A poem has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, with social media users falsely attributing it to late Ram Jethmalani, who passed away on September 8, 2019.
The poem was originally posted on Hyderabad-based news website Siasat Daily in December 2017, and was attributed to Delhi-based author Rashmi Trivedi. Trivedi also posted the poem on her Facebook page around the same time, and claimed it as her own work.
On September 8, 2019, Jethmalani – a former lawyer and politician – passed away due to old age just six days before his 96th birthday at his residence in New Delhi.
Just three days after his death, the poem started appearing on Facebook and Twitter, with the following caption: “A lovely poem by Ram Jethmalani!
who died at 95″.
While searching on Facebook and Twitter with the caption mentioned above, BOOM found that the poem has gone viral on both the platforms, while being attributed to Jethmalani.
“The poem is not written by him (Ram Jethmalani), it’s not his style. This is pure fakery.”– Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, son of late Ram Jethmalani
BOOM reached out to Bombay High Court advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, son of late Ram Jethmalani, who refuted the claims of the poem being written by his father.
“There is no vegetable vendor he visited who’s son is called Chhotu (as mentioned in the poem). The poem is not written by him, it’s not his style. This is pure fakery,” Mahesh Jethmalani told BOOM.
BOOM did a Google search with the first paragraph of the poem, and was redirected to an archived article by Siasat Daily from 2017, which carried the poem and attributed it to Delhi-based author Rashmi Trivedi.
The poem was also shared by Trivedi herself on her Facebook account, on December 2, 2017.
Upon going through the comments of the post it becomes clear that Trivedi takes credit for writing it and also mentions that the poem has been plagiarised by others on various occasions.
BOOM reached out to Trivedi, who confirmed to us that she did indeed write the poem.
“Yes. This (poem) has been penned by me. This is not the first time this has happened . Many of my poems get circulated in WhatsApp with wrong credits or without any credits. It was frustrating earlier but now console myself with the fact that people like them that’s why they copy,” she told BOOM.
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Archis is a fact-checker and reporter at BOOM. He has previously worked as a journalist for broadsheet newspapers and in communications for a social start-up incubator. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and a Master's in Media and Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam.
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