Tuesday, 25 April 2017


We have been cheated

This is how it works for fly-by-night experts to exploit shamelessly our hard researched and published work of many years and become celebrity author overnight.  They also know the right time to strike. Ethnic Indian regional cuisine is in vogue currently. The case in point is Chef Sunil Soni from Kenya  (now Corporate Chef with Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, Delhi).

We in academics have a saying in Hindi that “Nakal ke liye bhi akal chaahiye” meaning “You need brains too for cheating”. Here is a case of an Internationally travelled and a learned, literate person who has no qualms about unhesitatingly lifting up word-by-word the  explanations, recipes etc. from book authored by us and claiming it to be his original work as a result of an extensive research. Out and out “Copy & Paste” operation. How convenient.

It makes us feel like suckers and soft targets.

No one can imagine how blatantly the text has been copied word-by-word without any distortion from our book by Chef Sunil Soni. All in all 42 recipes, 24 explanatory notes of recipes and 12 chapters notes have been copied from our book.

Details of “Copy & Paste” operation

A Chef goes to Lucknow, visits few eateries and clicks pictures with owners / cooks. He copies the text from a well-researched published work by Lucknow based us academicians.  Publication is 20 years old and has done three International editions in years 1997, 2006 & 2015. Alongwith the pictures from Lucknow trip and the copied text he compiles a book on Awadh cuisine, calls it an intensively researched first ever treatise on Awadh cuisine. Then he ropes in a Celebrity TV Chef to write a foreword for the book. He does not stop here. A book release function is organized and the book is released by a leading Congress politician who was Ex-central Tourism & Civil Aviation Minister, Ex-Governor J&K,  Erstwhile Ruler of J&K, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, an Author and Ph.D. holder in presence of media. Manages good coverage in print and social media. Few pictures with celebrities on his FB page. And ……… the book is out on sale.

Mission accomplished.

Year 2015 Plagiarised version of “Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh” published under title of “Jashn-e-Oudh”

Name of the copied book – “ Jashn-e-Oudh” published in Year 2015 by Shubhi Publication

Author :  Chef Sunil Soni (Chef of a Resort in Kenya, Africa)
                 Currently Corporate Chef of Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, Delhi

Book release by : Dr. Karan Singh, Ex-Governor J&K and Central Tourism & Civil                                               Aviation Minister

Foreword by :  Celebrity TV Chef Ranveer Brar

Copied from original work in the book – “Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh – The cuisine of Awadh” published in 1997, 2006 & 2015 Harper Collins (India)
Original Authors – Dr. Sangeeta Bhatnagar (Ex-Faculty Lucknow University) & Raj Kumar Saxena (Ex-Principal – Institutes  of Hotel Management, Lucknow for 14 years and Mumbai for 10 years + 16 years in Hospitality Industry)

Year 2015 edition

Year 2006 edition
Year 1997 edition
Copied Text (Few examples)
Reviews of copied book



 PR pictures on Chef Soni's FB page


So now what do we do ?
Get out of slumber and google Copyrights Act, study it for rules of plagiarism, get a lawyer, spend money to initiate legal proceedings, contact the publisher, ask them what to do, ask friends for remedy – all this after 20 years of publication of our book. Thanks God it has happened in our lifetime.  What if the similar thing was done after our death? Who will bother?
We need to name and shame such so-called experts through social media.
We seek your support in sharing this blog with many like-minded friends you know.
Thanks in advance for your support.