Oct 112005

I like companies and organisations. I own part of one, and all my working life worked for the other. And one day I hope that my little compay will grow up to embody all the good things that organisations are supposed to.

On the other hand, i have issues with corporations. I always have had. The same kind of issues that I have with Government. Primarily, that they take themselves far too seriously. And all my remaining issues stem from that.

Whether it is a Roche, or a Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, or Enron, or indeed one of the Big Five Artur Anderson … all of them, and many more have subverted the cause of justice and fairplay … and got caught in the process. Somehow, to speak out against the Government is an indication of freedom of speech. To question the processes and practices of corporations is being anti business and slanderous.

So I can complain about the service of an Air India, or crib about the queues at State Bank of India, or wail about the quality of programming on Doordarshan, or the quality of education and facilities provided by UGC funded or AICTE recognised univerisities. But, dare I speak out against shoddy service on a private airline, or the hidden charges of a private/MNC bank, content in a leading newspaper, or a private ‘institute’ then all hell breaks loose. My reponse to those who seek to intimidate is just one phrase …. “fuck off” … i think that ordinary people and ordinary bloggers have had it with corporations and governments trying to intimidate them. Collectively we are taking a stand and saying “Rok Sake to Rok Lo” 🙂

Fellow Bloggers, Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal are in thecross hairs of a large and powerful corporation with seemingly deep pockets, that doesn’t seem to have any problems in intimidating, threatening, slandering, sexually harassing, hounding and indulging in behaviour that would be criminal on part of an individual.

Gaurav resigned from IBM because:

He (senior exec from IBM) said that he had communicated to Iipm that I had made a personal post and IBM could not be held responsible for it. But apparently, the Dean of IIPM wrote him a mail saying that the IIPM Students Union had decided that if my blog posts were not deleted, then they would gather all the Thinkpads they had been given by the institute, and burn them in front of the IBM office in Delhi. Yes, that’s right. Burn laptops!”

Gaurav wanted to neither delete his posts nor embarass IBM – so he did the honourable thing and resigned. Hats off to him. Not many people in today’s would be able to take a stand like this for the freedom of speech.

Having said that he could have let them burn the laptops. It is really no great shakes, and would have probably allowed more public glare on the corporation. Afterall IBM doesn not technically own the Think Pad brand. It sold it last year in an over billion dollar deal to the Chinese giant Lenovo. Imagine a leading B-school that does not know this fact. I really can’t imagine a Chinese company taking the threat of PC buring very seriously. They would probably see it as an opportunity to sell more Think Pads. I hope IBM does the honourable thing and refuses to get intimidated by threats, and refuses to accept Gaurav’s resignation.

Funnily enough after being spontaneously conceived on the 5th of October, making a b-line to Rashmi’s blog to insult, threaten, proposition and intidimate her – a number of blogs in defence of IIPM seem to have gone seemingly silent spontaneously self combusted.

I think all of us in blogdom and civil life need to take up and speak up about this cause. Any of us could be next on any cause that we write about.

other bloggers takingup the cause:

Press Talk, Varun’s Thoughtful Chaos, Srini, The Arbit Council, DesiPundit, Anshul, Charu, Patrix, Muthuvel, Thalassa Mikra, Jagan, Vijay Krishna, Vatsan, Mridula, Jo, Varna, Amrit Hallan, Ash, Shivam Vij, Swaroop, Jujitsu Mode, Uma, Abi, Toufeeq Hussain, Shub,
Ranj, Abhishek, Rajan, Havoc, Kaushik, Chandru, Alpha-Q, Mandar, Kaushal, Chenthil, Tony, Bonatellis, Apurv Pandit, Scudie, Press Talk-K, Sriyansa, Miss J, Neha,TablePost.Com,Chitthacharcha (Hindi), Sujatha,Hitchiker,Sowmya, Saket, Dhananjay, Sriram, The Comic Project, Jai Arjun Singh, Secular Right India, Jaya Jha, Navin, Sudhish Kamath, Ravikiran,

links and sites shamelessy whacked from Kaps (please please don’t send me a legal notice :). The updated list can be found at his site.

Other reading:
Amit Varma on a Question of Principles.
Michael Higgins on Reputation as a Business Asset
Gawker with two cracker posts here and here.
Ravikiran’s Outrage
Sepia Mutiny on the same issue here.

I really don’t have an issue with a company trying to defend its turf. IIPM or any other company will try and maintain whatever advantage they have in a cut throat market. I know how my partners and I get geared for battle to protect our company. But there are certain lines no one crosses. If this entire episode had been about Rashmi and Gaurav receiving legal notices from the institute, I doubt that there would have been this kind of furore. I can’t remember this kind of outrage when Mediaah shut down under threat of legal action from Benett & Coleman. That is a part of the game. But, what has got everyone’s collective goats has been the blatant, unashamed and naked display of power and money. And that really stinks. And, no. I am sure that they do not teach this at the IIM’s !

  17 Responses to “The Corporation v/s Indian Blogdom”

  1. Hi,
    Just to tell you that the redirect from your earlier blogspot.com blog doesn’t work.
    Fix the link please!

  2. Hi,
    The redirect from the blogspot site doesn’t work.
    Please fix the link – you can’t afford to pass upon traiffc.
    Thanks and regards,

  3. the whole blogosphere is united now on this issue and ya, IIPM is the top search word nowadayz on Technorati.
    This, believe me is an achievement. seems like all that IIPM spent into marketing has gone down the drain.

  4. its great to know that so many bloggers are taking up the cause. this is sure going to have an effect on the scandal of IIPM.

  5. Er.. it’s LENOVO.

  6. This is simply amazing. It just shows that UNITY still exists in this world. A Blogger in NEED is a Blogger In DEED.

  7. well spotted surya. I am slightly dyslexic. 🙂

  8. I wish Gaurav had let them burn the laptops. It would have been disastrous press for IIPM, a ju-jitsu move!

  9. […] Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal have been targeted by IIPM and it’s so called students and alumni. Gaurav has received a legal notice from IIPM and Rashmi has been the victim of malicious accusations and some extremely distasteful personal comments.The fake blogs, which have started talking ill about Gaurav and Rashmi, have just sprung up in the last few days and don’t have more than a single post in their blog. It is almost certain that these fake blogs have been started by the same person(s) (using different user names). What Gaurav and Rashmi have attempted to do is to examine whether the tall claims (about placements, faculty and infrastructure) made by IIPM are really true or not. If IIPM really believes that they have the best-in-class facilities it is better that the placements and infrastructure do the talking. Such direct brutal attacks on established bloggers will do more harm than good. Any blog bashing exercise by IIPM will definitely backfire at them as more people will realize the true nature of IIPM. Such offensive comments are only going to increase the hatred among the public in general and the student community in particular. The actions by IIPM and the baseless comments/accusations by the IIPM students definitely show that they have never come across terms like discipline and ethics during the course of their MBA.The MSM in India is unlikely to take up such issues as they are dependent on advertising revenue from these institutes. If you feel strongly about this issue, I urge you to take this up and post it in some form or ther other so that such fake blogs and the institutes are nailed down. Let’s join hands to fight against this menace. Let them not underestimate the power of the Blogosphere. The Blog readers are a well-informed lot and they are in the best position to decide which side is right. They have been following Gaurav’s blog and Rashmi’s blog for sometime and they will definitely vouch for the credibility of these two bloggers.Update 1: JAM MAG has also received a legal notice from IIPMUpdate 2: Patrix of Nerve Endings Firing Away wants to absolve the ‘real’ students from the IIPM controversy (those behind the fake blogs will not be spared)Update 3: Gaurav Sabnis explains his stand. Hats off to Gaurav for his determination and resolve to stand up for the truth.Update 4: Global Voices Online makes a call for Freedom of SpeechUpdate 5: Amit Varma of India Uncut sums up the developmentsUpdate 6: Michael Higgins has an insightful post on the importance of Reputation as a Business Asset (especially in the field of education)Update 7: Leading international blog Instapundit picks up the story (InstaPundit follow-up article Part 2). Some more reactions from Jeff Ooi of Malaysia and Think Jose.Update 8: Anna of Sepia Mutiny hits out at IIPM. Sepia Mutiny also has a follow-up article titled “Boycotts and IIPM”.Update 9: IIPM is the now the most searched term on Technorati (Global Blog Search). Varun has a snapshot here.Update 10: This issue is now being discussed actively in all forms of online media (email forwards, egroups, discussion boards, mailing lists etc). Abhishek Thakore explains how the democratic people-owned media (Blogosphere) and its web of networks can influence more people than traditional print (ToI) adsUpdate 11: DesiPundit has comprehensive coverageUpdate 12: To track the developments through various Blog Search engines visit Technorati, Google Blog Search and Ice RocketUpdate 13: Abi of Nanopolitan wants employers (corporates) to verify some of the information mentioned in the IIPM Placement Statistics.Update 14: Techmag throws some light on the legal validity of the notice that Gaurav Sabnis received. Sudhish informs us that the so called legal notices may just be threats.Update 15: “IIPM doesn’t just owe Gaurav an apology; it owes him his life back”, says Nilanjana (Part 1 and Part 2)Update 16: Patrix explains the intentions of the Blogosphere in an Open Letter to IIPMUpdate 17: Dhaaba discusses the IIPM issue over a glass of lassi (A laugh riot). Great Bong plans to start Indian Institute of International Dreamers (I3D). His post indicates that he has grandiose plans.Update 18: Indian MSM picks up the story – Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror, Daily Pioneer, NDTVUpdate 19: Gaurav’s Prof criticizes IIPM. Prof Madhukar Shukla also condemns IIPM.Update 20: Kiruba designs some “Support Buttons” for us to show our support for Gaurav and Rashmi.Update 21: Puneet accuses IIPM of spamming Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines. He also has screenshots to prove his claimUpdate 22: Arzan probes about IIPM’s Toronto connection and Belgian alliance. Curious Gawker also manages to throw some light on the web of alliances surrounding IMI.Update 23: The Committee to Protect Bloggers pledges support.Update 24: An Online Petition has been created to protest against IIPM. Please sign the petition. Pls help in spreading the word about this petition.Other reactions in the Blogosphere (this list will be updated frequently): Harini Calamur, Press Talk, Varun’s Thoughtful Chaos, Srini, The Arbit Council, DesiPundit, Anshul, Charu, Patrix, Muthuvel, Thalassa Mikra, Jagan, Vijay Krishna, Vatsan, Mridula, Jo, Amrit Hallan, Ash, Shivam Vij, Swaroop, Jujitsu Mode, Uma, Abi, Toufeeq Hussain, Shub, Ranj, Shivam, Abhishek, Rajan, Havoc, Kaushik, Chandru, Alpha-Q, Mandar, Kaushal, Chenthil, Tony, Bonatellis, Apurv Pandit, Scudie, Press Talk – K, Sriyansa, Miss J, Neha, TablePost.Com, Chitthacharcha (Hindi), Sujatha, Hitchiker, Sowmya, Saket, Varun (Part 2), Press Talk (Part 2), Vijay Krishna (Part 2), Dhananjay, Sriram, The Comic Project, Curious Gawker, Jai Arjun Singh, Secular Right India, Jaya Jha, Navin, Sudhish Kamath, Ravikiran, Vinaya, Niket, George Thomas, Ajay Bhat, Jinal, Om Malik, Kitabkhana, Jagan (Part 2), Ranjan Kant, BigBlogLog, Kamesh, Transmogrifier, Chernoff, Varun (Part 3), Hitanshu, Srikar, Rajkumar, Almost Useless, Falstaff, Sunil Laxman, Mercatus, Arzan, Nitin Pai, Veer Jain, Nupur Dave, Nirav, Jitendra Mohan, Mayank, Varnam, Soumyadip, Uma MD, Vishal, TTG, Chandru (Part 2), Angry Grad Student, Anantha Narayan, Pradyot, Amit Chaudhry, Sandesh, Dilip D’Souza, Chenthil (Part 2), MMK, Salman’s Shirt, Bharat, Nikhil, Kaushik, Aditya Kuber, Icarus Prakash (Tamil), Infinite Circle, Ketan, Durga, Kamlesh Singh, Pankaj, Harish Kumar, Aparna, Ashish, Swarnasrikrishnan, Rachel, Shel Israel, Rahul, Kaushik and Bidisha, Srijith, Anand, I-Sight, Logical Thinking, Sakshi, Shivam Vij (Part 2), Gururajan, Dhananjay (Part 2), Bhagya, Kunal, Sandeep, Ramanand, Satish Vijaykumar, Ashwin BS, Flying Death, Vayanasala (Malayalam), Shivangi, Govar, Harini (Part 2), Shreyas Ghuge, Prufrock, Amit Chaudhry (Part 2), The Unknown Indian, Prasoon, Killer Bunty, Suhail Kazi, Elne, Abhishek, Ravi, Aishwarya, Ram Viswanathan, Curious Gawker (Part 2), Wanderstruck, Leela, Vishwanathan, The Bat, Scribbler (Part 2), Vaibhav, Weblogsky, Divya, Sujith, Jroller, Madhoo, Sowmya (Part 2), Shoefiend, Varun (Part 4), Ash (Part 2), Ravikiran (Part 2), Veena, Salt Water Blues, Hyperorg, Ashutosh, India Blogs, Karthik, Arnold D’Souza, DesiTrain, Suds, Vijay Krishna (Part 3), Saurabh, Senthil, Arzan (Part 2), Uma (Part 2), Urmea, Kingsley, Sad Old Bong, Anshul, Rajesh, Lubu, Ravikumar, Neha (Part 2), Varun (Part 4), Anti, Instant Kaapi, Lazy Geek, Minorscale, Ferrari Prabhu, Emma, Kishore, Chenthil (Part 3), Aekta, Kashyapapeya Technorati Tag: IIPM […]

  10. […] 1, 2, & 3, Srini, Charu, Anshul, Amrit 1 & 2, Muthuvel, Thalassa Mikra, Jagan 1 & 2, […]

  11. […] POV » Blog Archive » The Corporation v/s Indian Blogdom says: 11th October 2005 at 4:53 am […]

  12. […] POV » Blog Archive » The Corporation v/s Indian Blogdom October 11, 2005 at 3:32 pm | Permalink […]

  13. […] The Corporation v/s Indian Blogdom – POV SAVE […]

  14. […] is not the first time that IIPM has gone after the on-line community to muzzle criticism. However, this time around it has been aided by a […]

  15. […] is not the first time that IIPM has gone after the on-line community to muzzle criticism. However, this time around it has been aided by a […]

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