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Blog Wars October 13, 2005

Posted by espritnoir in Uncategorized.

Bloggers of the world unite!

For a while now, Blogging has been one of the final frontiers for the champions of “Free Speech with Responsibility”. However, I truly realized the full power and potential of the blog just today.

In a nutshell,

Some time back, Rashmi Bansal, editor of JAM magazine, put up a link on her blog (youthcurry.blogspot.com) to an article that had been published by her magazine. This article questioned the credibility of IIPM as one of the “premier business schools in Asia” , by systematically questioning certain claims made in their full page ads in national dailies. The article itself, was quite bland, without resorting to any sensationalism, and also gave credit where due. But, it wasn’t in any way defamatory, spiteful or in any ways malicious. However, some (or as most bloggers think, just one individual, using several identities) IIPM students took offence at this, and started what can now only be described as the “BlogWars”. They decided to spam Bansal’s blog with spite mail, and malicious comments, questioning not only her academic qualifications and journalistic skills (justified) but attacking her moral character, sexual orientation and more (abso-FUCKIN-lutely unjustified and undignified). Meanwhile, on the other side of the cyberforest, another blogger, Gaurav Sabnis (gauravsabnis.blogspot.com) took up Bansal’s case, and made some points he felt were justified in support of her story. Now, these deranged IIPM sycophants (or sycophant) turned their attention to Sabnis. IIPM sent him a doubtful legal notice, contacted his employer – IBM, and claimed that their students threatened to burn their IBM Thinkpads in front of the IBM office, if the company didn’t force Sabnis to retract his words. Sabnis, when he was informed about this by IBM, chose a higher moral ground, and instead of retracting the words he stood by, chose to quit his job at IBM, to avoid any undue hassles for them!

Here, let me state that I really cannot comment on the validity of JAMs and Sabnis’ claims regarding the credibility of IIPM. I really don’t know how good or bad it is, cause till now, I haven’t ever had reason to care. However, I do state my personal OPINION, (which, when I last checked the Indian Constitution, is still one of my basic rights) when I say I really cannot think much of an institute where the head honcho moonlights as a wannabe movie maker, and actually made a lousy movie during the academic year. But, that aside, how much credibility do you think one should have for an institute that holds a company ransom, blackmailing them to get one of their employees to retract a statement made on a personal blog. Even their legal notice to Sabnis, seems to be crafted by one of the budding movie writers who probably spawn in the green lawns of sidey B-schools, while erstwhile pursuing an MBA degree. (Now that’s what I call Dual Specialization – a pure filmi MBA. “Ma, main MBA college main First Class First aya hoon ma. Abhi to tum khush ho na, Ma! Tumhara sapna poora hua na, Ma? Ab to mujhe bata do mera baap kaun hai!”) And leave alone Sabnis, the comments made against Bansal on her blog were not just malicious, but some of them were downright threatening. Makes me wonder (again a personal opinion, so don’t try to sue me and stuff. I have the right to a thought, don’t I?) Are Assault and Battery 101, and Terror Tactics 505 compulsory courses at “Filmi B-School”?

The point I’m trying to make here, Sabnis and Bansal have the right to make their claims, and state their opinion. If you have a valid grievance against what they have to say, please air them out. Put your point across by all means, but legal and ethical. Not by attacking somebody’s personal preferences, putting up fake stories to discredit people or by using “strongarm” tactics to get your point across. Is the Institute scared of taking this case up to court, because they fear they have no case in the first place. Or are they just looking to some instant recognition, ‘coz everybody knows that today, even negative publicity is good publicity. Or are they just trying to block people from having independent views, because they are too scared that people might just see though a possible sham?

Whatever be the case, I think it’s a shame, that in what is the world’s largest democracy, the Right to Freedom of Speech and Independent Thought can be so easily condemned. And I think Gaurav Sabnis needs a round of applause for having the balls to stand by what he believes in. Not everybody would be able to quit IBM. Hats off to you buddy, may your tribe increase! If you ever stand for elections, count my vote in;)



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