PK Makers Accused Of Plagiarism: Is The Script Copied?

PK has landed itself into a fresh controversy for allegedly copying the script from a Hindi novel Farishta. The novelist, Kapil Isapuri, has filed a case against the movie makers and has also demanded a compensation of  rupees one crore and credits for his work. He said certain portions from his Hindi novel Farishta, published in 2013, were “stolen and copied” and used in the film.

The plea filed through advocate Jyotika Kalra, alleged that the makers of the film as well as script writer Abhijat Joshi stole the characters, expression of ideas and sequences from the novel. Abhijat Joshi has earlier been accused of copying the script for 3 Idiots from Chetan Bhagat’s novel 5 point someone.

I am sorry that I watched PK pretty late from its release on December 19. I watched the film on January 1 and was completely taken aback when I saw that many scenes in the film were inspired by my latest novel Farishta,” Isapuri said at a press conference.

At first, the film rankled the right wing organisations, which demanded a ban on the movie. Now, the film makers are being accused of picking the script from a novel without the author’s consent. Right from the day of its release, the film is finding itself embroiled in some or the other controversy.

Rajkumar Hirani’s directorial, starring Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt and Sushant Singh Rajput, is a satire on godmen. It raises questions about religion and people’s blind faith in godmen.

It isn’t uncommon for scriptwriters and movie makers to face plagiarism charges. Uday Singh Rajput had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court claiming that the script of Krrish 3 was originally written by him. Prior to the release of the film, Uday Rajput demanded a whopping two crores as compensation from the producers.

Recently, Jyoti Kapoor, co-writer of Daawat-E-Ishq claimed that the story of Phir Se, scheduled to hit the silver screen in May 2015, was written by her and accused Kunal Kohli of plagiarism. She has stated that she had narrated the story of the film to Kunal when the two met last year.

Protecting intellectual property is very crucial and Bollywood is fraught with incidents of copy right issues, be it within the country or ”inspiration” coming from Hollywood.

Here the question is, why doesn’t Hollywood sue Bollywood for plagiarism? The relative security enjoyed by Hindi movie producers stems from the small financial pickings that a Hollywood suit would result in; if at all the charges of plagiarism can be made to stick in the country’s complex judicial system. The slow and tedious Indian judicial process keeps aggrieved Hollywood producers from seeking redressal in cases of plagiarism. Moreover, Hollywood companies are more involved in battling piracy and expanding the market for their products in India.

As for PK, let us see what the court has to say. In any case, the movie has already broken the box office records with a business of over rupees 600 crore;  and the controversies surrounding the film so far have proved to be rather fortunate for the film makers.

Ratanpriya Sharma

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