Hindustan Times copies SM’s homework

The “venerable” Hindustan Times newspaper had a very interesting article posted to its website earlier today titled “Brawn and Bikinis.” It briefly profiled two very unusual Indian Americans who will surely capture the interest and imagination of Sepia Mutiny readers:

In further evidence of their remarkable integration into the US mainstream, Indian Americans made their first mark in two facets of US popular culture: an iconic swimsuit calendar and the American football championship game.

A Harvard University student has become the first Indian-American to be featured in the magazine Sports Illustrated’s celebrated swimsuit issue. Sonia Dara appears in the 2010 issue that went on sale in the US on Tuesday.

Another Indian-American made immigrant history on Sunday by becoming the first from the community to be on a team competing in the Superbowl, the American football championship game and the country’s biggest sporting event. That was John Singh Gill of the losing team, the Indianapolis Colts. [Link]

Hmmmm. Those two items seem awfully familiar! Didn’t I just read about both these topics somewhere else on the internet this past week?? Oh. Right. I read about them in two of the last 5 blog posts right here on SM.

You see, Anirudh Bhattacharyya decided to simply take two of our latest posts and combine them into one of his original stories without mentioning or citing SM as the source for the idea. At SM we get ideas for stories from lots of places, including mainstream newspapers. But at least we always cite them. Let us fisk some more, shall we? Take the next paragraph:

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, first published in 1964, is an iconic American publication. It has served as a launching pad for many future supermodels, including Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum. The issue attracts tens of millions of dollars in advertising.

This paragraph was paraphrased and spliced together straight out of the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for the SI Swimsuit issue. Everything else in the article seems to be lifted without attribution from other sources already published on the web. I hope the Hindustan Times isn’t paying for this mimicry. They should just pay us the money instead since our writers are doing the work. Shame shame. I know your name.

Update: The journalist’s name sounded familiar so I searched my email inbox. I had spoken to Mr. Bhattacharyya back in 2005. He wanted to interview us about Sepia Mutiny.

Hi Abhi,

I got your email from [name deleted]… I’m working on an article on desi blogs and wanted to look at sepiamutiny in that context. Is there a number you can be reached at? And what day and time is usually good for you?


Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Editor, mantram
Consulting Editor, South Asia World

So again, we are absolutely thrilled when someone wants to publish a “mainstream” story based on an idea they got from one or more of our posts. Just cite the fact that your idea came from here is all we ask. It’s only fair

51 thoughts on “Hindustan Times copies SM’s homework

  1. I rarely comment but i want to take this opputunity to appreciate you and other SM contributors like pillygirl, Anna and taz,I live in dubai and was following your site for the last 4 years or so.