So, last night Google sent me the following link - Sulekha Expressions
Now, I was initially a little surprised to see that link there, since JALS hasn't been on the main Sulekha page in ages. So I clicked on the link that took me to the page, and as I expected, my story wasn't there.
Still a little curious, I checked Google's cache. And was taken to this page - Google Cache for Sulekha Expressions. (The cache entry will probably expire soon, so here's a screenshot for the sake of posterity).
As you can imagine, my surprise soon turned to shock. Someone had plagiarised my story on Sulekha itself! Yes, it did get taken off the site within a day or so, but still! The fact that it went through their review process (one that lasted four months the last time I sent them a story of mine) and passed, is proof of a gaping hole in the way Sulekha functions, isn't it?
My disillusionment with Sulekha has been increasing for quite some time.
- The management behind the portal, specially the creative section, is hardly professional anymore.
Here's a something I heard from a fellow Sulekha author -
"I submitted the story a few months ago to Sulekha, and they rejected it - quite rudely - telling me that I should consider adding a little humour to it. I then tried submitting it without any changes, a couple of months later under a different name, and this time they published it in a couple of weeks."
For the record, I considered that particular story quite funny.
- They keep adding new sections to their portal, without bothering to fix serious existing bugs.
- The link to the "Vintage" article on the site hasn't been changed in almost two years.
- Submissions sometimes take months to appear on the site, and then appear without letting the author know.
- Sulekha management is unresponsive.
- Their weblogs were supposed to have RSS support a year ago, and there is no sign of that yet.
- Private submissions magically became public during the last major upgrade, and there is no way to delete them now.
- The site design is confusing to say the least.
And now this.
Unfortunately, it is probably still the most popular forum for the Indian Community on the internet. And until that changes, they won't have any motivation to get their act together.
So, I'd just like to thank the kind soul who pointed the plagiarism out to the authorities. Thank you!
Update: Fixed broken link to JALS