Dear Vishwa,

I think the Chapter EC should analyse (internally, at the very least) why this 
has not happened in 4 years of the Chapter's existence in India. See membership 
numbers from the various communities and see if the data the Chapter has 
reflects confidence in the Chapter. 

My argument is not to get rid of the Chapter, only to place it in suspended  
animation till the need for a Chapter to exist is felt by the User Groups (as 
defined by WMF, not the SIGs of the Chapter). This is the bottom up approach 
encouraged by Wikipedia. 

As Ravi suggests, this is perhaps something worth considering during the 

Warm regards,

Sent from my iPhone

> On 07-Sep-2014, at 2:27, ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) <> 
> wrote:
> Dear all,
> Having intensively spent more than two years within the chapter and many more 
> years within one of the better performing communities, I would like to input 
> a few points:
> 1. Despite its being a single large political entity, India is a diverse 
> heterogeneous  amalgam of umpteen cultures, thought schools, social habits 
> and community pride.
> 2. The one statement above is the prime point to be considered when any sort 
> of plans and road maps are drawn for missions like Wikimedia projects. It is 
> very very important that everyone, both within India and outside, realize 
> this.
> 3. Due to this, any plans should have two such perspectives:
>  (1) an overall national outlook that will take care of legal and other 
> governance or assistance that is collectively beneficial to the entire 
> country; and 
>  (2) a view that ensures and focus on each community with due considerations 
> onto its own Strengths, Weaknesses,  Opportunities and Threats.
> 4. A strong chapter (with a large number of members and strong representation 
> of the actual Wikimedia community volunteers) is a definite instrument that 
> can take care of the first goal.
> The chapter can be strong only if it proves its value, worthiness, openness 
> and long term sustainability. The community should feel that the chapter is 
> not an authority over them, but only an assisting agency that is bound by the 
> might of the community at large and that does not cross its preset limits 
> towards the almost anarchic freedom the community enjoys.
> 5. However, own experience so far yields to me that despite the hard work 
> committed by many souls, the chapter has difficulty in (1) growing itself up 
> and (2) reaching out to the communities. Both these objectives are mutually 
> dependent and anything that can help either, will eventually help and 
> complement the other. In addition, every community member should be able to 
> develop trust and confidence in the chapter. This too, is an added outcome of 
> a large (populous) democracy.
> 6. Many user groups (each within a community of a particular language, theme, 
> interest, geography or occupation) is a very potential but missing link. 
> User groups can exist and flourish in numbers and individual strength,  at a 
> layer that is just midway between the Chapter and Communities. [Chapters have 
> high legal and administrative bindings, procedural obligations etc. but they 
> also enjoy representative authority, financial and logistic resources and 
> structured organizational and professional  efficiency; On the other hand, 
> communities are, as always, wild, uncontrollable, unpredictable and 
> untameable, yet  innovative and 'working' on their own. They are the real 
> juice of the mission, with no doubt ever.]
> 7. So, in brief, according to the lessons as I have learnt so far,
> In India, we must have ONE very strong, populous, democratically just, 
> self-sustained chapter and many User Groups supported and built by individual 
> communities from the bottom side as well as by the Chapter and / or WMF and 
> other entities from the topside.
> 8. The Chapter can find its own active, efficient and inevitable role, acting 
> as a national umbrella organization, coordinating and interconnecting the 
> User Groups, communities and discrete community members, in addition to 
> acting as a gateway between them and the higher ups (say WMF, Government and 
> other institutions).
> 9. What if there is no chapter?
> The Chapter is needed. Without an umbrella organizations, different 
> communities may have different rates of growth. While one community may be 
> vibrant, self-sustaining and growing wonderfully, another feeble one may be 
> left unattended and die all by itself. The chapter can see to it that every 
> baby gets its milk, to the fill of the bottle it deserves.
> The chapter is also the most efficient way to work on tasks of a national 
> scale. As a significant institution, it may be able to influence the factors 
> that decide the fate of knowledge empowerment and emanicipation in future 
> India.
> 10. Should we desist from forming User Groups?
> No! The user groups can be much more fun, efficient, communicative and 
> motivating to the communities. The user groups must be promoted in every way 
> that is possible, but still with very careful and tactical, but minimal  
> controls ensuring basic compliance for purposes of financial freedom and 
> other benefits. However, their numbers may be limited into convenient degrees 
> to ensure good balance between mutual freedom and quantitative sustenance.
> Thank you.
> Viswanathan Prabhakaran
> Independent user from Malayalam Wikimedia Community,
> Also, 
> Treasurer,
> Wikimedia India Chapter
>> On Sun, Sep 7, 2014 at 12:25 AM, Vikram Vincent <> 
>> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>> On 3 September 2014 09:38, Pradeep Mohandas <> 
>>> wrote:
>>> It is perhaps worth considering a format of having multiple user groups 
>>> model in India rather than having one central Wikimedia India Chapter.
>> Having user groups which function democratically also ensures that the 
>> chapter functions well. I don't think we need to discuss replacing the 
>> chapter cause that would be a retrograde move. The user groups can affiliate 
>> themselves with the chapter, which is the official body of Wikimedia India, 
>> if they want to.
>> Regards
>> Vikram
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