July 22, 2010

Rhodes to perdition

What's one to make of a cancer genomics researcher called Anil Potti?

He claimed research results that other scientists have not been able to reproduce, that seem to have suffered from relatively basic statistical mistakes. These results were actually used to treat patients. This, say critics, "may be putting patients at risk."

He claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar at a nonexistent institute in Queensland, Australia, mentored there by a scientist who never mentored him and was "shocked, saddened and flabbergasted" to find out that Potti claimed it. Rhodes scholarships are only for study at Oxford University in the UK. (I think even I knew that). This claim to a prestigious international award bolstered his applications for faculty positions and grants.

When asked about the Rhodes scholarship, he said he was nominated for the award. As far as I know, he has not explained Australia.

He claimed that in 1998 he was given an award by a professional society. The society says they gave it to him only in 2005.

He claimed to have been a "National Merit Scholar" in 1989, the year he claims to have started a MBBS programme at Christian Medical College in Vellore. Elsewhere, he claimed he was a National Merit Scholar in 1995, the year he graduated from CMC.

There's more. This man has spent several years at Duke University, bringing "millions of public and private dollars" in research money to that institution. It raises questions about just how institutions and grant awarders verify applications they receive. Not very well, it would appear.

(Lots of sources for all this, but the most comprehensive report is probably at the Cancer Letter, here -- PDF, 668K)

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmphf! I thought you too were a Rhodes Scholar, from Rhodes Island.

Are you sure he didn't have some disclaimers at the bottom? Like "results not typical; not all employers will experience the same qualifications" and "Past experience is no guarantee of future performance"?

That would make it "alright" as this is what most corporate advertising does. Here too, money was involved. As you can see, some were "shocked, shocked to find out fudging is going on here"! His current employer is equally guilty.

wise donkey said...

whats the punishment, probably nothing...

Chandru K said...

I think I've figured why D'Souza is so enamoured of the US, and hence rarely says anything critical of that country. Even when it commits acts that, if India had done them, would rightly be seen as outright murderous.

D'Souza likes all the little niceties of the US, with people saying their please and thank yous with great frequency; it strikes him that this is generally not the case in India.American traffic is, in contrast to Indian traffic, orderly, civil and polite. The US is more egalitarian than India, though of course D'Souza would neglect to mention that the US has had 200 years of uninterrupted development. And for most of those 200 years, the US was positively anti-egalitarian, in race, gender, class and ethnicity. The US is predominantly Christian, unlike India, where Christians( and Moslems) are the underdog up against the Hindu majority. D'Souza either doesn't understand the whys of anything, including these conditions, or else is not the least bothered by them. What counts is the outward, here and now appearance and condition of everything-roads, houses, civic sense, traffic, civilities. In these, he finds India generally lacking, and the US shining.

Anonymous said...

Chandru K: you have been very thoughtful and done a great job overall of highlighting how poorly India is doing compared to the US. Shame on you. The US has provided well for its citizens.

Your conclusion, however, is erroneous. D'Souza criticises India not because he is enamoured of the US - but because he loves India more. Yes, I too can analyse him. Stop seeing him as a Christian etc. He is just as much an owner of India as you are, even more so, perhaps. Remove your bigot-glasses and things will make more sense.

So US had more years of development while India is a much older civilisation. Somewhat contradictory. I think you do the new India a disservice by offering up excuses of WHY India is the way it is today. Instead, offer up your ideas for making it a better for the citizens.

Do you agree Potti committed a foul? Does he put the Christian Medical College (Vellore) to shame?

Chandru K said...

POtti committed a foul, but is there no other researcher in the United States who inflates his resume? Why are they picking on an Indian then?

And in contrast, have you ever heard of an Indian doing anything similar in India? No. I rest my case.

Dishonesty like this is (relatively) unknown to the Indian psyche. It is taught to us when we come to the West, almost from our first day here.

Anonymous said...

Brialliant!!
Chandru K, you nailed it!!

Anonymous said...

Chandru K:

You must be joking about India and dishonest resumes. Check this out. But you will say this is from exposure to the West.

Let me do your quick profile. From India - educated in English-medium schools, possibly in Bangalore. Working in Canada on an assignment from some outsourcing company that exports your skills. Perhaps Wipro. Recently married? Not entirely adjusted to the western culture and find it hard to believe how far ahead Canada and the US are compared with the India that you love. Then you have these folks like D'Souza who get under your skin and why? Because you know they speak the uncomfortable truths that gnaw at you every day. This is why you visit this forum while you are assigned to the "sink-hole of a country" where you now live. Am I getting close? Perhaps you can correct me.

Chandru K said...

How is my profile relevent to this discussion? It is a fact that dishonesty and cheating is alien to the Indian ethos. The West, with its inbred culture of immorality in the pursuit of getting ahead, teaches us those values when we arrive in these countries. (This is why we immigrants are placed in a unique situation to appreciate properly the admirable things about India and its culture, placed in contrast to the rotting core of Western countries).

This is why Potti did what he did, and I dont for a minute condone it. Had he stayed in India though, he would probably have remained honest. We should appreciate it instead of, like D'Souza, picking on his case to the exclusion of so many others like him in the US.

Dilip D'Souza said...

I gave up responding to this guy months ago, but I have to say his three comments here have left me open-mouthed in amazement. Is this guy serious?

Is there anyone reading this who feels like this too -- that "dishonesty and cheating is alien to the Indian ethos", and Potti's resume-inflation efforts happened because the West taught him how?

Anonymous said...

D'Souza Sahib,
you shall reap what you sow..

Anonymous said...

Chandru K:

Your profile, unfortunately, has everything to do with it. Secondly, you read and use D'Souza's profile. Religious profiling flows freely from your keyboard. The keenness with which you feel the cuts of "the West" are a part of your profile. Pure Potti Baby fell under the influence of Bad Daddy West. Are all Indian's so naive as to fall prey so easily to such influences? I think not. This again leads back to your profile since you obviously do think so. This means you have, so far, existed within your core family group only and not faced the real world in India prior to your taking up the job in Canada. You expect fair treatment in the media, not realising you must DEMAND it to get it. You long for India. Every slight is a stab to your Indian, even Hindu (profile again!) heart! Do you remember the fairy tale -- MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL? You do not like the answer you hear around you. You swing at the mirror.

Chandru K said...

"Yes, I too can analyse him. Stop seeing him as a Christian etc."

There's no doubt that there are Indians of Hindu background/persuasion who have that same wide-eyed little kid's view of the US- so clean, spacious, civic minded, polite. It's not that these general qualities of the US are not admirable. They are. But there are historical reasons why the US developed the way it did, and why India is in the condition it finds itself in.

As for the subject, there are simpletons from people of all backgrounds. Including people like the impersonator above, who thinks that cheating and fraud doesn't go on in India.

Chandru K said...

Of course cheating and fraud go on in India: look at the guy above who claimed it doesnt, but by fraudulently using my id yet again!

Chandru K said...

Why don't you change your ID to Chandru Ke and end this nonsensical competition? After all Chandru K is not a unique combination by any means. Unless you like this confusion.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Oh. my mistake. They cannot decide if they said it. Never mind, and apologies for my own contribution to dragging this so far off-topic.

Chandru K said...

Chandru Ke Kya? Ya Kaun?

Anonymous said...

Chandru K(s): since you care so much about fellow-Indians and proudly proclaim US and other European citizens as being of "Indian Origin" (when they make you proud!) do you have a plan for donating to the flood relief in Pakistan? All of them are of Indian origin.

Chandru K said...

"do you have a plan for donating to the flood relief in Pakistan? All of them are of Indian origin."

You've got to be kidding. Being of Indian origin is the last thing the majority of them want to be recognised as. They feel they are the heirs of the Arab, Iranian and Central Asian conquerors, the martial races. But if the Indian government wants to channel aid to these people, it should do so with the provision that the aid is seen as Indian, openly. And additionally that it is not misused for terrroist purposes.

Anonymous said...

Chandru K(s): Not kidding at all. It's not whether they WANT to be recognised as those if Indian origin, it is that they ARE of Indian origin, like you. Oh unless you are of Aryan/Central Asian or Australoid extraction, and also are not of Indian origin.

Chandru K said...

"It's not whether they WANT to be recognised as those if Indian origin, it is that they ARE of Indian origin"

Oh, it matters considerably. Pakistanis have gone to lengths to distance themselves from their Indian/Indic/Hindu connection. Some of this is no doubt officially contrived and manipulated. But there is also a significant strand that wants to show to other Moslems in the world that they( the Pakistanis) are not like Kaffirs in any way. That they are true Moslems. And this they seek to accomplish by denouncing and distancing themselves from India and Hinduism.

Anonymous said...

"denouncing and distancing themselves from India and Hinduism"

And this is a problem, in your view, since Hindus actually consider Moslems as integral to India? Or is it a convenience to justify holding the opposite viewpoint?

Does your heart not go out to flood-affected brothers? Or your empathy stops at the border?

Chandru K said...

"denouncing and distancing themselves from India and Hinduism"

And this is a problem, in your view,"

How could it not be a problem? When a huge group of people not only refuses to identify with the 5,000 year Indic heritage, and instead believes history begins with the Islamic conquests, but physically creates a country as an embodiment of that sentiment. It can't help but cause people to view Moslems as the 'other'. And Pakistanis as even more so the 'other'. How do you think Americans, French, Japanese or Swedish would behave in similar circumstances? Far more enlightened?

Anonymous said...

"How do you think Americans, French, Japanese or Swedish would behave in similar circumstances? Far more enlightened?"

Well I don't think the Americans, .. , should be allowed set your standards -- remember India is far more ancient and enlightened and needs to set the standard.

I agree though that the sentiment you have expressed is real and may be echoed in Pakistan - which makes the friendship all the more difficult - and ready for exploitation by "the West". Nevertheless, it must be pointed out as something that has to be overcome for the greater good.

Chandru K said...

India is certainly an ancient civilisation, but one that has been repeatedly ravaged by invaders, the British and Portuguese most recently, the Islamic marauders before them. So yes, India has an ancient richness, but in the present, it is still very much a poor, developing country. And one that has major security concerns. The last thing India should be doing is giving aid to a country that could easily turn around and use that money to conduct a terror strike. If you remember the Pakistani earthquake of 2005, there was all kings of assistance pouring in from Oxfam and other organisations. And no doubt Indians were among the contributors individually. Within a few weeks, there was a huge terrorist bomb blast in Delhi. That can never be forgotten

Anonymous said...

"The last thing India should be doing is giving aid to a country that could easily turn around and use that money to conduct a terror strike."

I understand. So while you feel empathy for the people and your heart goes out to the flood victims, you must impose sanctions since the butter can be made into guns. Such are the casualties of war.

As far as India being "repeatedly ravaged by invaders" -- I think this continues today and the fact that you think it has ended tells me that you don't even know it. As you say, Europeans and Central Asians plundered, some stayed and ruled. Indians were pawns in the second world war. In the current economic global village the Indian soldiers continue to be pawns - now carrying H1-Bs instead of rifles. Driving to call centers instead of being forced into service. The exploitation continues and WILL CONTINUE until Indians like yourself and some of the industrialists wield economic power in the way it is wielded by the West.

Witholding flood aid is petty and does nothing but show off the petty nature of the relationship with neighbours.

Anonymous said...

"If you remember the Pakistani earthquake of 2005, there was all kings of assistance pouring in from Oxfam and other organisations. And no doubt Indians were among the contributors individually. Within a few weeks, there was a huge terrorist bomb blast in Delhi."

what a pervert. besides how quickly he forgets that 1500 indians on our side of the border died too.

how sad it is that tragedies remind some of us we are all humans, and some of us that we should ratchet up the enmity instead.

Chandru K said...

"what a pervert. besides how quickly he forgets that 1500 indians on our side of the border died too.

how sad it is that tragedies remind some of us we are all humans, and some of us that we should ratchet up the enmity instead"

If this putative 'aid' is rigorously monitored to prevent misuse, and moreover the aid is acknowledged openly as Indian, there's a possibility of the idea being good. But giving such help to a country that does nothing but send terrorists to kill Indians, otherwise makes no sense at all.

Besides, why do Pakistanis need or clamour for Indian help in the first place? There will be all kinds of foreign aid pouring in from various quarters. India doesn't have to get involved.

Chandru K said...

Your policy is one thing, DSouza. But I would have thought it was obvious that I am not the one moving into discussion about Pakistan aid. For the record, please note my comments, right from the start, have been about Potti himself and your stupid focus on him.

I stopped commenting after that. The impersonator has gone to town after that with his remarks on Pakistan (though they were started with a provocation from an anonymous). Note how he cleverly began with his "Chandru Ke" suggestion.

I am, however, interested in DSouza's picking on this one case of Potti and pretending otherwise that the US is a serene orderly place filled with honest people. He has not responded to that at all. I think it is shameful of him to make that pretence.

Anonymous said...

D'Souza: Well the discussion went there since it was analysed in terms of Potti's Indian-ness and why he was singled out. This had nothing to do with your post right from the start. Start deleting there. (I noticed some name-calling - "Paki". This means that the related comments rang true to the commentator). The Chandru K's are running to defend Potti but away from others of Indian origin across the border suffering from a natural disaster.

Chandru K said...

I neither 'defend' Potti nor acknowledge Pakistanis as Indian in origin, particularly since their national ideology recognises them first and foremost as Moslems linked more to Arabia. For the record.

Anonymous said...

"I neither 'defend' Potti nor acknowledge Pakistanis as Indian in origin"

but it really doesnot matter what you acknowledge, chandru k. pick a random pakistani in, lets say lahore, pick a random indian in, lets say, bhatinda, do some dna analysis (or whatever it is that decides ethnicity) on both, i'll bet good money (and so should you) that you'll find them muchly the same.

you can go on about the "moslems", but plenty of pakistanis are indian in origin in the same way as atul (?) potti is.

Anonymous said...

or in fact in the same way as your spelling bee winners are indian.

Chandru K said...

Wrong. The Indian spelling bee winners would openly and proudly state that they are of Indian ethnicity, while simultaneously identifying with America. Regardless of what DNA proves or disproves, Pakistan as a country is based on being 'not-Indian' and 'anti-Indian'. Ideology is gene neutral. So there's no sense in India helping out these idiots, unless very stringent conditions are met.

Anonymous said...

as i said and i will say again: your hatreds and surmises dont matter much, chandru. most pakistanis are of indian ethnicity in the same way as spelling bee winners, or potti, or you, are. its just a fact of life. get used to it and find another way to make your arguments.

unless you are going to deny that you made them, in which case ignore this message.

Chandru K said...

". most pakistanis are of indian ethnicity "

Tell that to them directly, in Pakistan. Or are you going to say, "it doesn't matter what they think", either?

Anonymous said...

?? why shd i tell them in pak??

your the one who said they didnt deserve aid because they are not of indian origin. so im telling you.

Anonymous said...

He says the prodigal son disowned the motherland, so Chandru K takes no ownership of his Indian-origin neighbours. That's what I am trying to tell you -- it is petty, Chandru K, and keeps India (and Pakistan!) in third place all the time. By the way what about the flooding in Ladakh? I do hope you are sending aid there.

Chandru K said...

;He says the prodigal son disowned the motherland, so Chandru K takes no ownership of his Indian-origin neighbours. That's what I am trying to tell you -- it is petty,"

If the Pakistanis in question are not the least bit enthusiastic about being seen as "Indian" and of Indic/Hindu origin, why should I see them that way? It's not petty at all. It's common sense and self preserving. The knives will be out if you tell many of those animals that they are of Hindu background.
The same can hardly be said of ethnic Indian spelling bee contestants, physics and chemistry Olympiad contestants, chess grandmasters and Intel and Microsoft awardees.

Anonymous said...

Right. So some work has to be done to convince those animals to cleave unto their fellow-animals across the border. Chandru K you are absolutely correct. But what about the Ladah flooding. What is your excuse for that, are they Hindu enough for you out there and do they claim their Indic origins correctly?

Dilip D'Souza said...

"if you tell many of those animals ..."

And we like to think it is Pakistanis who hate India/Indians.

Chandru K said...

I despise, not hate, the Pakistanis, and with good reason. Their 'country'( which is no longer a country anyway, but a military with land) was created out of massive, grotesque violence, and sustained by hatred, lies and demagoguery. Their ideology is anti-secular and anti-plural. They believe in the crude martial races idea. They can't think humanistically; everything is about Islam and religion, Islam versus non-believers.

It's best to keep away from these idiots as much as possible. India is a dynamic, progressive country which needs to interact with similar countries.

Anonymous said...

Chandru K: India is a progressive country you say. But how do you account for people like yourself, who indulge in your self-confessed hatred and the despising of your neigbhbouring countries? Do you not reinforce and justify similar attitudes from your neighbours and therefore destroy the overall progressiveness of your country and the region? What is different about your type of animal? By your own definitions you sound like a "Pakistani" at heart!

Chandru K said...

That's the simple fallacy- that attitudes of people like myself are causing Pakistan to behave the way it does. Rubbish! Pakistan is the way it is because of ideology, composition and history. There are good reasons not to associate with these characters. As far as possible. A country based on being "not Indian" and "anti-Indian" does not deserve Indian sympathy. There are better countries India could reserve this sentiment for. Did I hear Thailand, among them?

Anonymous said...

thailand? the guy chooses, of all countries, thailand?? that country in which the urban educated cannot stand the rural peasants and their choise to run the govt, sinawatra, himself accused of major corruption?? dont make me laugh, ha ha.

Anonymous said...

".. are causing Pakistan to behave the way it does.."

Of course not, Chandru K. The danger is about people from a progressive country falling into the same trap that Pakistan has done. With your attitudes you will only accelerate this fall rather than support the progressive nature of India. Is everything clear now? I can explain further if necessary.

Chandru K said...

Thailand has problems of the third world like poverty, inequality and the ever present possibility of the military assuming office. But they are not anti-India, anti-secular or anti-Hindu. They are more progressive in their outlook and behaviour than Pakistan. There's a shared Indic heritage of Buddhism, which both countries can build on.

Chandru K said...

"The danger is about people from a progressive country falling into the same trap that Pakistan has done."

There's no danger in the forseeable future, perhaps not even in the unforseeable, of India as a country defining itself or making its highest national goal, the condition of being anti-another, or in the use of terrorism to achieve international goals. Everything else is just pop-wisdom or pop-psychology of looking for the tiniest, most obscure, or non-equatable words and actions of individual Indians/persons of Indian origin, as evidence of creeping Pakistanism.

Anonymous said...

thats where your wrong. given the attitudes you display, theres every danger of india failing into that trap. thats what guys like me and the anony above are concerned about. gandhi used to say, the change must begin with yourself. it should give you sthg to chew on chandru.

Chandru K said...

So in effect, you are saying, that if people like myself change their attitudes( no details really given) Pakistan will no longer define itself as anti-India, or not-India, it will espouse secularism and pluralism, keep the military away from power, and withdraw its support to Jihadis in Kashmir and elsewhere.

How so? And 'attitudes' like mine are not going to cause India to have its politics and economy dominated by the military, or define itself as being anti-someone else. As for Gandhi, laudable as his philosophy is, remember that when he was alive, Pakistan came into existence amidst a bloodbath.

Anonymous said...

No sir Chandru K. He is saying "if you won't be secular etc, Pakistan won't be so". This is not exactly equivalent to "if you will, it will". Check it out on some examples - "If I don't shout, no one will come" is not equivalent to "if I shout someone will come". So give it another try.

Chandru K said...

That's a very negative and shallow approach to secularism. Fear and anxiety about another country keeping secularism from developing in one's own country. Good grief.

Chandru K said...

Here is an excellent posting from another forum by a certain "Karna". This is, sorry to say, the type of incisive, witty remark largely missing in this blog at least on the matter of India-Pakistan.

"Hinduism and Secularism are more like a Garland with different flowers all sewn together with a dharmic/constitutional law thread.

Outwardly there is unit level distinction and lack of uniformity, but inwardly all have same soul and flow.

The distorted Islam which is nothing but Caliph Arab imperialism is like Charcoal where everything is burnt down and therefore there is an outward uniformity, but no inward soul or thread to bind all. Pakistan-Bangladesh, Iran-Iraq etc. are examples of that.

Pakistan is basically a burnt Garland, and since the common binding thread is all gone there is nothing to keep it together.
The efforts of Pakistan to link all burnt charcoal into a presentable Garland using an anti-India rope, in a vain bid to copy India is hilarious at best and preposterous at worst."