Saturday, March 11, 2006

Yeah, i know i'm late on this....

Most of us have heard about Gaurav sabnis. For those who came in late----He was an IBM employee in Mumbai, a regular blogger, and someone who lost his job last year because of a blog post. We've heard about people losing their jobs because of the contents on their blogs. This is similar but more interesting than the rest.

This drama started when a little known magazine, Jam, published an article slamming the claims made by a management institute, IIPM. This institute had given ads to the effect of 'dare to dream beyond the IIMs', and had made dubious claims about its faculty, placements, the credentials of its head, etc. All that gaurav did was to link up to this article by Jam magazine in his blog and write a post on it. The result : he recieved a legal notice from IIPM claiming damages to the effect of Rs.125 crores! IIPM also threatened to hold a demonstration outside IBM's office and burn 1000 thinkpads supplied by IBM to IIPM, if gaurav didn't remove the offensive article from his blog. Gaurav writes about that episode and why he decided to resign from IBM. What's interesting is that, soon there were scores of other bloggers who supported Gaurav sabnis and wrote posts deriding the autocratic behaviour of IIPM. In the coming months, the latter surreptiously changed its ads thus proving gaurav and jam magazine right.

Whether this caused a dent in IIPM's reputation, or did it stop it from carrying on it's tall tales is debatable. It definetly caused a stir. And what matters is that this guy had the guts to take a stand and stick to it. He made a difference, however small, and gave a reputation and respectability to a sometimes trivialised phenomenon---blogging.

What we do here in our posts is a simple thing---give form to our thoughts and send it out into the world. It surely touches someone, inspires a few, provokes some thoughts, informs and entertains, warns about bigger issues---like journalism, but without the formalities and complications. A blog is a mini-journal and a blogger, a journalist. What he says matters. A Blog is a weapon which, when properly sharpened and used, has the potential to cut through many a weed.

Let's remember Gaurav the next time we're tempted to quit blogging.


  1. Enjoyed reading this post.I was aware of some one losing his job, didn't know the details.I am not in a position to make comments on Gaurav Sabnis' case.However I do think that some discrimination should be used even in the blog.

  2. It is difficult for me to believe that such a thing could happen in these times.

  3. Edu...Me thinks, some discrimination must be used when you write about sensitive issues. But in gaurav's case, all he did was to ask about the qualifications of Arindham choudary. Imagine a person getting all his degrees, even a gold medal from an institue that he owns. Doesn't it sound fishy? And why on earth would anyone jump up and slap a lawyer's notice, or threaten burning laptops--just because someone asks you some questions about your qualifications? Only the guilty resort to such intimidating tactics. What you need is not discrimination--whether to blog about them or not---but solid guts.
    Gaurav and the rest have shown that they have the stomach to stand up to such intimidation. They deserve our admiration.

  4. Nick...such things happen only in these times, if not in every country. Maybe we haven't heard much about the rest.