The Chicken Counter Vs. the Citizens' Media. Round II

The story so far

The saga is still unfolding. The other party has unleashed another threat. A desperate effort to intimidate. The damages demanded this time is Rs. 175 crores. Wow! a Rs. 50 crore jump in ‘reputation’ (if any) value. This even beats the massive erection which the BSE Sensex had built up.

All this has left me wondering; correct me if I’m wrong. In the bazaar of education, reputation sells. IIMs and others (irrespective of B-school survey ratings) do not need to spend crores to attract students, to sell never to be fulfilled dreams. Quality speaks for itself. No full page advertisements are necessary, no yelling from rooftops required. No chicken and egg story need to be told (which fellow bloggers tell me is listed in the humour section of an online store).

And does anyone out there remember the much hyped (by the ever ignorant and story starved media) movie, I don’t even remember the name. The one which Mr. Bean, oops! Mr. Dean directed. Didn’t even hear a whisper about it, did it even get released?

Of the little I know of managers and management skills, the principle always is to try to stop a fire from spreading (unless the motive is insurance). But that doesn’t mean that you empty a bucket of water over an electrical fire. If the ‘institution’ in question had such impeccable antecedents – why do they not come out in the open with facts – something which respectable organisations do when something malicious appears about them in the media?

I had too much faith in the Indian media to ignore this story altogether, but thankfully I was proved wrong. Some of them in fact did and more should be on the way.

Some people are alleging that bloggers are ‘ganging up’ against IIPM. I agree. But I don’t see anything wrong with it. The Blog is the citizens’ media, it’s power lies in it’s collective voice. If one of them shouts, the voice can be easily muffled (as it was attempted to), but a thousand voices yelling in unison make themselves heard.

Let’s have a fair debate. But here again, all the arguments seem to be for the motion, whereas the opposition bench has only resorted to legalised threats and some splogs. All of us desperately want to hear the other side of the story; the elevating damage claims are fast losing their novelty.

All the notices were sent to bloggers who didn’t feel the need to camouflage their identities. If indeed their intentions were malicious, as the notices state, wouldn’t it be more successfully and less riskily implemented by remaining anonymous? ATTENTION: Sploggers.

But will IIPM, really, seriously, go to the courts. I don’t think so (I often end up being wrong). Commonsense says that they have more to lose. The closet might be ripped open and you never know what might tumble out. But then again, it’s commonsense. ‘Internationally renowned management gurus’ don’t think like lowly mortals as me.

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

– Abraham Lincoln