The larger contention in his position is freedom of expression is alright but why must it be at the cost of his business? Media is about creating perceptions and online media with its enormous reach c
ould easily damage the reputation of any product or firm or, as the case here, an educational institution. Imagine a film getting huge negative publicity before it hits the theatres or a consumer product getting panned before it reaches the shop shelves or a soon to be launched vehicle being branded accident-prone due to technical flaws!
The threat to reputation from the makers’ point of view could be perceptional but there’s no justifiable reason why they would not try to minimise the damage. They would be rank bad businessmen if they did not try it.
The advocates of online freedom miss the simple point that while controls are unacceptable, there must be rules of engagement - control means imposition from outside while rules refer to the general agreement to follow certain guidelines. One cannot exercise freedom at the cost of that of others.
Given that the idea of self regulation and censoring is not high on the priority list of most social media users, it is probably true that attacks on an individual on the medium might turn into hurtfu
l slander – often ruthless and destructive, but in the case of IIPM and Arindam Chaudhuri, it is probably a necessary evil. Chaudhuri had ordered the pulling down of even the UGC link which was basically a notice clarifying that IIPM was not affiliated to it and the AICTA. These are facts difficult for a prospective student to figure out at all times. In Chaudhuri’s case, what he called slander, was actually various forms of clarification that warned young students from spending both time and money on a course that will never be recognised as relevant by employers and other authentic higher education institutes. Given how private players have slowly taken to monopolising education in India, it is necessary to call the bluff of the likes of Chaudhuri to help us tell the grain from the chaff.