February 22, 2011

Not the king's house

So by now you've seen, I have no doubt, the email that's making the rounds that has photographs of Spectrum Raja's house? The one that says "Think Before You Vote" and "Forward as a True Indian Citizen"?

And perhaps you, certainly a true Indian citizen, did your duty and forwarded it? Perhaps you even went a step ahead and posted it here, there and who knows where else?

Perhaps you made a mental note to think before you next vote?

Well, it seems to me the thing to think about is really this: why on earth are we so gullible?

I know nothing about Raja. I hope he will face justice -- and not evade it -- for everything he is accused of. And he is accused of some pretty serious crimes involving some pretty enormous amounts of money.

Given the enormity of those crimes, I'm bewildered that someone would seek to further damn Raja by circulating a hoax about him. More than that, I'm bewildered that enough of us would forward this hoax without a thought, or a shred of doubt.

Yes, it is a hoax. The house in the pictures is actually located in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara. It was built by the California designer Steve Hermann. It was featured in the design and architecture journal Contemporist last June. It is listed for sale here (for just under $24 million). Go see the pictures for yourself.

(Thanks to Erin & Dave at Contemporist for the information).

So are you a true Indian citizen? Think before you forward.


aditya said...

It is terrifying how we bluntly forward emails without any thought (of afterthought for that matter). In most cases, a half effective google search would almost certainly nail hoaxes like these. hoaxslayer is one website that I know of.

There are numerous examples -- two mooons on 27th Aug 2010, ericsson's free laptop promotion. But this one tops it all: One email the other day even claimed that if you use vicks vapor run on the bottom of your feet, you'd be cured of coughing and I had people forwarding that email like crazy.

I always try to email the sender back and let him/her know about the hoax and to think twice before believing blindly in whatever comes to their inbox.

aditya said...

*Sorry, its actually vicks vapor rub.

Jo said...

There was a similar incident in Kerala sometimes back when emails were being forwarded with the photograph of a huge house and a subtitle that said "This is the house of CPM general secretary Pinarayi Vijayan". It was actually a house built by a north Kerala NRI. Pinarayi did not sit idle and filed a case of defamation. And another NRI was subsequently taken to custody for creating this email.

Anonymous said...

I thought that was a fairly obvious hoax. Indians who care abt India could perhaps forward instead reports like this one:


"....During 2007-2008, Raja’s wife MA Parameshwari was a director in Equaas Estate, whose turnover went up from Rs1 lakh to Rs700 crore* in a year...."

"...It has already grilled the telecom minister’s elder brother A Kaliaperumal in this connection on two occasions and raided Tamil Nadu-based real estate companies Green House Promoters Private Limited, Equaas Estates Private Limited, Kovai Shelters Promoters India Private Limited and Shivakhamam Traders...."

"...Raja gave a substantial portion of his ill-gotten money to an influential DMK leader. That money was used for purchasing a domestic private airline..." [CBI official]

*700cr is 155million USD, enough to buy half a dozen of those houses and have a few million to do other stuff.

If the Rajas have that money and could buy that house without any consequences, they probably still wouldnt; they'd find it too downmarket :-)

R. said...

lol....the minute i saw those pictures i knew no self respecting tam would dream of living in a place like that.