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West Point, MS & Plymouth MI & College Station, Texas& Mysore United States of America
Oct 27, 2009 04:55 PM 4562 Views

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Plagiarism is as old as the hills. Ever since man has learnt to do something, plagiarism has reared its ugly head. Inventors, writers, academicians, scientists and engineers have been its prey. Every great man has had admirers and imitators. However admiration and imitation are not plagiarism. We have been influenced by all time greats in different fields. For instance, I have been influenced by great poets of English Literature on whose shoulders I stand. I derive inspiration from all of them, but I write my own poems in my own manner, never copying anyone’s style, manner and material.

Recently in MS, there have been instances of plagiarism. Many honorable members have confronted the offender with proof of his misdeeds. MS authorities for reasons known only to them are silent as if putting it down were none of their business! Earlier they were very strict about plagiarism. Many members for minor infractions used to be flagged or banned! Now as plagiarists are not being taken to task, they are getting bolder and have engaged in vituperative exchanges with those that have exposed them! It is most shameful to say the least.

Laws in India and western countries are very strict in regard to proprietorship of intellectual material. Earlier before the advent of the internet, when material was plagiarized it was difficult to detect and prosecute culprits. Now a simple googling can establish plagiarism when it occurs and the name and reputation of the plagiarist is ruined and he is reduced to a state of ridicule and contempt, apart from any legal process he might be subjected to if the original author wishes to prosecute him.

Literary circles are bound by a code wherein a critic is allowed to quote works of authors and other critics under acknowledgement. Any critic worth his salt observes this canon almost religiously. Any breach would automatically result in an informal ostracism of the offending plagiarist who cannot hope to regain his standing as a critic and writer.

MS is replete with highly talented men and women, experts in their chosen fields. Some of them wield the pen expertly on many subjects. I request all of them to be watchful against plagiarism whenever and wherever it occurs. Plagiarism is an injustice to the original writer in whom alone the glory of the original composition rests. LET NO ONE STEAL FROM HIM WHAT RIGHTFULLY BELONGS TO HIM AND ONLY HIM. Let us all vow to put down this scourge strongly and expose it whenever we come across it. Let us not appropriate to ourselves what is not ours! We will not put our hands in anyone else’s pockets to steal his money! THEN LET US NOT STEAL OTHER’S WORDS AS IF THEY DON’T MATTER!

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