Popular theatre artiste and actor Mandya Ramesh and Sujatha Akki, authors of ‘Chama Chaluve,’ a play based on folk traditions, which is being staged in the city for the last couple of days, have been accused of plagiarism.
Folklore scholar P K Rajashekar accused Sujatha Akki of indulging in plagiarism. Rajashekar accused Mandya Ramesh, the director of the play ‘Chama Chaluve,’ for directing it.
Interacting with reporters here on Friday, Dr Rajashekar cautioned that if Mandya Ramesh did not stop staging the play immediately, he, as well as playwright Sujatha Akki, would be sued next week.
Comparing Sujatha Akki to the thieves who steal crops in the darkness, Rajashekar criticised Ramesh for directing a plagiarised play.
“I did not take it seriously when my friends and well-wishers informed me about plagiarism after watching the play. I raised my voice against the blatant plagiarism in the play after watching it myself.
“The whole script, characters, dialogues and songs were picked up from my play ‘Chamundi Siri Chamundi’. It was brought to the notice of Sujatha Akki. She failed to justify her work and even Mandya Ramesh expressed his helplessness in taking a decision to stop the ongoing play, saying that he had spent a lot in bringing the play to the stage,” he said.
Giving evidence in support of his claims, Dr Rajshekar said that he had penned ‘Chamundi Siri Chamundi’ and created some characters such as Hiridevathe, Dhoomadoota, Tamraksha, Adishesha and Basavanna.
Sujatha Akki had copied all these characters in ‘Chama Chaluve’, and dialogues in all the scenes. He said the songs used in the play - ‘Olidu Barammayya Olidu Bare’ and ‘Mathannado Shambhu’ - were also picked up from his play.
“The techniques and skills used by Mandya Ramesh in bringing the play to the stage are wonderful. I appreciate him for this. But I strongly object to the contents of my work being used in ‘Chama Chaluve’,” he said, indicating that he would not accept staging of the play even if they tender an apology.