Firstly let me begin with tons and tons of apologies as I am terribly late
with this report and in no way can I justify being such late.
Unfortunately, due to various reasons primarily studies and traveling, I
could not come out with this faster.
Wikipedians in Kolkata met for the 10th time at Atmabikash Samiti on the
19th of Hamy, 2012. There was a large number of members upto at least 10
people, my memory is a bit clouded now. Incidentally, being a bengali and
well as being born and brought up in Kolkata, this was my first meetup with
the Kolkata community. I had just met Jayanta da at WikiConference 11 where
we shared our stories of Wikipedia.
To be honest, it was one of the warmest welcomes I've received. The meetup
started with informal introductions, as I knew none and other than Jayanta
da, none knew me. I told them my story of IEP student to Campus Ambassador
to editor and promoter of the Wikimedia movement, while they each told me
theirs. The date on which it was held, 19th May, was also special, which
was unknown to many of us and this was highlighted by guest of honour, Dr.
Mohit K Ray, who has a Ph D in Engineering and is an Environmental
We all know about 21st February
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_21>which started the Bengali
Language Movement <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Language_Movement>,
now celebrated as International Mother Language Day. However, it is unknown
to most of us that an event of equivalent importance occurred on the 19th
of May also in our country. The event which was not initially on Wikipedia
and has now been added reads, "1961 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961> –
11 bengali martyrs gave up their life in a police firing in
Assam <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assam>, while demanding state
recognition of bengali language in the Bengali Language
Dr. Ray highlighted how little is know about such an event within our own
country. He also discussed the growing separation in linguistic differences
between the bengali language spoken by Indians, (i.e. West Bengali) and the
bengali language spoken by Bangladesh.
He also cited how the history of Bengali language is bifurcating into two
streams based on these differences. However, after and intense discussion
as to what then should be the future of Wikipedia, Jayanta da pointed out
that till date, other than a few spelling disputes, there have not been too
many arguments between Indian (Bengali) Wikipedians and Bangladeshi
Wikipedians regarding Bengali Wikipedia. In fact the collaboration that
both countries enjoy is unique in its own in that the two countries are
united by bengali wikipedia sharing common goals and interests.
Other than this pivotal topic, other topics discussed brought forward by
both Jayanta da, Kalyan da, myself as well as everyone present were:
1. How Bengali Wikipedia is increasing day by day.
2. How it the need of the hour is to increase Indian editors in Bengali
Wikipedia as Jayanta da pointed out in WCI 11, (95% contribs are from
3. How to engage various institutes and libraries into putting content into
4. How to engage the already interested youth of West Bengal into editing
Wikipedia. (As in previous instances, they have already showed a lot of
energy and interest).
5. How to better conduct meetups, and spread the news about the meetups.
However, each of these topics required vast discussions and as such, it was
decided to put these on the agenda list for the next meetup. We all shared
a cup of tea and the meeting was put to a close.
I've tried to keep this report as short and simple as possible. My
experience with the Kolkata community was truly wonderful and am proud to
be part of such a bunch of warm loving individuals who accepted me into
their inner circle without having to jump too many hoops. I hope I can keep
on contributing to their efforts in every which way I can in the future.
Wish the Kolkata community all the best for the next discussion.
Just a few points of observation (my two paisa):
1. The discussions need more control and organization. Most of us generally
started on the same topic but the discussion kept on spiraling to a whole
bunch of different topics which Kalyan da kept on mentioning.
2. Due to the absence of a laptop, we could not do any online editing.
Though this was the result of confusion, maybe we could have a rotating
system of who brings the laptop in time.
3. We need to plan more frequent meetups so that as a community we can
4. If possible have online editing sessions, because as a community only a
handful of the people were really experienced with editing, most of the
people present were very new with just a few edits clocked in. If we want
to be taken seriously, everyone must edit and build up their own
experience, otherwise we will never figure out what exactly are the
problems that need to be addressed going forward.
- Lets make this world a better and more informative place*