Ashish Shakya (aka @stupidusmaximus) tweeted early this morning on the Sania-engagement issue: ‘Sania Mirza breaks off her engagement, thus continuing her tradition of first-round exits in any major event.‘
MTV India tweeted, much later, in the noon: ‘Q. Why did Sania Mirza break off her engagement? A. She’s continuing her tradition of first-round exits in major events!‘
Yeah, yeah – I know the ‘great minds think alike’ bit, but lets consider this carefully – after all, we’ve all of 140 characters to verify.
Word-by-word reproduction: ‘continuing her tradition of first-round exits in’, ‘major event(s)’.
Note the hyphen between ‘first’ and ’round’ milord! Also note that the word ‘any’ has been removed, in an Anu Malik’ish manner, and ‘event’ has been pluralized. This…is plain atrocious. Okay, let us ignore the fact that the question in MTV India’s tweet is nothing but a rehashed version (again word-by-word) of Ashish’s original tweet.
Now, what can MTV India do about this? If they’ve a bit more grace than Vidhu Vinod Chopra, they could simply agree that they lifted the original tweet and did not credit Ashish. But no, they did not do that. All they now say is, ‘@stupidusmaximus THANK YOU. our sania mirza joke was similar to yours – u tweeted it first, your joke! #justiceforstupidusmaximus’.
Beeep…I’m sorry – wrong answer.
That does NOT sound like an apology. It is a convoluted way of saying, ‘great minds think alike’. What Ashish deserves is a flat-out apology. For plain ol’ plagiarism. And the longer MTV India refuses to do that, the more pig-headed they sound. Completely unnecessary, but that’s exactly how they’re behaving.
It doesn’t matter how many people are watching this drama unfold on twitter (there are quite a few and many of them are retweeting/ tweeting their views). For MTV India, this is an opportunity to show that they are human – both by apologizing and agreeing that they indeed lifted the tweet.
You may be thinking…’what the heck, it is just a 140 character tweet…why bother with serious, often-misspelled words like plagiarism here?’. But that is precisely the point – since a ‘retweet’ has been invented for such purposes, so that credit is given where due. Inadvertent errors, I completely understand, but here MTV India is acting like a real stubborn bully. Assuming they can get away with plagiarism – ‘where is Ashish’s 400+ followers and we have 50,000+ army of followers’ huh?
It doesn’t quite work that way online, MTV India.
PS: And no, this is not a lame attempt to gain some page views for my blog by writing about a ‘happening’ issue. I manage a 10+ year old website that tracks plagiarism in Indian film music. So, relevant connection indeed!