in future. So, my point is that she has started writing her book after she received my full manuscript. This makes the intention clear to me.
And these are just a few examples only....
PS :Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work/Idea and lying about it afterward.
Ganga Bharani can be found on twitter here .@
There are news that Nikita Singh has plagiarized some of the content in her latest Novel Right Here Right Now.Nikita Singh is an Indian novelist. She has written seven novels including If It's Not Forever and Love@Facebook In February 2013, Someone Like You, a book she co-wrote with Durjoy Datta, was released by Penguin India.Read More about her on Wikipedia.
All the Images have been Taken from Google and which were public or from Ganga Bharani , No Copyright infringement intended.