Brother Shahid, thanks for your comments, but for the record (and for 
any other Indian Wikipedians who want to get things off their chest like 
he did) please direct your criticism at me in the future, not the folks 
who have worked incredibly hard over the last year to fashion the 
bye-laws you see on Meta.

I've been on the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation since its 
inception, towards the end of 2006. Like you, I'm an admirer and 
supporter of the mission of Wikipedia, and of the work of the Wikimedia 
Foundation. Over time, and with much subsequent interest from various 
people within Wikimedia, it became clear that the lack of an Indian 
chapter was an obstacle. An obstacle for Wikipedians like you; an 
obstacle that prevented people in India from doing everything they could 
to help Wikipedia grow. As there were several Wikipedians who wanted to 
form a chapter but were seemingly unable to, between 2008 and 2009, I 
contacted anyone who had previously expressed an interest in setting up 
an Indian chapter. These are people who had interacted here on 
WikimediaIndia-l, and also on meta, or who had written in to Cary Bass 
at the Wikimedia Foundation in his capacity as volunteer coordinator. 
The folks whose names you now see on the Indian chapter bye-laws are 
those who stepped up from among a vast list to give roughly one year of 
their time - a couple of hours a day, several hours a week, to make this 

Was the process perfect? No. But was it a fair process, given the 
options and constraints? Yes. Is the group of people that drafted the 
MoA perfectly representative of the Indian Wikipedian community? No. But 
are they as representative as was possible? Yes. Personally (and 
everyone who has been associated with the Indian chapter will agree) I 
don't believe we have enough Wikipedians from North India, or North-East 
India; I also don't believe we have enough female Indian Wikipedians on 
board. This is a pity; but this is also an opportunity, as long as it's 
stated upfront - as I have in several emails to this list before - for 
both increasing membership to the chapter from specific regions and from 
women, and for reconstituting the legally required stewards of this 
process from time to time with appropriately representative members. I 
appreciate you pointing out the flaws. But I don't appreciate you 
assuming that no one had considered these flaws before. And I would 
appreciate you participating in a manner that can correct the imbalances 
that exist in the ensuing Wikimedia India chapter, now and later.

The process, as you will understand, is complicated and there have been 
several ups and downs. ChapCom (the Chapters Committee) has stringent 
requirements; Indian tax law is complicated and rigorous to say the 
least. This process also required money to host people from various 
different cities in one place for a meeting, to hire an accountant, to 
get constant legal and tax advice - and the organisation that stepped up 
to fill this gap is a new and vibrant non-profit called the Centre for 
Internet and Society ( We're now at that lucky stage 
when our rules comply with everyone concerned. What the rules need, 
however, is your input.

Now, while I appreciate your concern and criticism, can I ask you in 
turn, why it is so easy to lash out with no restraint and so hard to 
actually contribute positively? I don't see your input on the India 
strategy ( I can't 
see your input on meta 
( And this is 
despite numerous messages, announcements and entreaties for 
contribution. Everything I've written here in this email, I've written 
before to WikimediaIndia-l, so this is not new, but you don't seem to 
have been reading your messages. And you must start doing so.

There are several thousands of Wikipedians in India who want to help, 
and not all of them are prolific editors, indeed some of them help in 
other ways, and we should welcome them all, while realising the 
invaluable role that editors play in making this thing we love. You are 
scaring them away - and I am pointing this out because I don't think you 
want to; you wouldn't be on this list if you didn't want to help make 
Wikimedia better.

I ask that you please join us in this exciting new phase for Wikimedia 
in India. Like you, I plan to apply for membership of the society as 
soon as the India chapter commences, and like you - I hope - I plan to 
submit my ideas on what the India chapter should do. Perhaps we will 
even meet in person. I'm actually very fond of wining and dining, and it 
would be my pleasure to show you some hospitality in the Wikimedia way: 
I promise to buy you a plate of idlis and a glass of water the next time 
we're in the same city.

Best wishes,

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