Art & Entertainment

‘Made In Heaven 2’ Controversy: Yashica Dutt And Sumit Baudh Fight It Out On Social Media

A controversy around an episode of ‘Made In Heaven 2’ refuses to die down. Two of the writers, who were claimed by the makers of the show as inspirations, are now going on social media and fighting a battle of words.

Yashica Dutt, Radhika Apte, Sumit Baudh

A few days back, Yashica Dutt claimed on social media that the makers of ‘Made In Heaven 2’ had allegedly taken her ‘life’s work’ without ‘permission or credit’ in one of the episodes of the show. That's the start of this entire plagiarism controversy. Here’s what she wrote:

The makers retorted by slamming her and denying her claims. In a joint statement by all four filmmakers – Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Alankrita Srivastava and Neeraj Ghaywan – they opened up about how they had not picked the story from any one source and they went on to name a few sources of inspiration that they had taken while penning the episode in question. Yashika Dutt’s book, which was published in 2019, and Sumit Baudh’s article which was published in 2007, were two of the sources of inspiration. However, the makers were very clear that they had not taken up anyone’s story specifically.

Soon after, Sumit Baudh took to social media to call out the ‘hypocrisy’ in Yashika Dutt’s plagiarism allegations against the filmmakers. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Baudh wrote, “‘As a journalist and as a writer, ideas are how I survive,’ she said. ‘If I’m not credited and they’ve made money on top of that, then that’s not okay.’ Amusing to note the obvious hypocrisy here—of @YashicaDutt’s failure to credit my article (of 2007) in her book (of 2019) (sic).”

Yashica Dutt hit back soon afterwards. In her justification, Dutt wrote, “Like a massive section of the community, I had not read Sumit Baudh’s 2007 piece, where he ‘comes out’ to his roommate at 18 after not knowing of his cast most of his life, until it resurfaced online last week (sic).” Here’s her entire statement, which she shared in a threat on X:

In the closing statement of her justification, Yashika Dutt writes, “Baudh did not know of his caste(Jatav) until they were older, I lived w/the shame of being Bhangi my entire life & put up with years of hateful attacks & abuses to be able to sit on a international stages & say 'my grandmother cleaned toilets' We are NOT the same (sic).”

Soon afterwards, Yashica Dutt again wrote:

Sumit Baudh didn’t take this lying down. He too came out in response guns blazing. Here’s what he had to say:

Sumit Baudh then went on to talk even further on this topic while responding to a few other similar posts as well. Have a look:

Amidst all of this, Neeraj Ghaywan, who reportedly directed the aforementioned episode, also spoke up about Yashica Dutt’s claims.

Talking to Mid-Day in an interview, Ghaywan said, “Art is subjective. Art is reflecting reality, and if it won’t, it will be hollow. Would you tell Truffaut, that all the influences you have shown, all the post-modern kitsch that you’ve shown, why haven’t you attributed them? Because a lot of things come from reality. You have to see things from that lens of art.”

Neeraj Ghayan also opened up saying that the central character of the episode, played by Radhika Apte, was in many ways based on him. “Yes it’s me,” Ghaywan said. “I was worried will my family get affected, will my nieces unfollow me on Instagram. But seeing this love you feel your demons have vanquished. That’s why it is a bit overwhelming,” he added in the same interview.

For the unversed, back in 2018, Neeraj Ghaywan had publicly owned his Dalit identity while slamming an alleged casteist tweet by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri.

Ghaywan went on to add, “It is so scary to put out something you’ve spent all your years growing up, hiding away from the world and then to suddenly to put yourself out there on a show that is going to 300 countries, it was really scary.”

In the interview, Ghaywan also reveals how he took from his own life, the incident of Radhika Apte’s character using a caste-neutral last name Kumar. “For the longest time I have had Kumar because as soon as you tell someone your full name, there is the last name scrutiny in our country, there is an endemic. They want to know where you are from, location, about your parents, gotra, caste… It’s genuinely scarring. In my passport, my last name is still Kumar. But I’ve reclaimed Ghaywan. It’s been five years.”

Neeraj Ghaywan also revealed how the brother’s track was also inspired by his real life. He explained that when he opened up about his Dalit identity many in his extended family were miffed. “They felt miffed, that I put them out there, it’s in the press, everybody knows they’re related to me. That complexity is what drove us for the brother’s track (in the episode). And he is also right when he says you don’t live in India, but we have to live with this reality every day.”

Not just Neeraj Ghaywan, even Radhika Apte couldn’t stop herself from talking about this entire plagiarism controversy. In a conversation with Hindustan Times, when asked about this she said, “I strongly feel that no matter what both the parties are talking about and feeling, I know for a fact that neither of them [makers of the show and the author] want the good effects or the good consequences of this episode to be diminished even for a minute. They both are on the same side when it comes to championing the cause and saying that it is a great thing that an episode about this issue has come on mainstream platform, and it shouldn’t be cancelled or should be banned. It should be only looked at positively. We are all on the same side in the end.”

Indeed, the episode is getting praise from all over. Dr BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar has even praised the Neeraj Ghaywan-directed episode. What more can a filmmaker ask for?

Not just the episode, but the entire season of ‘Made In Heaven 2’ has been praised a lot for showcasing the wedding planner industry in such in-depth detail. The show has been praised for bringing out the travails, the labours, the toils and the grind that wedding planners go through in order to make the bride and groom’s day the most special day of their lives.