Tuesday, December 07, 2021
Arts and Entertainment

Chetan Bhagat slammed for plagiarism by English scholar

By EMN Updated: Nov 23, 2014 8:57 pm

Best-selling author Chetan Bhagat has run into another controversy in Bihar. After the former royals of the erstwhile princely state of Dumraon threatened to sue him for their allegedly disparaging portrayal, an English scholar from the state has accused him of plagiarism.
Dr Birbal Jha, director of British Lingua, a spoken English institute in Patna, has alleged that Bhagat had lifted the plot of his latest novel, Half Girlfriend, from his bilingual play, Englishia Boli.

Bhagat’s Bihar visit
“Bhagat had visited my institute in Patna in January this year and interacted with the students who were enrolled there,” he said. “He even attended one of the classes there to observe things from close quarters.”
Birbal said that the students at his centre were happy to see such a well-known author in their midst who had arrived there unannounced. “I had presented him a set of books which I have written for students seeking to improve their knowledge of spoken English,” he said.
Birbal said that his gift of books to Bhagat included his play called Englishia Boli. “This is an educational social drama which was written in the drama form basically to educate the poor students of Bihar who had problems in speaking English with ease,” he said.
Chetan Bhagat”The main character of my book, Chandra Prasad, is a talented youth belonging to a small town of Bihar. He goes to Delhi but faces problems because of his inability to converse in English,” Birbal said. “He also meets a modern girl there who speaks English with utmost fluency. She, however, falls in love with him towards the end of the play because of his ability to prove himself.”
Birbal alleged that Bhagat had taken the same theme for his Half Girlfriend. “This cannot be sheer coincidence,” he said.
The English communicator said that he had released his book more than a year before Bhagat’s book hit the stands. “I am sending a legal notice to Bhagat for deriving the theme of his novel from my book,” he said. Birbal said that he and his students were particularly peeved at the ‘derogatory’ portrayal of Bihari students in Half Girlfriend.
Earlier, residents of Dumraon had taken to streets in protest against Bhagat’s depiction of their home town. They also burnt copies of Half Girlfriend as well as effigies of the writer. The descendants of the formerly princely estate had also threatened to sue the writer for making allegedly uncharitable remarks on them in his novel.
Bhagat could not be reached for his comments.

By EMN Updated: Nov 23, 2014 8:57:07 pm