The Fear of Online Theft in India

I’ve been creating a lot of new art (ok, I know it’s just a few basic things, but frequently). I have been painting and sketching and coloring. I love it. I love it just like I enjoy writing random notes on my blog, like these. I write professionally, so while writing can get overwhelming, drawing is still one of my leisurely extravagances. While I draw, sometimes I feel the need to share- especially with my friends and family. And yet, the fear of online theft in India makes me give up.

The Fear of Online Theft in India

It’s like having photographs of your kids up. And then you feel someone’s going to download them without your permission and then share them on a company brochure with their own logo. I see people write on Quora often asking, if they can use “Google images” for their personal usage. I see people saying publicly that “if it’s on the internet, it’s for free“. I see Indians saying it so often that it kills me.

What do we do wrong in letting young people feel that they don’t need to work hard to get things? Or value someone else’s effort? Or always find shortcuts off the Internet instead of investing their own times? Why have we become a country of serial plagiarists specializing in a copy-paste economy? Especially, as we go all out blaming the Chinese made copies?

It kills me.

When I was a kid, a few winters after we had been thrown out mercilessly from the valley (or which ever story you buy, we were out of home), at that time a strange thing happened. We heard in sensational news that, a part of the valley had received black snow. Perhaps it was emissions or pollution or a nearby factory, I was too young to know. But many referenced this Kashmiri phrase, which said “when so and so happens, teli payi kruhun sheen” – if something like this happens, then black snow would fall- basically referring to an impossible situation. What you’re saying is as impossible as black snow. But the impossible had happened. People were seething not scientific and said it’s because we had been robbed of homes.

Today, as I sorted out (and thankfully I was able to) an issue where someone just scrapped off my name/logo from an image that I had made, perhaps in MS Paint, I thought about kruhun sheen. Shit happens. And doing what I do now, I am no longer sitting in the spectator spot covered.