Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 19:
There are two sides to every story, every accusation and every controversy. Odisha Sun Times spoke to fashion designer Pritam Panda yesterday and today we bring to you Mr. Ram Ratan, the whistle-blower to this entire Pritam-Panda-is-a-cheat hullabaloo on Facebook.
For starters, there’s no one such as Ram Ratan. That’s just a pseudo name used to make Pritam Panda’s alleged dishonesty public.
Below is a detailed one-to-one with Ram Ratan. So readers, here is Ram Ratan decoded for you exclusively on Odisha Sun Times:
OST: Where are you based?
RR: We would request you not to hunt for us. If we feel, if it’s required at any point of time, we would come ourselves. We are not the culprits, neither we are trying to hide. Just that we don’t want to get into the mess, so we chose to reveal all the infrmation via an anonymous profile.
OST: Are you an individual or a group of people working towards the goal of exposing fashion designer Pritam Panda?
RR: We would like to clarify, we are concerned about someone with fake credentials bagging awards, which is highly unethical. Yes, you read it right. It’s WE, collaboratively all of us standing up for the cause-SAY NO TO PLAGIARISM.
OST: When did you first smell something fishy in Pritam Panda and his claims of being an international haute couture designer?
RR: At various points, for quite sometime, we all have smelt something fishy in the content Pritam Panda shared. We never bothered too much until we all came across each other and our thoughts recently. We are surprised that no one ever put this up. After sharing it on social media, some individuals also came forward claiming that they too had smelt things fishy, but never bothered to raise the topic.
OST: How long have you been tracking Pritam Panda and his alleged plagiarism?
RR: We never tracked him, until recently one of us had few leisure hours. Again surprised that what we could do in few hours, the media has never done it in years! The media should take the responsibility to verify what they publish, because the common man believes everything they come across in the media and never questions. At least the media should raise a question of authenticity before publishing, considering the potential harm.
OST: Why has it taken you this long to come up with these allegations if you had proof earlier?
RR: Though it’s been long since he has bragged about his fake achievements, it never took us long to find out. Just that, we were lost in our worlds with our own difficulties. We didn’t take much time from the start to finish. Just a few hours.
OST: Do you think the Bhubaneswar-based design house Pritam Panda is working for, has any knowledge of this faux pas?
RR: We hope you are not talking about this Faux Pas – http://fashion.
If you are talking about this revelation, we are sure they should be aware of this by now.
OST: Is the international or even national fashion community aware of this?
RR: We don’t think, the national or international fashion community is bothered to know what’s happening in Odisha or they even know who Pritam Panda is. Odisha could be a great place to produce the raw material, but unfortunately has not been able to set the trend yet in modern fashion. And with such derogatory incidents, credible creative individuals are discouraged to get into or remain in Odisha business.
OST: Did you ever warn Pritam Panda to stop morphing pictures?
RR: We don’t think that it would have been of any use with our intentions to stop plagiarism. Someone who has been following plagiarism so religiously, wouldn’t have stopped in any other way.
OST: What are your intentions in exposing Pritam Panda?
RR: To stop plagiarism, encourage people to question before believing. Nurture genuine talent and creativity, not the copy cats.
OST: We could always assume that you could have morphed Pritam Panda’s original pictures with those of other celebrities to defame him. How will you refute this argument?
RR: To our utter surprise, actually a few people did that. But after going through all that we have revealed, which contains all the original sources with the designer details, if you question our authenticity. We wish you would have done that earlier, this day would have never come.
We have taken enough care and precision not to quote any ambiguous source and get the authentic information from the original sources and creators.
OST: What other evidence do you have of Pritam Panda’s plagiarism?
RR: We have found out that the most of the claims he has ever made of achievements outside Odisha are fake or non existent.
The first edition of the year 2000 of Murex D’or was focused on Lebanese Artists, however from the second edition onwards the event went more Pan-Arab and regional. The photographs he mentioned that of Murex are of another Arabic award ceremony whereas the FIORDELLI photographs are of Murex 2010, as FIORDELLI was the sponsor for the event.
The photograph that he mentioned of Bipasha Basu wearing his design, was a design by one of the renowned designer Suneet Verma for Bipash Basu on the occasion of IIFA 2012 in Singapore.
The photograph he mentioned of as his design featured in ILUSTRADO magazine, is by Eric Delos Santos.
The design Pritam Panda calls ‘Black Swan’ on Bipasha Basu, is designed by the famous designer Namrata Joshipura.
All the pop singers’ photographs which have been mentioned by Pritam as his designs are absolutely fake. We have revealed many along with the latest one of Mariah Carey, and there was a wardrobe malfunction. Upon we questioning the same, Pritam immediately deleted that post, subsequently all other morphed images, and then the account.
There has never been any acknowledgements from the celebrities he claims to have worked with/designed for nor any mentions of his work from their end.
OST: Once Pritam Panda begins to call you a liar or a jealous co-designer, what will your strategy be next?
RR: We know, he would. We can only laugh. On a serious note, we would love to listen to what Pritam Panda says now, only if he speaks in public.
His well wishers were expecting him in Odisha in April first week, if he arrives in town (not his photoshopped image) let’s meet up over a cup of coffee.
It is difficult to call someone a liar or question their credibility at this point. But with the evidence and the blatant replies by the pseudo Ram Ratan, it seems Panda has a lot of explaining to do.