Friday, October 21, 2005

 

Statement from the Bloggers of Bangalore and online petition in support of freedom of expression

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 (link), a popular youth magazine published out of Mumbai, ran a story on IIPM titled 'The Truth about IIPM's Tall Claims" ( link ) 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article pointed out how IIPM continues to use certain rankings conferred upon it AFTER those rankings have been withdrawn by the bodies conferring them.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, Rashmi Bansal, the editor of JAM magazine and a former student of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, who is also a blogger ( link ), published the same on her personal blog ( link to her post here ). In August 2005, blogger Gaurav Sabnis, another Mumbai-based blogger, posted about this on his own blog (link), linking to JAM's original story (link to gaurav's post). 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 ( link ). 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 ( link ). Meanwhile, Varna Sriraman ( link ) also got a mail from IIPM threatning legal and police action ( link )


This is a story that has been carried by several media organisations
such as the Hindustan Times:
( link )
Indian Express:
( link )
DNA:
( link )
NDTV:
( link )
Business Standard:
( link )
News Today
( link
and MSNBC:
( link )
and 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 ( http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com ) and the Mumbai rains at Mumbai Help ( http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com/ ) and Cloudburst Mumbai ( http://cloudburstmumbai.blogspot.com ).

For detailed information on the bloggers vs IIPM issue, please visit http://desipundit.com for chronological updates on the controversy.

In the meantime, furthen investigative journalism by blogger thalassa_mikra
( link )
have raised further doubts about the educational qualifications of IIPM founder Malay Chaudhuri ( link ) and about IIPM's European connections ( link )
Investigations by other bloggers also cast grave doubts on the quality and authenticity of the foreign institutes that grant degrees to IIPM students.

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 advertisements, 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, by going to the following website:
http://www.petitiononline.com/blogbang, and adding your signature. Also, if you’re a blogger, please carry this article on your blog. Thirdly, do pass this e-mail around to all your contacts.
The bloggers of bangalore are also going to stage a silent, sit-in demonstration on Monday, the 24th of October, in front of IIPM, Bangalore, to express their support to this cause. If you think the right to express our opinions is one of our fundamental, inalienable rights, do inform as many people as you can about this proposed demonstration.


if you want to post this on your blog, or pass it along as an e-mail, you will need the links. I have converted the URL's to HTML links to prevent cluttering, but here are the necessary links anyway:

Jam Magazine:
www.jammag.com

jam article on IIPM:
http://www.jammag.com/careers/
articles/mbacorner/iipm/index.htm


Rashmi's blog:

http://youthcurry.blogspot.com

her post on iipm:

http://youthcurry.blogspot.com
/2005/06/dare-to-dream-beyond-or.html


gaurav sabnis' blog:

http://gauravsabnis.blogspot.com

his post on the issue:

http://gauravsabnis.blogspot.com
/2005/08/fraud-that-is-iipm.html


Varna's blog:

http://absurdiav.blogspot.com

Varna's legal notice:

http://absurdiav.blogspot.com/
2005/10/yet-another-legal-notice.html


rashmi bansal's post rebutting claims made in fake blogs
that the JAM expose was funded by a rival of IIPM:

http://youthcurry.blogspot.com
/2005/10/lies-damned-lies-and-fake-blogs.html


her post with the caution notice outlook had carried
against IIPM:

http://youthcurry.blogspot.com
/2005/10/caution-notice-re-iipm-in-outlook.html


gaurav's post about IIPM's legal notice to him:

http://gauravsabnis.blogspot.com
/2005/10/im-disconnecting-my-cable-connection.html


gaurav's post on his resignation from his workplace:

http://gauravsabnis.blogspot.com/2005/10/update.html

Hindustan Times Story:

http://70.86.150.98/Hindustantimes
/artMailDisp.aspx?article=
12_10_2005_003_003&typ=0&pub=264


Indian Express story:

http://cities.expressindia.com
/fullstory.php?newsid=152721


DNA

http://dnaindia.com/
report.asp?NewsID=6136&CatID=5


NDTV

http://www.ndtv.com/morenews
/showmorestory.asp?
category=National&slug=
Row+over+IIPM+blogs&id=79968


Business Standard

http://www.business-standard.com/
common/storypage.php?storyflag=y&leftnm=
lmnu5&leftindx=5&lselect=2&chklogin=N&autono=203404


News Today

http://newstodaynet.com/20oct/ld1.htm

MSNBC:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3395977

tsunami blog:

http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com

Mumbai help blog:

http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com

Cloudburst Mumbai Blog:

http://cloudburstmumbai.blogspot.com

desipundit site:

http://desipundit.com/

thalassa's blog:

http://thalassamikra.blogspot.com

her post on Malay Chaudhuri's educational qualifications:

http://thalassamikra.blogspot.com
/2005/10/iipm-indian-politics-and-why.html


her post on IIPM's European connections:

http://thalassamikra.blogspot.com
/2005/10/information-pertaining-to-iipm.html

Comments:
Are you Bangalore Bloggers planning to arrange a boycott of the IT fair??

Check out my blog at
http://sunilpichamuthu.blogspot.com for a few ideas of what you can do!!
 
We have a website that was created during the Tsunami please let us know if any people there is found and we will delete themAfter the Tsunami
 
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