Why cast pearls before swine?

Getting summons should be one of the highest forms of flattery for a blogger but then things went a little out of hand when there was threatened violence which led to this courageous decision by Gaurav Sabnis. (The lukewarm reaction of his employer and its client were questioned by Kautilya.)
The facts of the IIPM matter are there for anyone to see. Will they get resolved without money muscling in and distorting the truth? Not if we all make a lot of noise about it and hence this post to add to the tons out there.

So are we responsible for what we post on our blogs? Can we post whatever we want? What are the limits and who decides that?
I feel the answer to these questions is simple: Stick to civilized debate.

Blogs are opinionated and there is no doubt about that. Not a week goes by without some sort of flame war erupting or some troll deciding to vent his/her frustrations onto someone expressing his or her opinion. Maybe most of it would be uncalled for if people understood civilized debate. 'Arguing' is why I like blogging. You argue and I argue - your point of view and mine. But at the end of the metaphorical day, either we agree or we agree to disagree. In the end we do agree on something. That according to me is the essence of debate. Everyone has a right to an opinion.(Including him). Opinions maybe unpleasant, misguided but they ain't the truth. How do people forget that?

I don't think it is too hard too tell the difference between a civilized response and one that isn't. Blogs provide an excellent medium for rebuttal. For one, you can actually sit down and calmly compose your arguments instead of hitting the person on the head (my initial reaction) and frame a at least a civilized response if not a rational one.

What about obscenity? I am not saying you CAN'T post something obscene, rather you SHOULDN'T. In any case, every thing survives on its merit.
Even with my most opinionated posts but my intentions have always been to seek the truth - for you to tell me so (nicely!). To some, like the IIPM, the truth might be exactly what needs to be hidden. Not only to hide but to try to scare away the seekers of the facts.

When Atanu Dey, blog award winner said,'Blogs can't change the world' - I didn't believe him one bit. You think I am doing this for nothing? Maybe not the world but atleast a small subset of it? Is that too grand a vision, Mr Dey?

For me, finally here is a medium that rids us from the tyranny of the main-stream news (Some 'main' streams have become dirty gutters!). If you manage to unite skeptics, enthusiasts, dreamers and doers will things not change? I have come across so many new and refreshing ideas and people thanks to blogs. We have built a community of people who are willing to stand up for what they believe is right - the right to speak out.
I wonder if such questions on freedom, libel, frauds in education and debates on moral courage would have sprung up if there had been no blogs. On a more mundane note - this incident has potentially made saved the lives and careers of hundred of future students who might have become victims of IIPM and animals of the same breed. Is it not ironic that education is being run by crooks?
Why cast pearls even before swine? Because, someone somewhere might listen and do something.

5 comments:

Javed said...

check this one out: http://www.indiablogs.org/fos/petition/sign.php
And let me be the first one to say this but... 1 paisa to IIPM's legal notice.

Ashutosh said...

"...at least a civilized response if not a rational one."
Well said! That's right; even if the response is not a rational one, the criticism that is hurled at it again has the benefit of doubt of being civilized, and then the writer can modify his civilized response to come up with another cizilized response, and this time perhaps a rational one.
That's an important point you make; that blogs give us a chance (in fact the benefit of doubt- so that if you don't do it, people can accuse you of being unicivilized since you had time for a civilized response and yet did not do it) to be civilized in debate.

Siddharth said...

WEll folks, at the cost of sounds cynical, here is my take. So poor old gaurav got into trouble for his blog. This caused consternation amoung some other bloggers since he was clearly n the right. Soon the consternation spread in the blog world and tens of bloggers made blogs on it. After that hundreds or even thousands of casual readers read those bogs and commented on them. So now a few thousand educated people dispersed all over the globe support gaurav. What now? How does this really help him get back at IIPM? How does a dispersed group of similar thinking individuals actually get something done? Is there a petition (I could not open javed's link but will do so shortly) that we sign? What happens to that petition? who takes out the time and money to actually bring it to fruition?
I feel the answer is still mainstream media. Ofcourse, blogs can bring the attention of the mainstream media to the issue but then only they have the infrastructure and required distribution in place to make enough people aware of the problem that something is done. So we should all find some way of getting some big publication like Times of India or India Today or Outlook to carry a full story on Gaurav Sabnis and the IIPM dadagiri.

Hirak said...

Sid:
I have no argument about the fact that for this to get out and something to be done it has to be seen in regular channels of news.

In fact, the story has got covered in a lot of places. In fact, it is going to be shown on NDTV. Amit Varma and desipundit are keeping track of the updates of where the story got published.

If it had not been for an active blog community the original article by Rashmi would not have had the impact that it did. Isn't getting summons for a blog post testimony enough that this medium counts?

Ashutosh said...

We have to remember that what we call the 'mainstream media' also has its underdoggers who want to dare to be different but still remain in the precincts of their 'benevolent' corporations. We can bank on these good folks to bring such episodes to everybody's attention; that would be the kind of excuse they are looking for. Hindustan Times and Indian Express also ran a small article on the current fracas. What is being increasingly brought to the forefront through this medium are the inane statements of IIPM officials, for example the one who said something to the effect of 'We are not against the blog, only against the blogger. The blog did not provoke us to take any action' Huh?!
So Sid, yes, I think that we can count on the mainstream media, but through its underdoggers.