Monday, July 31, 2023

Does A Plagiarist Have a Prick of Conscience?

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 31 July 2023 "Adabi Sarqa Koi Nai Baat Nahin Hai. Duniya Mein Jo Bhi Likha Gaya, Kaha Gaya Aur Gadha Gaya, Woh Kahin Na Kahin Pahle Hi Kaha Ya Likha Jaa Chuka Hai. Farq Bas Itna Hai Ke Kisi Ne Kisi Ka Khyaal Churane Ke Baad Use Qubool Kiya, Kisi Ne Uski Parvaah Nahin Ki Aur Kisi Ne Bebaak Hokar Churaya Aur Khaamosh Raha. Hum Kuchh Naya Nahin Kar Rahe Hain. Kaainaat Ki Pahali Sahar Ke Baad Jo Kuchh Hota Aa Raha Hai Woh Faqat Uss Subha Ka Mukhtalif Sooraton Mein Inkishaaf Hai." Ali Sardar Jafri (Plagiarism is not something new. Whatever has been spoken, written or created is a mere repetition of things already said and accomplished. The difference lies in someone's honest acceptance of plagiarism, his/her total disregard for creative pilferage and someone's audacious act of plagiarism and his silence. We're creating nothing new. After the very first dawn of the universe, whatever is being created is just an old but different manifestation of that earliest dawn) I've always thought when writers and poets plagiarize, don't they feel the prick of conscience? Are they really bereft of even an iota of compunction? Creativity is a process and writing is an art. Only those, who write, know how a piece or a poem takes the writer's time and when it comes to completion, it gives an indescribable feeling to the creator. Can that blissful feeling be felt by a plagiarist? I still remember, years ago, when my first piece appeared in a newspaper, I was so happy that I told all my friends that my piece, a mere letter to the editor in Persian, appeared. It was all mine and I didn't plagiarize anyone's thoughts. I still feel the same manner, despite my pieces getting published in world's leading journals and periodicals in several languages. That unalloyed joy still gives me goosebumps because I've the satisfaction of not stealing anyone's thoughts and ideas. When we rack our brains and create something new, we've an experience that can be compared to that of a mother who gives birth to a child after carrying it for 9 months in her womb. And when someone plagiarizes, s/he has the feeling that's comparable to a foster mother. You don't completely own the child. Likewise, a plagiarist doesn't completely own his/her creation. After all, it's borrowed. Someone called plagiarism, ' a surrogacy of creativity.' It sure is surrogacy of creativity. 'Idhar Ki Eent, Udhar Ka Roda, Bhanumati Ka Kunba Joda' (Copy-paste everywhere / The final outcome stands nowhere). A plagiarized work cannot and doesn't survive the test of time. Because eventually the truth is bound to transpire. Plagiarism may often be 'undetected originality', but sooner or later the truth comes out. No plagiarized work has ever gone undetected. Unscrupulous writers and columnists visit obscure portals and sites and get 'inspiration' to 'create' something out of the box. But their thefts are eventually detected because they're not the only plagiarists looking for unknown and obscure sites! Readers perhaps know that when Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a student in a primary school, his teacher gave 5 difficult problems in Mathematics to crack at home. The next day, Gokhale was the only student in the whole class to solve all five problems. His teacher was very happy and praised him in front of the entire class. The young Gokhale began to cry. Surprised, his teacher asked him why he was crying. Gokhale told him that he didn't solve all the problems on his own. He took his father's help to solve the fifth problem. The teacher was all the happier and more predicted that the boy was destined to become very great in future. And true to his prophecy, Gokhale indeed became a very great man and a stalwart in India's freedom struggle. I'm unable to remember the name of a very famous English columnist. He apologized to the editor when his plagiarized piece was immensely liked by his readers and went undetected. He wrote to the editor and said that the credit should go to the original Italian writer, whose quite old column, he translated from Italian into English. The English columnist further wrote to the editor that he was just a translator, not a creator. Gokhale and that English columnist had the acute pangs of conscience. Does any plagiarist have the same smarting pangs of conscience and uneasy feeling of sleeplessness after stealing someone's ideas? ---- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

No comments:

Post a Comment