Word by word: Kerala blogger accuses UK-based writer of plagiarising his work

Manoj Ravindran Niraksharan has accused Karoor Soman of plagiarizing his travelogues in his 2015 Malayalam book ‘Spain: Kalapporinte Naadu’.
Word by word: Kerala blogger accuses UK-based writer of plagiarising his work
Word by word: Kerala blogger accuses UK-based writer of plagiarising his work
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Manoj Ravindran Niraksharan, an avid blogger from Ernakulam, was startled when a friend sent him a photograph of a page from a Malayalam book. 

The words that filled the page were more than familiar to him, for he says that he wrote them way back in 2011. While Manoj's first assumption was that some publisher would have lifted his travelogue from his blog and published it without seeking permission from him, he soon got to know that his words were part of another author's book. 

The first edition of Spain: Kalapporinte Naadu, written by UK-based Malayali author Karoor Soman was published in 2015 by Mathrubhumi Books.

Two years and two editions later, Manoj has now accused Karoor of plagiarism. Though Karoor has not directly responded to the accusation, in a Facebook post, he has said that there were people who unleash baseless allegations against people on social media and that they need to be trashed. 

Manoj, who writes under the name Niraksharan, is also a published author. His first book Muzirisiloode was also published in 2015.

Speaking to TNM, Manoj said that Karoor has lifted several pages from his blog posts, and has included them in his book on Spain. 

"I haven't completed reading the book yet, but till now I have found multiple pages where my work has been lifted and published without any edit. In some pages, my work is published as it is and in some others, a few paragraphs from my blog have been inserted. In my Spain travelogue, I had written about my daughter Neha and my wife, who accompanied me on the trip. In Karoor's book, he just lifted paragraphs after paragraphs from my travelogue. The names of my daughter and wife have not been edited out," Manoj said. 

Manoj said that when a common friend took up the matter with Karoor, he was defiant. 

"Karoor Soman accused me of plagiarising his work. But it is evident to all my readers that he has copied my work. There are certain phrases I have been constantly using in my posts over the years, and if Karoor is claiming that he has written them, then he has to prove how my family's names have featured in his book. He is answerable," Manoj said. 

Karoor has authored several Malayalam books, including Chandrayan and Kadalinakkare Ikkare.

Legal action

Manoj has decided to pursue the matter legally, and told TNM that he is going to send Karoor a legal notice. Manoj is also considering approaching law enforcement agencies in the UK, since Karoor is a UK citizen. 

Manoj said that he would pursue the case come what may, as he wants to set an example on the issue of plagiarism.

"I want to convey that it is not alright to lift other people's work. This particular author has published more than 50 books in a span of 10 years and several of my friends in the UK have now reached out to me saying that this author is infamous for employing ghostwriters. This tendency to lift other people's creative work needs to stop. He is not a genuine person. If this tendency is there in Malayalam literature, then it needs to stop," Manoj said. 

He has also taken up the matter with Mathrubhumi Books, and said that the publishing house has assured to withdraw the book from publication. 

"They have assured me that they will also move legally against Karoor Soman and will support me in my fight against plagiarism. I have marked portions of my blog posts that are there in the book. I will hand it over to Mathrubhumi Books so that they can go ahead with the legalities," Manoj said. 

However, when TNM reached out to a senior official at Mathrubhumi Books, he refused to comment on the issue.

Despite several attempts to contact Karoor Soman, TNM was unable to get his response. The copy will be updated when the writer responds.

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