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How comrade whistle blower lost his ethical virginity

- The events depicted in this blog are probably fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

- "The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed." --Edgar Allan Poe

Last year, I was part of the Propaganda department (PD) aka editorial committee. PD in my college is not the place many people want to be. It's probably one of the most boring places on earth. A department with little ambition on part of its leaders (currently headed by three very old school professors). Let me tell you a few things about the decade old PD.

 

 1. It has been reinvented so many times that many have forgotten it exists. 

 

 2. The colour of PD’s Journal is creepy. A capitalist offered us a lot of money if we changed the colour. The LEADERS refused - We have to protect the Revolution! 

 

 3. All the articles we receive have been rejected elsewhere - They come in various sizes. Some are 4 pages long and some are 50. The 50 page articles usually have 5-10 footnotes; each provided at regular intervals.

 

 4. We get a lot of articles from our own Comrades. Some borrow them from students and some from international revolutionary journals. Censored Google is getting better and we had the opportunity to bring a Comrade to his knees but ended up on ours. 

 

Last semester, we received an article from the head of the Intellectual Property Rights department. This made our hearts beat a little when we got to know what had happened. One of the boys in PD did a preliminary search on google about the paper and to his astonishment found a paper exactly on the same topic. 

 

 Alright, that's ok. People might have the same topics. Doesn't mean much! 

 

He downloaded the article and started comparing the paper. To his 'astonishment' (now remember, we don't get excited unless its something extremely stupid. We're very desensitized to ordinary plagiarism) 60% of the paper had been picked up from this article published on an international conference website. 

 

We did want to believe that Comrade Amin Dostorkey (not his real name, of course) was friends with Comrade IPR but sadly that was not to be. The good Comrade had presented the paper in 2001 and clearly at a conference in Russia where Comrade IPR had never set foot (He's lived all his life in the South America defending it from invading capitalists). The question now was what was to be done? PD got a thrill from putting Comrades like omrade IPR on their knees. They had forever been pointing out that PD was a useless department.

 

It was agreed that we'd all keep quiet about it. The student who had found out the misgiving would approach the LEADERS and inform them about their COMRADE'S indiscipline. Hail the Revolution – we all shouted. 

 

When WHISTLE BLOWER (WB) walked into the room of LEADER 1, he had this music playing in his head. It was from hollywood - revolutionary and patriotic – composed by a sympathizer of the revolution. He spent the next ten minutes briefing LEADER 1 about what he had come across. At one point he tried to feign tears to get his point across. LEADER 1 kept listening silently. When his speech ended (for WB had concluded as the background music started coming to an end ) LEADER 1 put his hands together and said –


Child, Will You Pray Tonight?

 

WB’s mind couldn't process the sentence. So he repeated the words to himself – 

 

 Child, Will You Pray Tonight? 

 

LEADER 1 explained (with even more aggressive patriotic music in mind - THY SHALL PROTECT THE ESTABLISHMENT) that he was the only qualified person the University had and there was little that could be done. His suggestion was that the Committee change the plagiarized lines and then publish the paper. WB got up and speaking no more, walked out of LEADER 1's chamber. 

 

WB walked out of the room. His heart had withdrawn into a dark corner and didn't want to beat. So he walked into the washroom and making sure no one was there, he let his tears come out. It felt like rejection; but never had it been on such wrong reasons. He couldn't give up he told himself. LEADER 2 was known to be more reasonable and if nothing else he would approach the Comrade Chairman aka Vice-Chancellor). He was on a mission and he knew this was right. 

 

LEADER 2 was not such a busy man. Sitting on his chair he was trying to learn how gmail could help him keep in touch with his grandson in New Jersey. 


 Come In, Comrade 

 

He cheerfully called in his favorite member of the committee. 


 Please have a seat! This is my son, his wife and their child. He is so playful. 

 

WB kept his calm and listened carefully as LEADER 2 explained how he had got his son educated in the United States and got him married off to a wealthy family whose daughter was working in the same city. 

 

 Life is wonderful, comrade !

 

 Clearly elated with gmail, LEADER 2 couldn’t stop speaking about it -


Apart from being able to send picturesI can also watch him play. 

 

WB thought AN OUTSOURCED MAN NANNY. Then finally after ten minutes WB was able to get to the point.


Comrade IPR has betrayed the institution. He has plagiarized! 

 

LEADER 2 kept calm and asked - 


 How did you get to know about this? 


 Google 


 Are you sure? You have some software? 


 No comrade! I found out about this from google.

 

LEADER 2 was still silent. Censored google was trustworthy. He had no doubt in his mind. Finally after contemplating he said – 


 Ok! Please send me which paragraphs have been copied. Highlight the portions. And don’t forget to send the original article. 

 

WB did as he was told and waited. There was no reply for nearly a week. So the next Monday he walked into LEADER 2’s chamber again. By now L2 had conquered gmail and was learning google wave. 

 

 Please come in Comrade WB. How was your weekend? 


 Very fine Comrade. Thank you for asking! 


 Have you used Google wave? Yes Comrade! Such a fine software. Now i can see what my son is thinking even before i get it.

 

It truly is wonderful comrade! 

 

Before L2 could continue again, WB continued – 


Comrade, I sent you the email with the plagiarized article 

 

L2’s face changed. WB’s face looked the same. His spirit was still burning for the revolution. 


I spoke to comrade chairman and we have to let this go. At best, we can modify the article. We all think that by informing comrade plagiarist, we will make him angry and god forbid he leave the revolution. 


 So We Won’t Take Any Action Against Him? 


 Comrade WB, You Have Made Your Point. I Suggest You Let Us Handle The Matter Now For Your Own Good! 

 

Comrade WB smiled and walked out. It seemed like the revolution had ended and his soul was beginning to fade. This was everything he had learnt and now the revolution was turning its back on everything it stood for. He wanted to run away but instead decided to disappear for a few days. 

 

I met him yesterday. We don’t speak much at the Revolutionary Law College even though we’re in the same batch. He told me that he was still trying to fathom what had happened last semester. He now understood that at many places in the State, plagiarism was accepted. So in order to laugh himself out of depression he was advocating that plagiarism be legalized -

 

For one, it’ll allow many people to get employment. Imagine there are so many rich kids willing to give many for quality research papers. We could start a company of our also! Second, it’ll save teachers so much time, not that they invest it but even those who do, won’t have to do it anymore. On the whole, it’ll be a much easier world. 

 

I wanted to laugh but he wasn’t even smiling. He was lying so badly because he felt betrayed after the whole ordeal. We both never made it into the Propaganda Department this year. No one did because the only people who used to apply; no longer did. Comrade WB had started a silent revolution within us that he himself did not know.

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