As is the case with most high profile Bollywood movies, Akshay Kumar’s Padman was also accused of plagiarism. Interestingly, this time around, the allegations actually seem to have some weight.

According to Ripu Daman Jaiswal, (who claims to be the original writer of the script) he wrote the script that movie has largely copied in December of 2016 and had even mailed it to Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane. He alleges that a mere 11 days after his e-mail, the making of Padman was officially announced.

Now, you might chalk this up to an attention-hungry writer, just looking for that one shot at fame, albeit through negative publicity. But that does not seem to be the case. In a series of tweets and a Facebook post, Jaiswal has presented pieces of evidence which seem very hard to ignore.

One thing to keep in mind here is that this controversy erupted initially in 2017 when Jaiswal published this Facebook post

In his 4 images, Jaiswal shows emails with the date clearly shown as 9th of December 2016, and what appears to be the script for Padman. He alleges that he had registered the script with the Screenwriters Association on December 5, 2016, and had mailed it to Motwane and Dharma.

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He further defended his stance by pointing out the fact that in real life, Arunachalam Murugunantham, the man on whom Padman is based on does not have a real sister. However, in a rakhi scene in both the script and the movie, he is shown to have one.

He further posted images of his screenplay on his Twitter handle which showed a dialogue which Jaiswal claims is quoted by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie.

Jaiswal further said that he had both complained to the Screenwriters Association and had filed an FIR against the makers of Padman. As for results, he got an email from the Association on January 10 and as of 10th of February, a police complaint was registered against the makers of Padman.

Speaking of the makers, director R. Balki has completely rubbished the claims while Akshay and Twinkle remain mute.

A copy of the FIR filed by Jaiswal: The Quint

The dearth of evidence that has been provided by Jaiswal is quite damning and is very, very different from the other allegations of plagiarism that have floated around time and again.

However, a detailed investigation needs to be done to find out whether the makers of the movie did or did not illegally use someone’s intellectual property for their profit.

This fiasco does raise the question that why does Bollywood feel the need to plagiarise blatantly and then mock those who make the allegations. This is not the first time that a movie has been copied partially or fully.

The problem that this causes is it disenfranchises the writers and degrades their profession. It decreases their value when people know that they can just steal the writer’s work without much consequence. It is extremely problematic for the film industry at large.

As of now, the case is being investigated both by the police and the people. What comes of it, only time will tell.

Sources: NDTV, The Quint, Firstpost, Indian Express

Image Credits: Google Images

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