Sunday, April 30, 2006

Of Kaavya, Chetan and the Honor code....

From the day we stepped on campus, the conseqeunces of violating the honor code have been drilled into our minds. For those of u who dont know, the honor code or the horror code as we ISBians choose to call it, is about copying, collaborating during assignments, plagiarism, copyright violation, cooking up resume, etc., Life can be hell or even worse if u violate the code is wat we are being told....

So who are Kaavya and Chetan?... no, they are not students who violated the honor code..

Kaavya is the 19 year old author of "How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life". She was basking in the glory of her successful book when, suddenly the book has been withdrawn on charges of plagiarising from Mcafferty's books - as many as 40 copied passages were found!!!!

Chetan is Chetan Bagat the author of Five point someone, a book that most of u have probably read....In the book he talks about Cooperate 2 dominate [C2D], a method of distributive studying, doing assignmetns and attending classes. So the 3 friends had to do bear only 1/3 rd of the workload each...and I am sure most of us have done that during college....

So, I was thinking after all these threats why would someone violate the horror code? The above stated things came to my mind and then I realised,

First off, we students in India dont see this as wrong at all, in fact that is how most of us have cleared our degrees. The three IITian friends in Chetan's book belong to this category. What is the harm in copy pasting a research article as ur assignment? that is the way we think... But alas we dont realise we are infringing on someone else's originality. When someone else builds his own house, u dont put ur name plate on the gate and claim that the house is urs right? A similar concept holds good.

Secondly, people think they can get away with it...I think Kaavya was of this category... But think for a moment.. what if u dont??? I catch myself thinking every once in a while, how ashamed does Kaavya feel now, how is she facing the people she knew!

I am writing this becos I have gone through bad experiences myself. When I went to the US for my Master's, we all desis wrote an assignment together, becos we are so used to it and one fine morning all of us were summoned and threatened on charges of plagiarism!!!! It was shocking...After a lot of pleading and shamefully explaining that is how the "system" in India works we were warned and let free.....It was an unintentional mistake, but it scared the wits out of me!!!!!

So, wat I am trying to say is - it might not seem like a big deal..... but it is REALLY A VERY BIG DEAL!!!!

4 comments:

FSN 2.2 said...

I do see your point. However, thinking about Kavya - She's already made a lot of money hasn't she? They can take away her credibility, but can they deplete her bank balance? What of people who do indulge in plagiarism/blatant but get away with it long enough to get to a REALLY comfortable position in life, at which they dont really give a damn?

Wundergal said...

Yup very true.. infact it is said that this controversy might have been a plan by alloy publishers [or entertainemt- I am not sure which] which is behind both authors..to increase sales.. which is essentially wat happend before they withdrew the book..so yes! But I am not sure how it would feel to introduce urself as Kaavya who wrote the plagiarsied book...I dont think I can live that..But again it is each individuals perception I guess!!!

Achtlandia said...

hahaha...ur experience seems very similar to the thousands of so-called MBAs who have spent the better part of two years copying and pasting for their own assignments. i am ashamed to say i am one of them, altho much reileved that thr wr such convenient ways to finish ur projects esp. when u didnt have time to breathe. however, they don't get caught for plagiarism...or unconscious internalization...lol...thank gawd fer that...the system in india does work like this...we r like this only...

Wundergal said...

yeah! but since ISB is really serious abt it.. that is exactly why we shudnt take it lighty!!

-S