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ನೂರೆಂಟು ಸುಳ್ಳು (nUreMTu suLLu)

You may not be a "Dhrutharashtra", but we want to be the Sanjaya for you!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is Mallya Also From Mars?!


Recently, we at the 108 Sullu World H.Q. were reading an article by our favorite writer Mr.Vishveshwara Bhat. An article about Mr.Vijay Mallya. The following lines in that article intrigued us.
"ಕೆಲ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಸದರ್ನ್ ಕ್ಯಾಲಿಫೋರ್ನಿಯಾ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯ ವಿಜಯ ಮಲ್ಯಗೆ ಗೌರವ ಡಾಕ್ಟರೇಟ್ ಪದವಿ ನೀಡಿದಾಗ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲಾ ಜೋಕು ಮಾಡಿ ಅವರನ್ನು ಆಡಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆವು."
We at 108 Sullu World H.Q. are not journalists. So, if something intrigues us, we don't joke around. To be fair, unlike a real newspaper with paying customers and numerous employees, we are a lonely bunch. To be specific ours is a single-man operation.

Since we couldn't joke around, what did we do? We tried to do the next best thing. We tried to find the whereabouts of this "Southern California University".

Having lived in US for the past 16 years and having studied there we know a little bit about the universities in US. Not a whole lot. Just a little bit.

Having never heard of "Southern California University", we thought about the possibility of Mr.Bhat having his facts wrong. If you are a regular reader of our blog, not exactly an illogical conclusion.

So we decided to check. And check, we did. We visited some of Mr.Mallya's websites. Examples: this and this. And they also said that Mr.Mallya got his honorary Ph.D. from "Southern California University".

Having satisfied with Mr.Bhat's possible sources on this matter, we then started searching for this "Southern California University". We found no such university.

The closest we found were "Southern California University of Professional Studies" and "Southern California University of Health Sciences". While the second one is a small school that teaches Acupuncture and Chiropractice, the first one is a for profit trade school that is "100% Online" requires "No Attendance". Hardly the schools a billionaire would brag about.

More interestingly we also found a "Southern California University" in a document prepared by the Michigan state government. Here is what the document says about "Southern California University" (as well as the "Southern California University for Professional Studies") among other such colleges and universities:

"This is a listing of colleges and universities which are not currently accredited by an accrediting body of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Degrees from these institutions will not be accepted by the Department of Civil Service as satisfying any educational requirements indicated on job specifications. Please note that this list is not all inclusive; unaccredited schools will be added as we become aware of them."
A bit more looking around yielded this reference to the "Southern California University":

"DipScam's largest case came to its grand finale in a federal courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, in October 1987, with John present as an expert witness and observer. On trial were the seven perpetrators of a long string of degree mills, most recently including Roosevelt University, Loyola University, Cromwell University, University of England at Oxford, Lafayette University, DePaul University, and Southern California University, as well as several fake accrediting agencies."
While Mr.Bhat and at least some of Mr.Mallya's own websites say that Mr.Mallya -- or should we say Dr.Mallya?-- got his honorary doctorate from "Southern California University", there are other websites which say that this award was conferred on him by the "University of California, Irvine". Examples: Forbes.com and SECINFO.COM

However, when we contacted University of California, Irvine about this degree, here is what we received from them:

"Please be aware that the University of California, Irvine does not award honorary degrees, nor does is (sic) award a Ph.D. in Business Administration."

As per UB Group's corporate website, Mr.Mallya was awarded this honorary degree by yet another university. This time it is the prestigious University of Southern California (USC).

We contacted USC. We also contacted the P.R. department of the U.B. Group. But, till now we have not heard anything back from either one of them.

Is there a simple explanation for all this confusion? Or, is this just another case of Martian Syndrome à la "Dr." John Gray? Or, -- since the same information is also used in some government filings -- an attempt to mislead investors and other business folks?

We are just asking questions.

16 Comments:

Blogger Sarathy said...

Are you trying to pull out the Truth from the dump of lies or trying to disclose lies lying inside the truths? ;+)

Apr 28, 2006, 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Sanjaya said...

Sarathy,

Thanks for the feedback.

Are you trying to pull out the Truth from the dump of lies or trying to disclose lies lying inside the truths?

Neither. We just want to ask a few questions and have some fun at the same time.

"Lies lying inside the truths"? Hmm.!

Thanks again,

"Sanjaya"

Apr 28, 2006, 9:45:00 AM  
Anonymous SP said...

Hahha...good one sir, enjoyed reading..:-)

Apr 28, 2006, 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Sharu said...

Sanjay.
Whats up! I suggest you should start writing to one of the kannada daily here!
I suggest you require a bigger audience.

Jun 1, 2006, 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger Shrinidhi Hande said...

Vijaya karnataka online siguthathada? Neevu alli vijaya karnataka hege access maduththiri? Website iddare URL kodi please...

Naanu chennai nalli kelasa madodu, kannada pathrike sigode illa illi. Online nalli prajavani, Udayavani noduththene...

Last week oorige hogiddaga nimma blog bagge May 4 Sudha magazine maththu last week na hai Bangalore nalli odi thiLidukonDe. Blog chennagide.

Best wishes.

Jun 5, 2006, 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Dr U B Pavanaja said...

Congrats!!! You have been Belegere-d.

Regards,
Pavanaja

Jun 6, 2006, 3:44:00 AM  
Blogger Shiv said...

sanjay,

nimma 108 sullu sakkath research maadi Dr.Malya avara doctorate annu haro hara maaDidhira..

Gud report..

Jun 6, 2006, 7:20:00 PM  
Blogger Sanjaya said...

"sp",
I am glad to know that you enjoyed reading it. I definitely had good fun writing.

"sharu",
I am happy that you think that I deserve "a bigger audience". But, I am quite sure no Kannada daily would like to publish my rants about Kannada dailies. Not that I am interested in writing for one.

Shrinidhi Hande,
The link for Vijaya Karnataka is right there in my blog. Please take a look.

Pavanaja,
Thanks. I am happy that I got Belegere-d in Surya Shikari. When I read your comment, for a moment I thought that I got a starring role in Crime Diary! ;-)

Shiv,
Thanks.

..
"Sanjaya"

Jun 6, 2006, 9:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear sanjaya

please let me know that your article is against vishweshwara bhat or it against the way mallya got a doctorate, because ur blogs name 108 sullu is very similar to vishweshwar's column name, if you really want to tell the truth about mallya's doctorate, u can tell what u know about it, but in the name of mallya u trying to insulting v.b. better u read the article again in that v.b. never tell us that doctorate of mallya is truth, its about mallyas success in aviation & breweries industry, ur article is like searching mistake in v.b's column, in kannada we used to say MOSARALLI KALLU HUDUKIDANGE

Jun 10, 2006, 3:10:00 AM  
Blogger Sanjaya said...

Dear Anonymous,

It is true that Mr.Bhat's writings are the inspiration for Noorentu Sullu. The name of course is a play on the name of his column.

Now for this particular post.

I started checking the facts about Mr.Mallya's doctorate after reading Mr.Bhat's article. Based on my previous experience, I did not believe Mr.Bhat had his fact entirely right about this matter. As I started checking it out, I found that Mr.Bhat's fact could be wrong because it's Mr.Mallya's facts that were murky.

I find murky things about prominent people interesting. I think it is fun to ask questions about them. Hence my article.

You write that "v.b. never tell us that doctorate of mallya is truth".

I never wrote that Mr.Bhat said so.

"ಮೊಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಲ್ಲು"

Mr.Bhat wrote that Mr.Mallya was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Southern California University. "ಮೊಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಲ್ಲು ಹುಡುಕಾಟ" has led me to realize that what Mr.Bhat wrote may neither be full nor entirely correct.


Regards,

Jun 10, 2006, 8:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a pleasant surprise to see your blog. I feel you must blog more frequently.

Vijaya Karnataka has trivialised Kannada journalism by writing stories based on half truths and blatant lies. The sensationalisation in the paper is misleading many young people. It is also a paper that has contributed enormously to the growth of communlism in Karnataka.


Vishveshwara Bhat believes in an idology (the ideology that killed Gandhi)that has been brainwashing people with inaccurate facts and half truths. I am not really surprised that he has written lies in his columns. Many opf the letters to the editor published in the paper are in fact written by some jounalists themselves. The letter are published in the ficitions names to support the paper's line of argument or to make false accusation against right thinking people.

For vishweshwara Bhat and his gang the number one problem in Karntataka is buying and selling of cattle by muslims. The paper has become a pamphlet for the Sangh Parivar. Mr. Bhat believes in an ideology that is based on distorted history of India.

I can only laugh at those who say that Bhat has been insulted. Any person with reasonin ability would not think so.

Aug 2, 2006, 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.usc.edu/admin/provostoffice/honorarydegrees/past_recipients.html

definitely can't find him here..

May 13, 2008, 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good write up. I think, the bigger issue is the degree/diploma mills, and even the 'big shots' are falling for them / using them to promote their causes.

Another related issue is that the 'genuine' universities (in India also) are lowering their standards in the name of progressive change - such as distance education.

Ram

May 15, 2008, 1:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

USC didn't get back to you? Isn't it premature to start making allegations then? This post is constantly linked-to from Churumuri, and it is unfair if such serious allegations don't have proof.

The USC website lists recipients only since May 2000.

And really, 16 years in the US and you had to write two pages before you guessed USC could be a possible option?

Sep 30, 2009, 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gajendra said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_California_University

Oct 1, 2009, 4:44:00 AM  
Blogger Sanjaya said...

Dear Gajendra and Anonymous,

Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to submit your comments.

It has been more than 3 years since I wrote about Mr.Mallya's doctorate. Since then gallons and gallons of beer have flown out United Breweries. And, there hasn't emerged any major new facts to make me believe that it was wrong to ask those questions that I asked.

Here are some developments though:

1. I got a reply from U.S.C. for my query. And it said "Mr. Mallya has never received an honorary degree from USC".

2. The UB Corporate website doesn't mention USC anymore - as it did 3 years back. Instead, it now says, Mr.Mallya's degree was conferred by the "Southern California University". And of course, I have already written about this "university".

If Churumuri "constantly" links to this post, I have no say in that. Frankly, in these 3 years, I have moved on. I have lost interest in this blog.

While readers are welcome to submit their comments, please note that they may be published after much delay (or not published at all) as I don't monitor this blog actively anymore.

Regards,

"Sanjaya"

Oct 6, 2009, 2:32:00 AM  

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