There are some departments in the state government who doesn't seem to know what 'Plagiarism' is; and shamelessly uses work created by others as if it was created by them. And I feel sick whenever I come across this tagline 'Gateway to Serenity' -used by Directorate of Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, to promote tourism of the state in ads, their site, etc. It reminds me of how one of my friend was cheated off his work without even acknowledging him.
The story dates back to about a decade ago when the state government, in order to promote tourism of the state, decided to makeover the Department of Tourism by giving it a logo and a tagline. The Directorate of Tourism, then decided to hold a logo designing and 'slogan' competition-the winning entry of which would be used as the logo and tagline of the Department. Like so many other enthusiasts-professionals and amateurs alike- two very creative young boys just out of the teens also decided to vie for the prize money-the winning of which would somehow suffice their pocket money for a month or so. So they designed a logo to be submitted to the Directorate of Tourism for competition. One of them, being very good at words and creative, tried his hand at the slogan competition as well.
The day came, the logos and the slogans were displayed, judged by the experts and winners announced. Confident after the spectator's reaction over the slogan and logos designed by them-they thought they would bag the prize; but nowhere in the winners list, their names propped up. Thinking that the best man might have won they left the exhibition, satisfied over the spectator's reaction.
But to their horror, when the Department of Tourism finally released their logo and tagline, the tagline submitted by my friend was etched with the logo - in same font style and in bold letters-'Gateway to Serenity'. Since, the slogan was not a prize winning entry; they went to Directorate of Tourism to enquire how his slogan is being used for the promotion of the Department? Had his slogan adjudged the best entry contrary to that declared during the day so as to be used as department's tagline?
Worst nightmare had yet to come. The then Director of the department instead of acknowledging and telling why his slogan has been used or if it had won the best slogan award-shoo them away. The Director said, "You are such a young boy, you would get much better opportunity later." Only he knew, the boy was a college grad, unemployed at that time, had come to know, how about his entry is being used by the Department and why he is not acknowledged about it and not to claim the prize money. (I vaguely remember, only winning entry was to be used for promotion purpose and rest other entries were not supposed to be used. There was no condition stated in the advertisement for competition that the entries would become the property of the Department and they could use it at their discretion). Wonder, what impact that incident had left in the young minds! Feeling deeply hurt, they left the office not knowing what to do. Had it been today, I'm damn sure my friend would have sued the state government for 'Plagiarising'.
I wonder, why he was not acknowledge while his work was used? Was the entire judgment procedure biased and manipulated? Wasn't it the moral responsibility of the department to acknowledge his work (even if it was not adjudged the best and even if it was the property of the department as is the case with some contests) when the department used it?
No, I'm not writing this post to claim for his award after a lapse of about a decade or to check if the entire judgment procedure was biased etc. But because, I feel that he was wronged and because his creativity, his psyche must have been affected with that single incident. May such incident never happen to anyone else in the future.
(logo source: Arunachal Tourism)