Well said, Ashwin ...
A few good things... Some mistakes .. some goof ups...lots
of misunderstandings, concerns and anger..We are all tired... But it is time
to move on.
Let us discuss how we can be more productive, instead of any personal
mudslinging. A few humble suggestions from my side.
1) There is a wide spread agreement for the need for more admins for the
India mailing list. It is important that these people should be neutral, and
in good standing & possibly not connected with the chapter or EC.
2) Let us appreciate the hard work and the struggle behind setting up the
chapter ( by the current EC members and many others) through a very painful
3) Like Ashwin commented, let us give some time for the chapter to stablise
and operate. It is an important action item from the chapter to open the
membership asap and conduct a general body meeting as time permits.
4) It is important that there is a clear communication between the chapter /
EC and the community. Hence forth, it will be good that
the Executive committee announce the agenda of the meetings and make public
the meeting minutes & resolutions as early as possible.
5) Re-electing office bearers among the EC members each time is a very bad
idea, IMHO. Even if there is any plan of such re-election, kindly announce
the elections in public & in advance. How & Why the election takes place is
still a dark area for all of us..In future, we would like to know who voted
for whom or whether the election was unanimous and the reason why a
re-election is needed in the first place. Request not to redirect us to MoA
as a reason for re-elections.
6) In line with the process of Wikimedia Foundation itself, the resolutions
of EC should be made public with information on who supported, opposed and
abstained. A collective decision doesn't mean right to individual members'
stand, objection & opinion can be ignored or go undisclosed.
7) I think it is a good idea to have a non-voting member, appointed by the
Wikimedia Foundation in the EC as an observer ( future National Program
Director ?) . The member must have no voting rights but have access to
meetings and exec mailing list. This member should be in good standing with
Foundation , other EC members and the community in general.
8) Any international travel representing the India chapter should be
9) It is important to ask hard questions on this mailing list to
ensure transparency & accountability , but kindly avoid personal attacks.
Time to formulate an email etiquette policy page for the India list ?
10) This mailing list continues to unmoderated except with those mails which
are obvious spam.
11) The India chapter should be/will be a great enabler for the growth of
the Wikimedia movement in the country. Let us support it whole-heartedly.
All the best wishes.
On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM, Ashwin Baindur
I think the time has come to assume good faith and let the office
bearers get their act together. We have had enough emails expressing
the community's concerns at lack of transparency, lack of
communication, etc, etc. The new office bearers are in an un-envious
position. I'm sure that they must now be feeling that all the work of
putting up a chapter is a thankless job. It was an important task and
let us recognise that tackling any state bureaucracy is not an
occupation of pleasure. So let us thank them for doing this task and
ask them to henceforth function in a manner which meets the concerns
of the community.
It would have of course been great if the community had been brought
in before establishing the foundation, but that is all water under the
bridge now. It is time for us to let them be and go about doing
whatever they planned. This spate of attacks/accusation/discourse I'm
sure has halted them in their tracks. Such a limbo is the worst
situation possible. In expressing our legitimate concern, we have
virtually accused them of every possible wrong without concrete
evidence and now they stand here already condemned in public eyes. If
they have to serve us - make no mistake - chapter activities are meant
to serve the community, not govern them - then we have absolutely
demotivated them from doing so.
To the EC committee, I would like to say, you have my unqualified
support for the period of a year and I request you to get your act
together and deliver what you have promised. At this point of time, my
support is unqualified but henceforth after this grace period, it will
be based on your performance and output. I'm giving you the rope,
gentlemen of the EC, now either construct a rope bridge and span the
gap between you and the community or hang yourselves with that rope
To the community, I further request that the tone on the list be
lowered to gentlemanly discourse. I am not saying that we stop
expressing our concerns but let us do it in a constructive way. Also,
we must not make mountains out of mole-hills and we must be even more
tolerant than before. If the EC have to achieve ambitious targets,
they have to act. When people act, they make mistakes. Only those who
dont act, make no mistakes. In my eyes inaction is the greater sin
than acting and making mistakes. The EC will make a few mistakes but
they may be discussed in a non-accusatory way and lessons should be
learnt from them instead of seeking to crucify the EC members at every
Also, I will request that all feelings/issues that the community feels
strongly about be discussed openly on the list rather than offline and
that no efforts be made to influence the EC offline or in an
For those who feel, that they would like to be part of the setup in
the Wikimedia India chapter - that is a great and good ambition and
the way to go about it is by working in constructive manner so that
the community's aims are progressed.
This email is not meant to point fingers towards any one person, but
definitely I feel the community needs to heed my message and if you
don't agree, to discuss it politely.
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