I still feel, you haven't read my email word to word. I would request you
to go by the 24 hr email rule (if not more).. which I personally do many
Pardon my grammar & also my line to line reply, as I'm relying on my
phone.. Since I'm traveling..
I will again try to explain point wise (where ever possible) & try my best
to clear all doubts.
1) Mr Rahul Deshmukh, did not visit Wikimania, on scholarship, or to
simply attend a random meeting. He was invited to be one of the speakers.
You can find this on the agenda of it, during Wikimania.. followed by notes
which carry a description. The ‘Conflict Resolution’ theme on which he was
a speaker. This is generally a very long topic, on which Wikimedia
Affiliates intends to discuss and deliberate over a period of time. This
theme would be subsequently carried forward in upcoming Chairpersons Meetup
as well, as mentioned on the Meta.
If your memory serves you right.. During the Wiki Conference India 2016,
where you were also one of the organizers (& the both of us deliberated on
various topics quite extensively) , several community members who had not
applied for the scholarship but had later approached CIS-A2K for the same
were awarded appropriately.
CIS-A2K had later informed the community about this decision.
In good faith, we assumed that, CIS-A2K did not inform the community
without having any specific interest in the exercise. Wikimedia India would
also like to place on record, that it could have initiated the process of
informing on its own. Wikimedia India would like to put on record, in times
to come not only it would inform the community but also engage with its
community members on decision making for such exercises.
2) Mr Rahul deshmukh had received an on record written invitation to
attend the meeting and be a speaker on ‘Conflict Resolution’. The above
said invitation was shown to CIS-A2K, when requesting them for travel
*I have not stated anywhere that he received an invitation during the
Chairpersons meeting at WMCON18*. He had attended Wikimedia Conference
2018 & in it had participated in the movement strategy discussion. It was
during the movement strategy discussion that he received the invitation.
3) The chapter has full faith and belief in all its board members
in both, individual and collective levels. This invitation was to the
particular individual based on his expertise in the chapter and in
the movement. Chapter has never considered any of its board members unfit
to represent it. Personally, I feel Bodhi, it is very unfair on your part,
to even make such allegation that the chapter would even, consider such
a scenario. A well wisher of the chapter would never make such comments.
4) The Chapter is not of an opinion that the community members should be
deprived of scholarship. Wikimedia India would like to put emphasis that
during its grant tenure, Wikimedia India used to provide two sponsorship to
its community members & we value the joy, which a volunteer gets, when he
is informed that, he is going to Wikimania.
However, in this scenario , none was deprived on anything. As I have
repeatedly said, Mr Rahul Deshmukh was invited to attend and give a talk on
conflict resolution. Since it was about the affiliates & partnerships
amongst them, the chapter approached another affiliate CIS-A2K and CCing
the chapter board members
5) The Chapter does not make any distinction between its board members and
its community members. Unlike CIS-A2K, Wikimedia India board members are
unpaid volunteers, similar to its community members, who give their time &
effort towards the community.
To Sum the entire email, the chapter has made a valuable learning, of
engaging the community in a more effective way in the future.
P.S. - Neither your previous email, or any other email can affect our
friendship, Bodhi .Our passion & commitment towards the movement, is what
binds us :)
On Sun 5 Aug, 2018, 12:27 Bodhisattwa Mandal, <bodhisattwa.rgkmc(a)gmail.com>
Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.
I have read your previous e-mail very carefully, without missing a single
My question still stands. Many apologies, if I have not been able to make
it clear in my previous mails, so I am adding some more perspective.
1) Chairpersons meeting in Wikimania is informal. It's not related to the
main program of Wikimania. For example, like many other informal meetups,
there happens to be a steward meetup every year in Wikimania. Now, if one
steward, who have not received scholarship, is invited in the meetup, then
he/she will have to spend his own money to attend the meeting. Same
principle lies here, participation for chairpersons meetup is not
eligibility criteria to gain a scholarship as it is an informal meetup. Can
you please provide some documentation, where it is written that scholarship
would be provided to attend informal meetups? Because if that is true,
everyone will find someone to invite themselves to attend informal meetups
in Wikimania and ask for scholarship from WMIN from next year.
2) I have checked and rechecked the minute and event page of
chairpersons meeting of Wikimedia Conference, Berlin. Nowhere there is a
proof that he has attended that meeting. So, I have doubt that he was
invited at all because there is no point to invite someone who didn't
attend the meeting previously even he was present there. Can you provide
the documentation of his invitation?
3) As I said earlier, even if I believe that he was invited, already
there were 2 EC members (Viswa and Krishna) present in Wikimania who went
there with full scholarship. You can check that president's participation
is not at all mandatory. Why WMIN didn't told them to attend the
informal meeting of chairpersons on behalf of the Chapter? Are they
considered unfit or incapable to attend the meeting, if yes, why so?
4) Lastly, Wikimania and Wikimedia Conference are not the same. Whereas
Wikimedia Conference is for affiliates, Wikimania is for volunteers. So,
sending an affiliate representative with the donation money, depriving a
Wikimedia volunteer who was in the waiting list and supposed to attend the
conference, is utter misuse of power and money. Can you please explain
5) Lastly, did WMIN inform the volunteer who was supposed to attend the
conference, that Rahul Desmukh has been sent instead of him, because Rahul
is the president of WMIN whereas he is just a volunteer?
I am sure, you will read my e-mail carefully as I did to yours. Also, I
hope this mail won't affect the friendship between us and you won't take it
Waiting for your detailed reply,
On Sun, 5 Aug 2018, 11:08 Yohann Thomas, <yohannvt(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> (sorry for the delay, just following the 24hrs email rule)
> Hi Bodhi
> I would request you to please read my email completely. If you want, I
> can give you an excerpt of my email, which should answer your questions.
> //In a similar way, our President Mr Rahul Deshmukh had earlier
> attended the Berlin Wikimedia Conference representing Wikimedia India &
> then subsequently was *invited* to Wikimania, especially the
> Chairperson's meeting at Wikimania. You will find the agenda in the link
> With this invitation , Rahul Deshmukh had requested CIS-A2K to fund its
> trip & they accepted his proposal. //
> Yohann Thomas
> Wikimedia India
> On Fri 3 Aug, 2018, 18:33 Bodhisattwa Mandal, <
> bodhisattwa.rgkmc(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Yohann,
>> Thanks for your mail.
>> If you check the link of chairperson's meeting, you can see, that many
>> participants were not president of any affiliates, they attended the
>> meeting on behalf of the president. For example, Nahid Sultan attended the
>> meeting on behalf of Wikipedia Bangladesh (WMBD) as the General Secretary
>> of WMBD. It is not mandatory to join the meeting as a President of any
>> affiliates, usually, if one representative of an affiliate is present in
>> that conference, he can represent the affiliate.
>> In Wikimania 2018, 2 EC members, Viswa Prabha and Krishna Chaitanya
>> Velaga, were present and one of them could have attended the meeting on
>> behalf of WMIN. Can you please explain, why WMIN decided to spend a huge
>> amount of donation money to send WMIN president to attend a meeting, where
>> his presence is not at all mandatory. Does WMIN consider these two members
>> unfit to attend such meeting?
>> Waiting for your reply,
>> On 3 Aug 2018 6:05 pm, "Yohann Thomas" <yohannvt(a)gmail.com>
>> Dear Bodhi & other community members
>> First of all, I would apologise for the delay in reply. Wikimedia India
>> is run by 7 board members(as you are already aware) & any discussion on any
>> topic, requires inputs from all of them.. Since all are unpaid volunteers &
>> have their own professional lives apart from Wikimedia India, there was a
>> delay in drafting a reply.
>> As it is a well known fact, Wikimedia India is a volunteer run
>> organisation. There are board members, who discharge their duties towards
>> the chapter, as well as serve their regional communities (as well as user
>> groups) in their volunteer roles.
>> Another well known fact is that, Wikimedia India still isn't
>> financially independent & is still dependent on external funding which is
>> fraught with regulatory hurdles, including obstacles related to FCRA.
>> Having said that, many community members juggle their different roles
>> in community, affiliates, committees & in personal & professional roles
>> attend different conferences run by the Wikimedia & its volunteers around
>> the world.
>> In a similar way, our President Mr Rahul Deshmukh had earlier attended
>> the Berlin Wikimedia Conference representing Wikimedia India & then
>> subsequently was invited to Wikimania, especially the Chairperson's meeting
>> at Wikimania. You will find the agenda in the link below.
>> With this invitation , Rahul Deshmukh had requested CIS-A2K to fund its
>> trip & they accepted his proposal.
>> Going a little off topic & concluding my email, I would really want to
>> appreciate & acknowledge the work done by Abhinav on & offline in
>> to the chapter. Eventhough Abhinav, prematurely left the chapter before his
>> term expired, he still continues to support the chapter on different
>> issues, inspite of us still battling with all our regulatory hurdles. I
>> wish there were more such vocal well wishers, when the chapter is going
>> through a difficult time.
>> Yohann Thomas
>> Wikimedia India
>> On Fri 27 Jul, 2018, 12:32 Bodhisattwa Mandal, <
>> bodhisattwa.rgkmc(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>>> WMIN chapter president Rahul Deshmukh attended Wikimania 2018 in Cape
>>> Town without being selected for any type of scholarship. My question is why
>>> was he sent to the conference depriving other community members from India
>>> who were in the waiting list.
>>> He spoke in the informal chairpersons' meetup for few minutes. The
>>> meeting doesn't require president of the organization's presence,
>>> already there were 2 EC member of WMIN present, who could have attended the
>>> To me, this is utter misuse of power and abuse of donation money.
>>> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
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