Author Anvita Bajpai has hit back at those questioning her intent in accusing writer Chetan Bhagat of plagiarism, saying if she was money minded she would be coding rather than writing stories. A civil court here has granted a temporary injunction, restraining sales of Bhagat’s new bestseller ‘One Indian Girl’ till the next hearing, on a lawsuit filed by her, according to Bajpai.
Bhagat has rubbished allegations of plagiarism levelled by Bajpai, both of whom are alumni of IIT and IIM. Taking note of a few Facebook posts about her ‘monetary intent,” she said her technology background gives her one the highest paying jobs. “So on rational grounds if I am money minded, I’d be coding/preparing presentations right now than writing this post; or any of my stories for that matter, which I wrote for understanding/satisfaction,” Bajpai said.
“So there is a set of people who know me and trust me for my credentials; and for rest these can be a facts to look before they get opinionated about me/my intent,” she said in a post on her Facebook page. Bajpai has claimed that “characters, places and emotional flow” of Bhagat’s book were lifted from a story ‘Drawing Parallels’ from one of her books ‘Life, Odds and Ends’, a copy of which she had gifted to the author during the Bengaluru Literature Festival in 2014.
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In her suit she had sought a permanent injunction restraining Bhagat and the publisher from selling the book ‘One Indian Girl’ and claimed damages of Rs one lakh. On his part, Bhagat has rejected the charge as unfounded and said his book was not based on Bajpai’s works in any way. Bajpai also took exception to Bhagat referring to her as “someone” in his post couple of days ago.
“As I woke up this morning, I got a mesg from many of my friends who were upset on Chetan Bhagat’s calling me ‘someone’ in his FB post and many said he could have said ‘an alumni author’ or ‘another author’,” she said. “I smiled thinking if right addressing is so important from him then firstly I’d seek an acknowledgement for the cause that resulted in me thinking about writing this post – that is – how come there is so much similarity in my story ‘Drawing Parallels’ and his novel ‘One Indian Girl’?” she added.
Bajpai lists out her academic and professional credentials as also awards and recognitions she has received as a rebuttal to Bhagat’s “someone” comment. Quoting a few similarities between both books, she said “Together, all these facts and patterns point that ‘One Indian Girl’ authored by defendant No 1 in the year 2016 is adapted from the book ‘Life, Odds & Ends’ from the story of ‘Drawing Parallels’ published in the year 2014.”