Isme action hai, drama hai, suspense hai, comedy hai… aur yeh baki blog ki kahaniyon se jaraa hat ke hai… Ladies and gentlemen, I refer of course to the ongoing saga of the IIPM and cronies vs. many outraged bloggers.
See here for details on what happened (If you’re feeling lazy, this is my recollection: Some time back, a youth magazine called JAM writes an expose on IIPM. Subsequently, someone starts a story (almost surely false) that Aaj Tak has done a story on how JAM was paid off by Amity (as if they aren’t in enough trouble themselves already; and forgetting that JAM had done a recent expose on them too) to do this IIPM story and that JAM is a rag anyway. Now, the pace picks up: Mr. Gaurav Sabnis (enter our hero) writes about this at his blog and trashes IIPM. Ms Rashmi Agarwal (Editor, JAM) – enter, stage right, the heroine – also jumps in and asks for a copy of the Aaj Tak tape. Before you can say aafreen, the empire strikes back: there’s an absolutely hilarious legal notice that IIPM served to JAM, e-mailed to Sabnis and finally, a series of nothing-hilarious-about-them vitriolic, personal comments were left on Rashmi’s blog).
What got me involved was the utter disregard for (a) facts; (b) principles; and (c) decency (in most instances, all at the same time) displayed by the supporters of IIPM against M/s Sabnis and Agarwal. Facts first, most of the posts (see here and here for two samples) by these supporters are juvenile in their forgery and misrepresentations and have been outed within a short span (see here and here for the two examples – I was unhappy to have missed this detail in my response). Principles: IIPM’s disregard of Voltaire’s “I may not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to death your right to say it”. And last, but perhaps the most incendiary, the decency bit – where these supporters of IIPM made it personal: with the comments at Rashmi’s blog.
Anyway, much has been said and done. I agree with some of the lets not fight a wrong with another wrong thoughts that PK and Vijay Krishna have advocated (though PK retracted his views after Sabnis resigned his position at IBM/ Lenovo). On this resignation bit, quite uncalled for, I say: yes, yes, I admire Gaurav’s conviction and willingness to take a stand but this step was unnecessary, I thought (as Patton would’ve had reminded you, the object of battle is not to die for your country, it is to make the other poor bastard die for his).
As I write this, I believe the lawsuits epidemic is spreading: another blogger – Varna – reports receipt of an e-mail from IIPM’s legal cell, and in these inflationary days, the claim has been increased by Rs. 500million (Ms Varna is being sued for Rs. 1.75Bn as against the temporarily unemployed Mr. Sabnis’s Rs. 1.25Bn). As the Irish are given to asking “Is this a private fight or can anyone jump in?” Oh well, I’m in it anyway so here’s to more power for the bloggers in their fight with ponytail.