By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Karishma Mehta is one of the most famous personalities on social media, as she is the founder of a popular page on Instagram that goes by the name, Humans Of Bombay. The page has a massive fanbase of 3 million followers and is dedicated to bringing authentic and inspiring stories of Mumbaikars to the world.
Not only this, the official website of Humans Of Bombay also features a book, Bombay: Ordinary People Extraordinary Stories, which is written by Karishma, who is also a writer by profession. The book has some of the most remarkable stories covered by Karishma and her team.
However, in September 2023, she indulged in a huge controversy and was all over the news. The controversy not only made people troll her but also questioned her claims that Humans Of Bombay was her original idea. However, before we jump into the controversy, here are some things that you must know about Karishma. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Karishma Mehta is madly in love with the city of dreams, Mumbai, because she was born and brought up in this beautiful city. As per multiple reports, she went to Bombay Scottish School, Mahim. Afterwards, she went to Bengaluru, where she took admission to a boarding school to complete her schooling.
For her degree, Karishma Mehta went to the UK and took admission to the famous University of Nottingham, where she pursued a Bachelor of Business and Economics degree. After completing her degree in the UK, she started working as a professional writer for various publications. One of her major clients was National Geographic, with whom she had worked for a long time as a freelance writer.
In recent years, we have also seen her giving powerful TEDx Talks about her journey from being a business and economics student to running a space which tells stories about the people of Mumbai. Apart from enlightening youngsters with her thoughts, Karishma has also spoken a few times at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
It was in 2014 when Karishma Mehta decided to build a space where she could document stories of normal people, who make Mumbai special. With her expertise in penning content and interest in photography, Karishma thought of mixing together to bring authentic stories from Mumbai in front of the world. The idea was quite thoughtful, and in 2014, she created a page on Facebook by the name, Humans Of Bombay.
In the beginning, she had only two interns with her, but as of now, she has a team of six people, who help her take her idea, Humans Of Bombay, to a notch higher. As per the official website of Humans Of Bombay, Karishma and her team have covered 6000 stories in a period of eight years, which is quite remarkable. The website also claims that it is India’s only storytelling platform that has a unique way of telling individual stories.
In September 2023, Karishma Mehta filed a copyright lawsuit against the online platform, People Of India. As per Karishma’s plea, POI has allegedly used the video and pictures from the Humans Of Bombay’s page and YouTube channel without permission. Not only this, the plea also suggests that POI’s format and way of storytelling is quite similar to HOB.
As soon as Karishma filed a lawsuit against POI, who has been doing what she was doing for some years now, a series of people started trolling the woman entrepreneur. The reason? Well, for the unversed, Karishma’s idea of documenting stories is quite similar to Brandon Stanton, who is the founder of Humans Of New York. The people are reacting to the controversy and reminding Karishma that she also took the inspiration from Brandon’s Humans Of New York page, and now, if someone else is doing the same, why is she getting furious?
On September 23, 2023, Brandon Stanton, who is the founder of Humans Of New York and the man who did it first, before Karishma Mehta and the People Of India. However, when Brandon came to know about Karishma’s page, which was quite similar to his page and way of storytelling, he didn’t file any lawsuit. In his recent tweet, he mentioned the same and wanted the same sense of response from Karishma. His tweet could be read as:
"I've stayed quiet on the appropriation of my work because I think @HumansOfBombay shares important stories, even if they've monetized far past anything I'd feel comfortable doing on HONY. But you can't be suing people for what I've forgiven you for."
As soon as Brandon Stanton tweeted this, the entire internet broke down, and people started hailing him and trolling Karishma Mehta for filing a lawsuit as if it was her original idea.
However, soon, an official statement was released by Humans Of Bombay in which they shared how Brandon doesn’t know the whole point behind the lawsuit. An excerpt from the tweet could be read as:
"Dear Brandon, As with the hundreds of Humans of chapters around the world, we love and understand the power of storytelling. It's therefore shocking that a cryptic assault on our efforts to protect our intellectual property is made in this manner, especially without understanding the background of the case."
It’ll be interesting to see where this case will go, but what are your thoughts on Karishma Mehta and the way she has built a name for herself by bringing stories from scratch? Let us know.