Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Freedom Curbed, Freedom Challenged

The past few days have seen a storm of proportions fit to anger and agitate any blogger. Over the past few days a fellow blogger, Gaurav Sabnis, has been the target for legal as well as antisocial, un-constitutional action by the IIPM. Why? For writing a post on his personal blog, linking to a published article that openly questioned the veracity of the IIPM's claims in their ads. And for adding his own queries to those already raised. Was he wrong to doubt the IIPM and to question their version of the truth? Perhaps, from where the IIPM are looking at the issue. But since when did this make it right for the IIPM to not only issue a notarized legal notice via email, threatening arrest, damage claim et al for Gaurav's "deliberate and fraudulent intentions", but to also harass both Gaurav and his employer, IBM, by threatening to burn the IBM H/W the IIPM had purchased?

Guarav has every right to ask what questions he may, right or wrong. We do NOT live in a police state, our thoughts and opinions regulated and dictated by the Powers that Be. We are Indians, born with the freedom to think, to choose and to speak. And to stand firm by our rights. Gaurav Sabnis has stood by his rights and refused to either delete his 'offending' post or to issue a retraction of his opinions. And he has voluntarily resigned from IBM, in protest against the pressure from IIPM, firm in his belief and with trust in his merits. More power to him.

I, however, see it as the duty of IBM to have stood by Gaurav, and not allowed him to resign just to save potential embarrassment and loss of H/W revenue. What is the worst that would have happened? The IIPM would have burned many lakhs of rupees worth of laptops. And would have cut their own nose off to spite their face. Would this have in any way lowered the intrinsic value of the IBM laptop and their technology? No. Would this have given other IBM customers pause before a buying decision? I don't think so. As I see it, whatever negative press there may be, around the burning of the laptops, would be more than offset by seeing IBM exercise social responsibility, and extending support to an employee whose basic constitutional and human rights are being challenged. All the more so when he has explicitly stated that his personal views are no means those of his employer.

It would be a sad, shameful thing if, today, Gaurav is denied employment on account of this issue. Especially when the IIPM should be taking the original authors of the article to task, if at all they have published wrong information. Nor is he the only one to be asking these questions. It is not a matter of whether the questions raised against the IIPM are right or wrong. It is not a question of whether the IIPM's ads are making true claims or false. That's not it at all.

It's a question of Freedom. The freedom of the average person to have doubts. Freedom to question and the freedom to share opinions. It is a question of Gaurav Sabnis's, and in fact anyone's, freedom of speech.

Today, the IIPM has moved to silence one individual who has, in an open forum, raised his voice against them. They, and others like them, must never again be allowed to make such a move against anyone, blogger or no.

(Crossposted on 'From The Chaos')

Off topic comment.

Swalpa Adjust Maadi makes me cringe. Its grammatically wrong (should be Swalpa Adjust MaadkoLi), is used in every context, is an insult to the language, and mostly, is made fun of.

Please look for a better tagline for this blog.
Taz, IBM did not in any way pressurise or ask Gaurav to resign. Lets not start criticizing IBM needlessly.

Then again, even if they had pressurised Gaurav, they would have been well within their rights to do so. IBM is a for-profit corporation, and they can do anything legal to maximize their profits, which includes staying away from controversies of all kinds.

IIPM are the bad guys here. Period.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ambar, am not implying that IBM pressurized Gaurav to resign; he has made that very clear. Am only saying that they should not have allowed him to resign.

I have also been reading Arka's post on the mailing list about the proposed protest/dharna in front of the IIPM Campus, Bangalore. Actually, its IIPM, Delhi that has caused so much of furore over Gautam's post. It would be pointless staging a dharna in front of the Bangalore office. However, what can be done is put articles in the newspapers like the Indian Express, Hindu, Times of India presenting the bloggers' point of view and also lodge an official complaint with IIPM through the letter which Arka was planning to draft. We can all sign that letter, visit the IIPM campus in Bangalore and hand it over to the Institute Directory.
I've got some update from Death head..
Check out the following links
And dont forget to watch NDTV tonight at 10:30 PM. They are airing this issue on TV tonight.

Now thats what I call freedom of speech.

me intrested in the protest march thats going to be held in bangalore...they cannot curtail our freedom of speech....


PS: please dont remove abusive that more people get to knwo abt how low these people can go to....

Check the link out. You guys are getting a raw deal globally. Anyway, copying the details of the link. Best wishes... (I guess whatever media people are there, we should give multiple copies of even this comment as media should know we stand for free speech and are not afraid of hackneyed criticism)

October 18th, 2005 at 12:18 pm

Even though IIPM surely needs to learn from the mishandling of the situation, the protest march idea of these bloggers is hilarious! It would be interesting to ask these self-proclaimed protectors of “freedom of speech and expression” how many times have they organized such protest marches for removing poverty in India, for ensuring that people don’t die because of hunger, for committing to removing illiteracy in even their own city!

It would be interesting to know the answer because under the pretext of marking out freedom of speech, all these bloggers are doing is trying to come in the media for a cause which is unbelievably unlettered.

Accepted, there are management institutes and management institutes. But really, so are car manufacturers. I am sure that the next issue this group of bloggers would find would be to have a protest march to protest the lack of aesthetic competence in designers of Aston Martin.

This peace march displays the illiteracy prevalent even in literate masses. The right to organize such a peace march should be exercised only after each member of the peace march has sworn that he/she has spent at least one day in their lifetime doing social work. Because the irony of such incompetence is that not one person will have the commitment to stand up to this claim.

Tsk, tsk… But of course yes. Bloggers can claim whatever they wish to, can’t they! And I am sure that the moment this comment is published, there would be a thousand so-called protest marchers who will claim that IIPM should first learn to do social service. Or better, yours truly should learn to do social service. What the heck! Go have the protest march. What better a way than this to shore up the free time of a group of un-intellectual unemployed illiterates.

Say what, just give me the time and venue. I’ll be there too buddies; because you know what, I am unemployed, and being a graduate, even I am as good as an illiterate. And the fact that I have devoted so much space to protest a protest march, shows how un-intellectual even I am.

So buddies, can I join the club?
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