Thursday, October 11, 2007

Plagiarism-What's that?

Have you ever wondered how the Department of Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh got it's tagline?


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)


  • raka dada

    sadly this ins the rule rather than exception in AP.
    the 'winner' or 'topper' is usually selected beforehands and the 'interview' is just a ritual.

    one of my distant cousins, while appearing for a police drivers 'test' ran the test truck into a ditch;then he non-chalantly told the grading officer" who wants to be a police driver anyway" and walked off in a huff.result? he was selected--cos his uncle was the police head honcho at that time!

    there is another police head honcho right now, a galo, SP mr N,who has just one criteria for selection: convert to a particular western religion and the job is yours.

  • AG

    May be that might have been the case. I was told, the one who bagged the best logo award was artist from DIPR and you know what the logo of Arunachal Tourism is almost rip-off of logo of Himachal Tourism (Check it out at Himachal Tourism site)-may be idea was inspired ;) and the winner already decided beforehand.

  • Rome Mele

    Thats sad to know.
    I wished you could be more specific and clear about the then Director( his name included), since we have this only option of fighting Babudoms not a rare phenomenon in AP.

    Hmmm.... who knows, such clear news could bolster our tourism too... People could pour in, not to see the Landscapes of AP, but to see those(Babus, directors) not so rare creatures proudly and shamelessly existing, much in our dismay.

  • AG

    ...lolz...... should have really included the name of the then director to help bolster the tourism of the state....:)

  • Anonymous

    Arrogancy and ignorance, armed with these weapons our Babus and ministers rule the state. They will know the concept of plagiarism because they are human, but they wouldnt know the dictionary meaning of this word.
    Its upon us, we youngsters to take on politics and adminstration and kick these illiterate idiotic bastards to their graves.

  • Kenri

    If it is a true story, can you validate it with the names of the boys and the then Director of Tourism...

  • AG

    The story is quite true and there isn't any figment of fiction in it. :) I could have divulged the names of the 'boys' or that of the then Director of Tourism while writing the post but for the insistence of the 'boys' not to divulge their names :(. And if you had gone through the post well, the motive behind writing the post was not to put stake to the prize money that was denied to the 'boys' decade ago or to malign the image of the then Director of Tourism but to prevent the responsible authorities (if they are visiting this blog) not to carry out the same mistake again in future.

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