Stay sought on ‘plagiarised’ play at Delhi drama fest

January 12th, 2009 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 12 (IANS) The Madras High Court issued a notice to the National School of Drama Monday on a petition seeking a stay on a plagiarised version of a play written by a wellknown author Indira Parthasarathy, lawyers said.Pointing out that he is the recipient of several prestigious honours, including the Sangeet Natak Academy, Sahitya Academy and the Saraswati Samman awards, Parthasarathy’s lawyers told IANS that the acknowledgement of his original work is non-negotiable.

“While the copyright issue is non-negotiable, the court may decide upon the issue of appropriate relief. The hallowed auspices of the NSD’s Annual Theatre Festival (ATF) called the Rang Bharat Mahotsav should not be a platform in the capital for a plagiarised play,” saidf C. Saravanan, one of Parthasarathy’s lawyers.

According to NSD’s website, the 11th Annual Theatre Festival is scheduled to stage “Aurangzeb” on January 15.

Parthasarathy claimed in his petition that his play “Aurangzeb” authored in 1974 was the basis of its “inspired” reproduction from a translated version by one of the defendants, Mohit Chattopadhyay, who is said to have bluntly refused to acknowledge the original work.

“Chattopadhyay claimed that his play was only inspired by (my) work and therefore there was no necessity to obtain…authorisation (from me)…The play being staged by Chattopadhyay…is an exact reproduction of (my) original work,” the petition said.

“We know that the controversy has gone to court. We are examining the issue and it is our duty to ensure that the author’s rights are not contravened. We should always protect the rights of a playwright or for that matter any writer’s,” Anuradha Kapur, director of the National School of Drama, told IANS.

The fact was exposed in an article published in a Kolkata based English daily (The Telegraph) dated November 9. NSD director Anuradha Kapur demanded an explanation from Chattopadhyay and his collaborator Rangapat, a Kolkata based organisation clarifications on the question of the authorship but to no avail, the petition added.

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