Chetan Bhagat has been served an temporary injunction staying the sale of his book One Indian Girl based on allegations of plagiarism.
Anvita Bajpai, a Bangalore-based writer and researcher, says that the book draws major parallels to her short story titled Drawing Parallels (sorry couldn’t resist), published in a volume of short stories called Life, Odds and Ends in 2014. Bajpai told Scroll.in that One Indian Girl has similarities in characters, settings and “emotional flow” to her story.
She sent a legal notice to Bhagat in February 2017 asking him to withdraw his book and pay damages, to which Bhagat responded in March denying all the allegations. She then approached the civil court, who granted a temporary injunction until the next hearing.
She posted details of the court order on social media. The post on the court order mentions that she says she gave a copy of the volume to Bhagat in 2014 during the Bangalore Literature Festival, although Bhagat denies ever having read the book on his own social media. The court order also contains a kind of hilarious line that says that her story’s lead character is “adventurously deviant especially in matters of relationships with the opposite sex”.
This is Bhagat’s response. He’s received lots of comments on the post from fans who loved One Indian Girl, and also from people who are happy to attack Bajpai and call this a conspiracy against him.
Amusingly, this comes at around the same time as the announcement that Bhagat’s debut work, Five Point Someone, will now be included in the Delhi University English Literature syllabus.