I Have More Ideas Than Money: Juhi Chaturvedi on Plagiarism Row

Gulabo Sitabo’s writer Juhi Chaturvedi opens up on the controversy surrounding the film.

Published12 Jun 2020, 11:34 AM IST
2 min read

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Gulabo Sitabo is out on Amazon Prime Video. The film is written by Juhi Chaturvedi who has collaborated with Shoojit Sircar for projects such as Vicky Donor, Piku and October. The Quint spoke to Juhi about the world she chooses to show on the screen.

“I have lived a very mundane life myself. A lot of the characters are inspired by people around me and my life because that’s the closest contact I have,” says Juhi. Talking about how Gulabo Sitabo came in to being she says she shared the idea of Mirza’s character (Amitabh Bachchan in the film) with Amitabh Bachchan in 2017 and he gave his thumbs up after which she started developing the script.

Writer Juhi Chaturvedi says that she knew she will probably not get another chance to tell a story about Lucknow again, so she took the time to write the film and let it “simmer”.

Speaking about the plagiarism controversy about the film, Juhi says that she knows it’s a 2017 story. “I have more ideas than money in the bank account. This is like questioning our integrity. This is not our upbringing,” she says.

Akira had alleged that his father had submitted his story ‘13, Mohandas Lane’ in Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest - promoted by the Screenwriters Association (SWA), of which Juhi was a jury member and thus had access to the story.

However, in a statement released by the film’s makers, it is claimed that Juhi never had access to that particular script. “The real facts are that in 2017, Juhi had shared the idea of a crooked old man with Mr. Bachchan, who liked the idea and then asked her to develop it. She then developed the idea and the concept was registered by her in May 2018. Furthermore, Juhi never received a copy of the supposedly copied script. Anjum Rajabali and the SWA have independently confirmed this as well. On May 29th 2020 the Screenwriters Association ruled in favour of Juhi,” reads the statement.

Watch the video to find out more.

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