Morality of 3 idiots and Chetan Bhagat? Afterthoughts of Chetan Bhagat and 3 idiots controversy

The basis of Chetan Bhagat’s argument over not giving him “due credit” in the film 3 idiots has been moral and not legal.

Bhagat had entered into a contract with Vinod Chopra Films Private Ltd, under which he assigned the rights of film adaptation to the production house. He was given a certain sum of money in return. The author admits to this and there is no confusion here.

What Bhagat has argued is about the credits in the film and its attribution to the novel. For the first two times that I watched the film, I missed the credit to the author just like Bhagat’s mother did. It squeezes in one line “Based on the novel “Five Point Someone” by Chetan Bhagat”, at the end of the film just before the Special Thanks begin. The script writer Abhijat Joshi is credited right at the start of the movie. Moreover, Bhagat is also upset with what the producers’ have claimed – that the movie contains only 5 percent of the book.

Having read Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and watched the movie it is quite easy to draw comparisons between them. The script of 3 idiots borrows significantly from the book and one cannot dispute this. (For similarities you can follow the link)

When a journalist had interrogated Vidhu Vinod Chopra about the similarity, the producer of the film had very wryly questioned “have you read the book?” When the journalist answered in the negative, he said “Then Shut Up.” I would have interpreted it as - then “Go and first read the book.” It is difficult to ascertain that the controversy meant an increase in the sale of Five Point Someone or more audiences for 3 idiots. But I know of at least 10 people who read the book only after the controversy. And many others who had earlier read the book and now watched the movie to find out about the controversy that the media was highlighting. Thus, both the parties benefitted.

I am not saying that everything was scripted. But, both the author and the actor are known to market their products in a number of "different" ways. Who knows?

The views expressed in the article are personal.