Former Congress President who ran the 2019 general election campaign on ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai‘ slogan on Sunday ended up stealing a cartoon from a startup which makes quirky cartoons on news. On Sunday, the Wayanad MP shared a cartoon titled ‘COVID-19 Survival Kit’ to mock the ‘lights out’ campaign of Prime Minister Modi to extend solidarity in fight against coronavirus.
#Covid19 के विरुद्ध लड़ने वाले स्वास्थ्य क्षेत्र के डॉक्टर, नर्स, सफ़ाई कर्मचारी आदि सबका आभार व्यक्त करने के साथ ही, हमें ये भी याद रखना होगा कि अब तक सब को सुरक्षा उपकरण नहीं मिले हैं।बिना उपकरण के कई समर्पित कर्मचारी निरंतर जान जोखिम में डालने पर मजबूर हैं। pic.twitter.com/snZhszHHFW— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 5, 2020
The cartoon shared by Rahul Gandhi tried to mock the campaign by claiming that while the other countries are looking at masks, sanitisers and hygiene for fighting coronavirus, India is resorting to diyas, torches and banging vessels. Rahul Gandhi conveniently forgets that the lighting lamps and clapping and ringing bells are symbolic gestures to create a feeling that we are all together in this fight against Chinese coronavirus. The masks, PPEs and other equipments are being made available to the doctors at war footing.
However, even while mocking the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi stole someone else’s artwork, cropped out the watermark and denied credit to the toon-startup.
The cartoon was created by SnapNews, which called out the former Congress President for using their artwork without their permission and due credit.
Dear Mr. Gandhi. While we are flattered that you used Snapnews artwork, however we do believe it would have been appropriate had you given us the credit. @INCIndia @JaiveerShergill @ShashiTharoor @Pawankhera @DrAMSinghvi @ManishTewari pic.twitter.com/7xTJPjNDfA— Snapnews (@snapnews3) April 5, 2020
Vishal Bhargava, one of the partners at SnapNews, while speaking to OpIndia said that, “We would have appreciated if he had taken permission and not cropped out our logo. It is quite prominent on the top left corner. The top part is edited and only central part of cartoon was shared.”
This is not the first time Congress has been caught red-handed stealing creative ideas of others and passing them off as original ideas.
Back in 2017, too, Congress had stolen a cartoonist’s artwork and even removed his signature before passing it off as original artwork.
Please stop editing/mutilating my cartoons before using them…I’m not drawing them for you— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) October 23, 2017
In an even more hilarious copy-cat instance, Gujarat Congress, which is harbouring hopes of revival in Gujarat, seems to have borrowed their tagline, “Congress Aave Chhe” from a cooking oil brand, Pankaj, which had the tagline “Pankaj Aave Chhe”, months before Congress came up with the tagline. Earlier, too, Congress had ‘copied‘ the ‘Main Nahin, Hum’ tagline of Gujarat government chintan shivir during their 2014 campaign.
We had also reported how the idea of “Indira canteen” in Karnataka may have been directly lifted from the food subsidisation programme run by Tamil Nadu Government, “Amma Canteen”, which Rahul Gandhi inadvertently ended up crediting. In 2016, a cartoonist had alleged that Congress forced him to take off his cartoon.
Not only media cell, even former ministers from the UPA have been accused of plagiarism. The Hindu had published an article ‘From welfare to paternalism’ by Veerappa Moily, on June 11, 2015, which they had to withdraw after charges of plagiarism were put on Moily. As reported, several paragraphs under a subheading were copied from another article by G Sampath which was published on 26th May, 2015, ironically in The Hindu itself. Also speaks volumes about the editorial standards of the publication.
Seems like Congress steals not just our money, but also our ideas.