Kochi: A promising writer, social activist and academic, Deepa Nishanth indirectly apologised for plagiarising a poem which she published under her name in a magazine.
After Deepa’s poem was published in a teacher’s association magazine, poet Kalesh came forward claiming she had plagiarised his poem. The row erupted into a big tussle after many prominent writers including NS Madhavan participated in the issue with their opinions.
Finally, admitting the poem published in her name was that of Kalesh, Deepa posted on Facebook: “I am also really sad beyond words since I am responsible for each and every word that came in my name. I am saying sorry and hope the issue will end here.” She also said that being a writer and a teacher, she could understand Kalesh’s grief and anger in the matter.Social media woke up to a storm after Deepa, who enjoys a huge following on social media, landed in the row over Kalesh's poem published seven years back.
Kalesh posted on his Facebook page evidence to substantiate his charge. With Deepa failing to give a proper reply, criticism against her grew on various social media platforms.
According to Kalesh, the poem ‘Anganeyirikke Marichu Poyi Njan’ was written and posted by him on his blog on March 4, 2011. He also published the poem in a popular magazine that year itself. The poem later found a place in a book of poems ‘Sabdamahasamudram’. The poem was translated to English by CS Venkiteswaran and published in Indian Literature. But when Kalesh got a copy of the All Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA) magazine, he could easily identify same poem with a slight change in the title to “Anganeyirikke”. A few lines were also slightly changed.
“The person who copied my poem is a Malayalam teacher. She is liable to give a clear answer for using my poem in her name. My poem is my intellectual property. If she is not ready to declare it is Kalesh’s poem, I will go forward with legal proceedings against her,” said Kalesh.
In the beginning, Deepa, was not ready to admit plagiarism. She came out with series of Facebook posts negating plagiarism. Deepa, a Malayalam lecturer in a private college in Thrissur,.admitted her mistake.