Mobiles, Prashant Tamang, and SMS messages

Last updated on Sep 21, 2007

Posted on Sep 21, 2007

Suchitra Krishnamurthi is mad, because of scammy SMS messages which ask to be forwarded on to friends!  She got one – ostensibly started by this girl who had lost her arms in the Hyderabad blast.  She decided as a good samaritan to put this unfortunate girl in touch with an NGO which helps such patients.  But when she called the girl’s "phone number" – there was no such number!  Now, was this chain started by someone as a prank or was it actually the handiwork of the phone company itself?  She is mad because these phone companies are creating new "days" for people to send messages to others:

In the meantime the friend who originally sent me this sms, has sent out this ‘sos’ message from the young student in Hyderabad to atleast a hundred people on her phone book, who in turn have sent it out to people on their lists too. I myself had sent it to almost 50 people before I realized it’s a scam.  Just another way for the cell phone operators to make a quick buck.
Its bad enough that they have bullshitted people into sending each other greetings for the most ridiculous occasions like ‘happy pets day’(if you have a pet) and ‘happy left handed day’(if you are left handed) and ‘happy rightfooted day’(well I made that up!) and ‘happy to be happy day”
The voting system via sms on television and radio shows is probably not getting them enough revenue so they have to come up with new ideas every day

Talking of the voting system SMSs, Indian Idol is in its last stages.  The result is to be out on Sep 23rd.  So every one is voting.  But nothing can be compared to the hysteria that Prashant Tamang (on right)- the FIRST Nepali to reach this stage of an reality show in India – has generated!  Here is a some lowdown on what is going on.  There is NO way in hell that Amit Paul from Shillong could even match this kind of money power!  Money is being sent from US/UK, MPs in Sikkim are donating money, businesses are donating in crores!!  The cell phone companies are making a KILLING!!  In a way it is sad – because in my view Amit Paul (on the left) is definitely the best singer from Indian Idol this year!!

Sikkim is leading the way to make sure that Prashant returns home triumphant.
The business community of Namchi in Sikkim is said to have donated Rs one crore (Rs 10 million) towards this end. Every town in Sikkim has set up a number of booths to vote for Prashant.
People, who are financially weak, are said to be selling assets to vote for Prashant while those who do not know how to send SMSes buy vouchers and give it to people who do.
The Himalaya Darpan newspaper, which started the campaign for Prashant, has declared it will give him a motorcycle on his return home.
Not to be outdone, Sikkim’s Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has already donated a Maruti SX4 car to the boy. M K Subba, the Nepali MP from Assam, has announced that he will send SMSes worth Rs 15 lakh for Prashant.
In the SMS race, the Calcutta police is not far behind. Says Niten Pradhan, "Vouchers are sent from 48 thanas (police stations) in Kolkata as well as the headquarters of the Calcutta police. The duty is given to 10 to 12 sepoys to send these SMSes."
Gurkha personnel posted at the Indian Army’s eastern headquarters in Fort William, Kolkata, are also said to be voting in large numbers.

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