Tuesday, October 11, 2005

IIPM, JAM, and Vantage Point

A business firm makes tall claims in full page ads in prominent newspapers. A magazine tries to do a fact-check. Concludes that the facts do not support the claims. A blogger takes the initiative to spread the word. The firm warns of legal action against the magazine and the blogger.

The firm in question, IIPM, "sells" MBAs and BBAs. It's the JAM that attempted the fact-check, whose editor Rashmi Bansal is also a blogger. Gaurav Sabnis of Vantage Point took up this issue in the first week of August. Here are the JAM links: 1,2, and 3. And here's Gaurav's original post.

I think both the article and Gaurav's post were based on facts. If they got the facts wrong, IIPM could have countered that in a civil fashion. I'm not a great fan of those who file anti-defamation suits. Very often the mighty move the court against the less powerful just to intimidate them, not to settle the case in a just manner. But let's grant that the IIPM has the right to move the court in this issue.

They did not stop there. They put pressure on Gaurav's employers (IBM). And Gaurav quits the job, voluntarily, as he emphasises. Ravikiran of The Examined Life put it bluntly:

    Gaurav Sabnis has had to resign to protect his employer, IBM, from “bad publicity”. He had to choose between withdrawing his posts and resigning from his job. He did the right thing. He quit rather than take back his posts and apologise.
It's outrageous that Gaurav had to quit his job for voicing his opinion. It's another example of sheer money power "winning" over ethical concerns. A lot of people are protesting these ugly developments.

I join them.


At 5:14 AM, Blogger iamthatdude said...

Hi Anand,

Your blogs make a fascinating read. Your style is simple and sweet, to the point. I chanced upon your blog while looking for a good school in Bangalore that provides a different approach to education. I am yet to find one though. Now I guess I would make it a point to pop in regularly. Do drop in at my blog and feel free to offer your comments. I am new to blogging and have jotted down random thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you.
with warm regards

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anand said...

Thank you.


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