Thursday, October 20, 2005

Right to Blog for Awareness

The members of the "Bloggers of Bangalore" community would like to bring to the attention of the media and society at large, certain unfair and intimidatory actions undertaken by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) against members of the Indian blogging community.

In June 2005, JAM, a popular youth magazine published out of Mumbai, ran a story on IIPM titled 'The Truth about IIPM's Tall Claims' pointing out blatant exaggerations in the institute's claims about infrastructure, courses, affiliations and placements. For instance, the magazine article pointed out how IIPM continues to use certain rankings conferred upon it AFTER those rankings have been withdrawn by the bodies conferring them.
The magazine ran an ethically researched investigative story on IIPM, revealing what was a marketing fraud by the college.

Alongside, the editor of JAM magazine and a former student of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, who is also a blogger, published the same on her personal blog. In August 2005, blogger Gaurav Sabnis, another Mumbai-based blogger, posted about this on his own blog, linking to JAM's original story. Soon after this, he received an e-mail from the IIPM legal department threatening to sue him for a huge sum of money unless he withdrew his comments. Simultaneously, he was also pressurised by IIPM through his employers, a global hardware manufacturer. Rather than put his employers in a tight spot, Sabnis decided to quit his job.

The mainstream media has picked up on this issue and the stories are available at the links provided below.

Hindustan Times
Indian Express
DNA
NDTV
Business Standard
MSNBC

This issue has created a furore in the blogosphere in India as well as internationally. The strength of blogging as a force to reckon with has previously been seen in the co-ordination or relief efforts in the Tsunami crisis and the Mumbai rains at Mumbai Help and Cloudburst Mumbai.

For detailed information on the bloggers vs IIPM issue, please visit Desipundit for chronological updates on the controversy.

The purpose of this petition is to express solidarity with the bloggers who have suffered threats and abuse at the hands of IIPM and also to draw attention to the original issues at the heart of the JAM story on IIPM.

If you believe that journalists and the media should be free to inform the public of false advertisement which directly or indirectly affects their lives;
If you believe education should not be reduced to a marketable commodity;
If you believe that blogging is a powerful supplement to traditional media;
If you believe that bloggers should be entitled to individual opinions as also their own online space for airing and discussing these opinions;
If you believe in standing up for your rights; as an active member of society, as a blogger, as a citizen with the right to know

Please show your support to this cause.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

12 Comments:

At October 23, 2005 5:08 AM, Anonymous Maddie said...

Me in.

 
At October 27, 2005 12:36 AM, Blogger Penny Lane said...

It seems I'm the only one who had not heard of all this drama

 
At October 28, 2005 4:19 AM, Blogger Sujatha said...

Hey Vig: Was in Prague and we drove down to the Austrian border! Will post pics.
Take care!

 
At October 29, 2005 12:40 AM, Blogger Hiren said...

Though I have read about the IIPM issue yours is the first comprehensive blog I have come across. I did not know that the mainstream media had picked it up to such a degree. Good for Blogoshere.

 
At November 04, 2005 8:18 AM, Blogger Menagerie said...

umm, did you lose yourself in the US? post man, post!

bcce :)

 
At November 09, 2005 7:59 PM, Blogger Docs Dope said...

IIPM Sucks ..so does all IIMs and so do people like you who come out of nowhere blogging to the support of such issues and making all the hullaboo about it.. go man get out, get a life..get some girls..get drunk and make merry

 
At November 15, 2005 9:57 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

Where have you vanished?

 
At November 17, 2005 7:38 PM, Blogger Invisible said...

where art thou?

 
At November 20, 2005 5:53 AM, Blogger Angel said...

YELLOOOOOOOOO :D

 
At November 24, 2005 8:36 PM, Blogger littlecow said...

This is ridiculous. Why would the private activities of an employee be any business of the global hardware manufacturer, especially if the story had substance in it?

 
At December 10, 2005 7:24 PM, Blogger GettingThere said...

where'd you go after posting this? Haven't heard from you.... You OK?

 
At December 17, 2005 6:28 AM, Blogger Senthil said...

People, including self, are starting to worry, mate... just say 'Boo!' or something so we know you're alive and kicking...

 

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