Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shocked, Stunned, Stupefied

I don't know how to start writing about this, so I'm just gonna start. A lecturer of our university, of our EEE department, was so far known to be a one of a kind talent, a genius. In the notice board of our university, in our website, there were appreciation letters which were claimed to be sent from foreign universities, praising this lecturer for his outstanding research and stating that he had won awards from IEEE for his works. From other teachers of the faculty, his colleagues, we got to know that he was a genius, who is under contract to work for IBM, and have been offered to perform researches at MIT. Recently I heard from some of my classmates that there was some trouble going on regarding him. I didn't know what the problem was, until yesterday. In a post in the popular Bangladeshi group blog, Somewhere in... , it was reported that these letters of appreciation which were claimed to be sent from renowned foreign universities, were nothing but fake. The evidences presented in the blog, supporting this accusation was pretty convincing indeed. The author of that post also sent emails to these universities to verify the letters, and was informed that there were no such letters issued from their institutions. That's not all. This 'teacher' also claimed to be an employee of IBM, and he even distributed IBM visiting cards with his name. The scanned image of these cards were also posted on that blog, from which again it was evident that this was yet another cheap forgery. The atrocities don't end there. This ingenious conman showed his true 'talent' by creating a set of imaginary characters (identities in the Internet), under random names, who claimed to be important personnel of the technology sector. Using these fake IDs, this lecturer sent comments to various blogs, where they mention the name of the lecturer, praising his research and claiming his acquaintance. When we started the blog AUSTronics, we collected a writing from this lecturer as well, and posted it on the blog. Under the name of these fake characters, the trickster posted comments on the blog (and also on this blog), boasting the works of this 'genius'. Among his colleagues, this guy presented his self-made identity as a prodigy in such a way, that no one had a shadow of a doubt about him. As the story propagated through the net, the teachers got to know about these allegations, a committee was formed to investigate the facts, and today I got to know that this conman has 'resigned' from our university.
Last night when I was reading the post, which unmasked this faker to us, I didn't feel anger, it didn't make me laugh, instead it made me sad, really sad. I was dumbstruck, shocked, stupefied. When you hold someone in the highest regards, think of someone with the highest sense of respect, consider someone to be a bright example of your community, and all in a sudden, you find that same person to be nothing but an impostor, a trickster, a low graded person wearing the mask of a genius, I guess all you can feel is shocked.
It was also shocking to see some of the comments made in the mentioned post in Somewhere in... , where some bloggers hit out at the name of our university. For what has happened, only the impostor is to be blamed, not the general teachers or students of AUST. Such examples of criminals can be found in every community, in every field of the society, but these actions don't represent the communities, but the criminals themselves. Any rational person would agree with this logic, but still some bloggers went on trying to put the name of AUST to shame without any reason. But most of the bloggers in that community rejected these comments, and responded that AUST is an established and a top level university of the country, and this heinous crime committed by this person would not in any way affect the already well known reputation of the university, gained for its top standard of education throughout the last decade. But undoubtedly, the authority of the varsity should've verified these information before putting them up in our notice boards and our website, in that sense alone, can the authority be questioned.
Some irresponsible bloggers also went on to post utterly disgusting comments on my blog as well. What was my crime? I was one of the students who helped develop AUSTronics, an online magazine for the EEE department of AUST, in which there was posted an article by this impostor. While he was our teacher, none of the students or teachers had any doubt about him, so it is obvious that we would post his article on the blog. In my blog I had written about the launch of this group blog of ours, and on that post, this impostor also posted a comment under a fake identity as an editor of several journals of IEEE, praising our work and obviously mentioning the name of this teacher as a promising researcher of our university who had sent an impressive article to their journal, and claims to be acquainted with him. Me, along with all the students of the varsity were also victims of his forgery, not his accomplices. But still some bloggers anonymously commented on my blog terming us 'fakers'!!. Truly sad and depressing to find such irresponsible comments.
There has been quite a few events in my life, which has taught me not to trust anyone, not to be deceived by someone's looks, or not to impressed by some sweet words. This recent shocking issue will be added to that list at the number one spot. This saddening event has put yet another nail to the coffin wherein lies the corpse of TRUST.