[Wikimediaindia-l] Wikimedia India chapter/ ET article

Achal Prabhala aprabhala at gmail.com
Sat Feb 6 00:51:56 UTC 2010

There's been some discussion on this list of an Economic Times article 
that appeared a few days ago


and seeing as I am apparently quoted in the article, I thought I'd 
clarify a few things.

On the ET article:

1) I did not in fact speak to the Economic Times - the quotes they've 
attributed to me are their own summaries of discussions that I've had 
with you and others on this mailing list and on the strategy project 
wiki (http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/India) as well as an 
interview with Bridgespan, the consultants who are working with the 
Wikimedia Foundation on this strategy exercise 
(http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Interviews/Achal_Prabhala). A pity 
that ET didn't think it necessary to make contact; I could have put them 
on to Wikipedians on this list, and if they had spoken to you, I think 
it would have made for a more complete article.

On the India chapter:

2) As most of you know, there have been discussions around starting up 
an India chapter since about 2004. As you also know, the early 
initiatives stalled. In 2008, Jimmy Wales and Sue Gardner visited Kochi, 
Bangalore and Chennai - and during that visit, were able to stir up 
considerable enthusiasm among Wikipedians to get a chapter going. Since 
that time, I have helped a few interested Wikipedians to set up the 
infrastructure for a future Indian Wikimedia chapter - a few good people 
who were unwise enough to sign up for a long slog through the annals of 
bureaucracy, and who were furthermore willing to devote the better part 
of 2009 to understanding the minutiae of Indian tax law! (Not to mention 
extended - and extremely useful - discussions with the Wikimedia 
Chapters Committee).

3) The people who have been involved in the exercise thus far are: 
Gautam John (gkjohn at gmail dot com), Anirudh Singh Bhati 
Anoop (anoop dot ind at gmail dot com), Arjuna Rao Chavala (arjunaraoc 
at googlemail dot com), Arun Ram (arunram25 at gmail dot com), Hari 
Prasad Nadig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:HPN), BalaSundaraRaman 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sundar) and Kiruba Shankar (kiruba at 
kiruba dot com). The institution in India which has been helping them, 
along with me, is a Bangalore-based organisation that many of you might 
already be familiar with: the Centre for Internet and Society 
(www.cis-india.org). CIS is a non-profit that works to broaden the scope 
of the internet and related technologies in India; it has been providing 
weekly space for Wikipedia meet-ups, as well as some financial 
assistance with the actual drafting of registration documents.

4) As you have pointed out, the information on meta is not up to date. 
This, in part, is because the folks who have been working so hard on 
getting a chapter registered are yet to formulate an acceptable draft of 
the bye-laws to share with the broader Wikipedian community. However, 
they will soon have that information ready, and welcome your feedback 
and suggestions. Starting from the beginning of next week, the meta page 
will reflect the current status of chapter development, and a draft of 
bye-laws will be available for public comment by anyone interested in 
contributing to the process. Meanwhile, and after, please feel free to 
contact any of the people listed above for specific information that you 
might want.

5) Finally, a word on participation. It hardly needs saying that the 
ensuing Indian Wikimedia chapter is an entity that requires - and needs 
- the participation of every single Wikipedian who is interested in 
contributing time, energy and ideas. The work and administration of the 
chapter will be transparent, democratic and open; it will function in 
exactly the way you decide it should. I'm looking forward to it, as I am 
to seeing your ideas for Wikimedia in India take shape.


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