Talk:Barun De

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Illness and death[edit]

A self-claimed family member (and based on some past history, I believe that he is actually a family member), has requested that the nature of Barun De's death be removed from the article. While the information is adequately sourced, I don't know that it's absolutely critical to the article that it be kept; WP:BLP (which still applies, given that the person is recently dead) does give us some leeway to allow borderline information to be removed. I'm inclined to grant the request, because in this case there's no particular connection between the person's cause of death (you can still see it if you follow the references) and the person's notability. Does anyone object to the current phrasing? Qwyrxian (talk) 12:41, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

That family member actually objected to any mention of the death and was edit warring on that basis. I don't object to omitting cause of death for now - I know how raw the feeling can be soon after a parent dies - but the fact that he has died and the date of death must appear in the article. It is basic stuff and to imply that he is still living by omitting such information is a gross dis-service. - Sitush (talk) 13:52, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


I've made an attempt to improve the sourcing of this article but it is still a sea of blue tags. One contributor to this article has claimed to be De's son and I am a bit reluctant to remove statements that are still unsourced when their origin appears to be that person. The chances of them being wrong are fairly remote, especially since they, too, appear to hold academic posts. (You'll have to do your own research to verify this - I'm not prepared to out someone based on a claim made on-wiki).

I'm pretty sure that there will be some academic obituaries published in learned journals in due course but these may take many months to turn up due to publishing schedules, peer review requirements etc. I do have access to JSTOR and will try to keep an eye on developments there. Anyone is welcome to remind me in a few months' time. And anything that remains unsourced at that time should, of course, be removed. - Sitush (talk) 13:30, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

We are inviting a form of WP:CIRCULAR if we let the obituary writers refer to this unreferenced article when they are writing their obituaries. The result will be that everything here becomes the official version. I'd rather remove the uncited text, or comment it out, until it can be sourced. Binksternet (talk) 14:01, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
That was my concern with the Frontline source but there are so many significant differences (and now, it seems, a typo) that I figured it was independent. I'd be quite surprised if someone writing an obit for, say, Social Scientist were to base their statements on Wikipedia. However, feel free to remove or comment out. - Sitush (talk) 14:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Sources cited are being reverted. cited by one editor is reliable. The same cited by another person has been reverted. This gives me to believe that the page presently being edited is not reliable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Read the section immediately above this one (Circular Sources). The sources removed by Sitush are using material from Wikipedia and are therefore unreliable. --regentspark (comment) 13:15, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I included this bit in the page which has been edited: ""... as a senior professor of social and economic history "... |title=Historian Barun De Dead in The Telegraph, 18 July 2013 ...". This source was not taken from Wikipedia. It was taken from Calcutta The Telegraph. I don't know what made the editor remove this source?Bikramjit De (talk) 17:21, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
P.S. regentspark: Yes, the newspaper articles that have been used were taken from the Wikipedia article that I wrote. Soon after my father passed away, journalists started coming to us or rang us for information on his life. Either, the information that you read in the newspapers were given by my mother, or my sister or me in addition to what the journalists read in the Wikipedia article which they were not all that aware of until I told them about it. I won't have any objection to what is written here so long as the information given on Wikipedia are not incorrect, which at the moment they are on my father's page: for instance my father was not on the faculty of the IIMC just as a program director, he was on the faculty as a senior professor of social and economic history. If that is doubted, then it can be checked with the IIMC administration. They'll be able to tell you. There is a photo of my father on google with his former student, Sh. Ajit Balakrishnan, the present chairman of the IIMC and Dr. Shekhar Chaudhuri, the present director of the IIMC. You could, if they have the time, ask them. There are numerous similar errors which I would be only too happy to point out to the editors of this journal, if my inputs are to be used, which would not only authenticate the article, but also will be welcomed and appreciated in large segments of the Calcutta society. My only concern is to see that the facts of his life are correctly given.Bikramjit De (talk) 20:16, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Bikramjit, it is not an error to say that Barun De was a program director at IIMC though it may not be the complete story. Wikipedia does not try to be complete but does try to ensure that everything that is actually included in an article is verifiable through independent sources. Verifiability requires that a reader be able to reasonably verify that the material is correct. Asking the reader to check with the son of the person whose biography it happens to be is not really a viable way of verifying facts. If we can't ensure that the material can be reasonably verified, we exclude it. In the case of Barun De, unfortunately, most sources are dated after his death and, clearly, at least some of them have used unverifiable material from previous versions of this article and are hence not truly independent. Therefore we have to be extra careful in what we include here. Less, often, is greater than more. --regentspark (comment) 21:08, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
regentspark: Your argument is convincing. What is most heartening is your reasonableness. I fully appreciate that the complete story cannot be given by Wikipedia. But when a reader reads that Barun De was on the IIMC faculty as a program director, it appears that he was just that there and never held any academic post at the pre-eminent business school. That is not so, since he joined the place in 1963 as an associate professor, was promoted to a professor in 1965 and finally became a senior professor. He left the IIMC in 1973. His course was highly popular with the students, some of whom attained high posts in mercantile firms of those days, and a lot of whom remember him very fondly. To refer to him as just a program director is perhaps doing him an injustice. He wouldn't have liked it, since he wanted to be known as a scholar more than an administrator. Also, dates are very important. To a historian like him or his son, i.e. myself, incorrect citation of dates is historically unacceptable. He did not join the IIMC in 1965. He left Burdwan University in 1963 and joined the IIMC in the same year. But I can understand your constraints and the restrictions placed on your editing. What is most encouraging is that there are editors, like yourself, who are prepared to explain why certain edits have been done, and sometimes even make changes honouring the wishes of family members. And thanks very much for showing me how to sign out by typing the four tildes. I shall remember to do that every time I write something on Wikipedia.Bikramjit De (talk) 21:40, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again, regentspark.Bikramjit De (talk) 00:50, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, I've removed most of it. We're not using stuff that can only be sourced ultimately to your father or yourself. The fact that you are still quibbling about minor details on an almost daily basis shows a desire to manipulate the presentation of an image of your father regardless of our policies and I've had enough of it. RP may be prepared to play "good cop" with you but I am not: you have had a phenomenal number of explanations of our policies etc given to you by a variety of editors, not just RP, and it is clear to me that your primary purpose here is not to improve the encyclopedia but rather to get your own way. - Sitush (talk) 06:13, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Sitush: I don't think I am quibbling about minor details. I am not showing any disregard to your policies. I have not made any changes regardless of what has been written. I have presented the data as it was, to the editors, who have made the changes. Nobody is playing the "good cop". I am not manipulating the presentation of an unfair image of my father either. I have just given the facts as they were. The facts and the dates were not correct, so I pointed that out based on the sources that were cited on the Wikipedia. You are free to block my account. The data I presented on Siddhartha Shankar Ray's page is corroborated above in the same article by someone else. You are free to change that as well. Or you can write to his family members and ask them if I am correct or not? And for the latest edits on my father's page, it seems you want to turn it into a stub, or you want to remove it from Wikipedia. Please, do so. That way incorrect information will not be presented on my father on the internet.Bikramjit De (talk) 13:36, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Sitush & regentspark: Professor Anup Sinha's obituary notice is perhaps the most authoritative and original one on my father. He spoke to none of us, or at least not to me, before writing this piece. He wrote it entirely on the basis of his own knowledge of my father. Thus his obituary is neither circular, nor biased. As far as not being popular, I don't know why that's being said, since he is one of the most well known economists of his generation, and anything he writes is popular and widely read, at least in Indian social science circles.Bikramjit De (talk) 14:04, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I am afraid that the well has been poisoned here. Too many obituaries from around that time were clearly based on our article and your comments. "Popular" was a reference not to the person but to the medium (eg: not a peer-reviewed academic journal) and please note that you have consistently opposed another obituary written by an academic on the grounds that he did not consult you. You cannot have it both ways.

Yes, the situation is unfortunate but if you had followed our policies in the first place then none of this would have arisen. I have little doubt that at some point it will be possible to source his early education. For example, Nuffield College has its own journal and will record his death in due course. - Sitush (talk) 17:46, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

An editor of the Wikipedia is free to do what he/she wants to with my father, Barun De's page. Since I have put it up on the Wikipedia I cannot expect it not to be edited by anonymous editors. My only concern is to see that no incorrect information is entered or data is manipulated to present an incorrect view of the man that would have hurt him. I did know my father nearly as well as myself - to borrow an idea from his friend from Presidency College, Calcutta, Amartya Sen - and I do know how badly hurt he used to be by some of the comments that some of his self appointed proteges, such as Dipesh Chakrabarty and Rudrangshu Mukherjee used to make and are still making about him. I don't care what is said about him. To me all the recognitions he got don't matter. He was my father, and that is what matters to me only. I published Anup Sinha's article because that may be unbiased piece, or so I think. I do not know Sinha well, nor do I believe he knew about my father more than me. Also, please, do note that I do not care if some people are intent on suggesting that I have violated rules on the Wikipedia. If my father's reputation is hurt on it, I will object. Please, do not call my father a bureaucrat, because that used to hurt him immeseaurably. And no, Sitush, he did not hold "... various official positions, such as professorship at the Indian Insitute of Management, Calcutta.". A professorship is not an official position, it is an academic position. Please, do not seek to in any way damage my father's reputation, even if that is on the internet. That is an offensive act. And please, could you kindly stop misappropriating my father, Barun De, whom you may not have known even. If you do not want his page on your esteemed journal, then close it down, but you may not behave as if Barun De was your prerogative.Bikramjit De (talk) 18:54, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Shut. Up. With. Your. Moaning. Please. - Sitush (talk) 19:53, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
No, I won't fall silent. And no, I am not moaning. And please, don't misbehave. Do not use abusive words. You are not allowed to. Please, don't start believing that because you are an editor of the Wikipedia, you can insult other people there. And do not write derogatorily about my father, Barun De, on the Wikpedia. I am taking note of every comment you are posting.Bikramjit De (talk) 20:44, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Am I WP:INVOLVED here? I don't recall. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:06, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Probably not. But @SpacemanSpiff: is definitely not involved if he could review the situation here. --regentspark (comment) 12:43, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
You have made three reverts to the article (here, here and here) since you semi-protected it on 2 Sept. I presume that you were not involved at that point. You've made several comments in several places, mainly because of various IPs being used etc.

I lost my rag above. Yes, I should not have done but the provocation has been considerable and I do not claim to be saintly in manner. You've tested my limit, Bikramjit, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 11:12, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Honorary degrees[edit]

It used to be the case that we did not show honorary degrees. I think that the basis was such things reflect the awarding institution more than the recipient but I've no idea if it was policy or just a consensus formed somewhere. Does anyone know more about this? - Sitush (talk) 19:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Circular sources[edit]

It is becoming evident to me that various sources have taken information from our article as it was on 14 July 2013. For example, the IANS source of 17 July which I have just removed uses phrases such as "At IIM Calcutta he was the first Indian Post-Graduate Programme Director, and contributed to the setting up of the management diploma course there.", which is lifted straight from our article. I really do think that we have a pretty hopeless situation until an academic obituary appears. - Sitush (talk) 22:29, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Another example: we said on 14 July that "After his graduation he went to St Catherine's Society, Oxford to complete a second B.A. in History and later obtained an M.A. from the University of Oxford". The Times of India said on 19 July that "After graduation, he went to St Catherine's Society, Oxford, to complete his second BA in history and later did his MA from the University of Oxford." Ultimately, the problem here is that this article was crap prior to his death and the lack of sourcing at that point has landed us with major plagiarism issues wrt Indian media sources. - Sitush (talk) 22:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
We said on 14 July that " He has specialised in the social and economic history of India in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Bengal Renaissance, and British constitutional history". The ToI said the same on 19 July; the Hindustan Times is fairly similar (and gets his date of death screwed up, I think); The Telegraph is identical ... and on we go. - Sitush (talk) 22:47, 9 October 2013 (UTC)


I have finally come to Talk: Barun De to dispel all charges of my using multiple sources and identities. I have a single site, i.e. User:Bikramjit De - I have stopped using User:B_de2002 completely, since it doesn't open up anymore - which also dispels all doubts about the use of several accounts. I believe I don't I need to do anything more to identify myself.

The incorrect dates given in the article have now been corrected. Thanks for that. I just pointed out a simple error. I ought to show humility in pointing out these errors, just as the sincere and hardworking editors of the Wikipedia could also try to understand my concerns regarding the management of an internet site dedicated to my father. If the institute was set up in 1993, which it was, going by the date given on the foundation stone on the ground floor of the institute's main building, and going by the dates, which I suppose should be found on the institutes official website, and going by my own memories, which have still not failed - I was 25 years old at that time - then how did its first director hold the post from 1983-1988? Surely, he couldn't have been the director of the institute in absentia of the institute itself? Just a question, no answer is required.

I don't think I can spend much time searching for sources to substantiate what I know about my father. They may have been created with my help. No source is more reliable on my father's life, than what I know. Nobody knows about him better than what I know about him. And trust me, this would have been his view as well. I am indeed sorry to upset you, but I do want to see my father's Wikipedia page being written up with clarity and precision. I do believe that what a man's son says about his father ought to be believed whether there are reliable sources or not. What does one mean by sources? Newspaper columns written at the time of the person's passing away? Who wrote them and with whose advice? Most of these obituaries are gathered over the telephone from the immediate family members. If one member is saying that a certain piece of information is wrong and needs to be corrected then you can believe him. You may say, "how do we know you are?" "How are we certain that you are Barun De's son?" If you doubt the veracity of my identity, please look me up on google. You'll find me there. And also, since you are mentioning the importance of sources, why should you rely on newspaper sources only? If you are going to maintain a page on him, you can write emails to the respective institutes that he founded and they'd provide you with the correct information. You can also ask them about me, they'll tell you if I exist or not. You may want to say that you don't have the time for that. By that same logic I may want to say, I may not have the time for the 'leg work' that an editor has recommended to me.

Another point: there may be a serious difference of opinion regarding the use of the words 'died' or 'death' and 'passing away'. In Hinduism, we do not accept that a person comes to an end after death. Death is just a passage to another level. Thus the use of the words 'passing away'. We pass away to another level. Hinduism acknowledges afterlife. To say that A or B has died is to say that A or B has ceased to exist. Alternatively, to say that A or B has passed away is to say that A or B has moved on to some other level, but has not ceased to exist. You may want to disagree with me on this point. I wouldn't not hold anything against you if you were to point out what is misplaced in my argument, but I do believe that the use of the word 'death' or 'died' can be replaced with 'passed away' if members of the person's family want that those words to be included. It just helps in assuaging feelings in a world full of over sensitive ones. My common sense suggests that anybody other than my father's son would not have written all this gratis on the internet.

Thanks again for all the work you are doing to help me set up my father's Wikipedia page and all the patience you are showing. I should feel deeply grateful to RegentsPark, Fowler & fowler and Sitush for all the trouble you are taking to make my father known to the wider world. To Sitush I would like to say this: your concerns with the veracity of the information on the Wikipedia pages is admirable. I respect the high standards you are setting for us all on the Wikipedia. I do wish to honour your hard work which I will. My only concern is one that was inculcated in to me by the very man whose page you are protecting so diligently, i.e. at all costs preserve the sanctity of facts and dates. Perhaps you would understand my concerns.Bikramjit De (talk) 01:43, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

OK. I removed the programme director part - not sure what that is anyway. Now it says he was on the faculty. --regentspark (comment) 23:12, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
The program director was the official who ran the Post Graduate Program [PGP] of the Institute, which was the main management diploma course which still runs, and produces a large chunk of senior level managers in India. Eminent businessmen, such as the late Aditya Kashyap of TISCO was a student of the IIMC in the 1960s. My father did run the program, and that was the first time he held a directorship, but that wasn't his first and foremost identity. He was primarily an historian.
There's another detail that may need your attention: the dating of his stay at the IIMC is slightly imprecise here. The article says that Barun De was with the IIMC from 1965 to 1973. Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya's piece in the Economic and Political Weekly does say that he became a professor in 1965, which is correct. Professor Bhattacharya's article is no doubt both factually and interpretatively on the whole correct. But the article doesn't give the whole picture. My father was at the IIMC from 1963 to 1973. He may have become a professor in 1965, at the young age of 33, but he joined the IIMC in 1963 at the age of 31as an associate professor. There is no reliable source to substantiate this data. So, could I suggest that the dates for his stay at the IIMC be removed, to avoid chronological imprecision? Owing to the absence of proper sources, the article could for the time being say, "... He was/served on the faculty of the Indian Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta ...". Thanks, Bikramjit De (talk) 02:26, 12 October 2013 (UTC)


This article is being edited and managed by editors who have little or no knowledge of Barun De, and have doubtfully met him too many times or at all. An article on Barun De need not be left in the hands of those who did not know him. If a reliable group of editors cannot be found, this article should then be removed from the Wikipedia. (talk) 18:01, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 February 2014[edit]

The editors of the page on Professor Barun De seem to have disregarded the views and sentiments of the son of Prof. De who had opened this page way back in 2007. When the page was opened Prof. De had clearly stated that no Wikipedia article on him should be opened, but his son still opened one. Details on his mother which he subsequently dictated to his son were deleted by an editor against the wishes of the author. The article was shortened, which is well taken, since a small article is always nicer to read than a bigger one. Since Prof. De's passing away in July 2013 some anonymous editors or editors with fictitious names - JamesBWatson seems to be a fictitious name - have taken over the page against the wishes of the author, i.e. Prof. De's son, and have been inserting details that the author does not want to be written here. It is the sincere wish of the author that the birth and death dates of Prof. Barun De be removed for entirely personal reasons, which he doesn't want to mention here on the Wikipedia which is too public for him and his mother. If this request cannot be kept and since there can be no agreement on this issue between the editors and the son then closing down the page seems to be the only option left. This has been stated clearly to the editors who are being consistently arbitrary in their responses. What is most unfortunate is that the editors may or may not have known Prof. De at all. It is unfortunate that Prof. De's article on the Wikipedia should be usurped by people who did not know him and who also did not open this page from his son for whom his father's reputation is more important than his own. Even though this is just a Wikipedia article this is a matter of grave importance to Prof. De's son. (talk) 19:08, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This is a Wikipedia page about Barun De, it is not owned by anyone, other than Wikipedia.
In particular people close to the subject have a conflict of interest and are the last people who should to decide, or even influence, what should, or should not, be included.
We will certainly not "close down the page" on the request anyone - especially an entirely unknown IP editor.
Your accusations against User:JamesBWatson, a well respected and long serving Administrator, are equally misplaced.
Given that we will not "close" the page, if you wish to propose changes, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to any article. - Arjayay (talk) 19:31, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, the author will decide what is appropriate for himself and what is not. He isn't waiting for any fictitious editor to call the shots for him. One editor's page does say that the name given out is not his. Thus the claim that the author made. It wasn't an accusation nor is it misplaced. As for your prerogative to keep the page open, what can be done about it. If a group of anonymous people have nothing else to do other than damage articles on specific people on the Wikipedia then that is there concern, not the author's. After all this, you may even insert very damaging comments about the author's father, which will remain on the page for everyone to see. And it will also be more than evident who is inserting those comments. After that it is really your responsibility to make derisive comments about the person on whom the page is opened. The author, whose identity is now known, reserves the right to point out the limits of the law. Cheers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:48, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Bikramjit, you have a legal background and are feel free to sue anyone you like. But you'll be blocked here while you do so, per WP:NLT. Really, I think perhaps you should have heeded your father's wishes in the first place and/or taken note of Wikipedia's legal arrangements regarding licensing etc when you created the article: the issues about which you complain at a meta level are of your own making, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 16:32, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
So, what makes you come in suddenly, after having spoken through proxies for a while? You suddenly seem to be very alarmed? What makes you feel so alarmed? As for the limits of the law, I pointed out what they are. Pointing out the limits of the law and threatening legal action are two different things. I thought you would know that! Since you say that I didn't know anything about licensing on the Wikipedia the article may not be valid. An invalid article should have been removed. Why was it allowed to remain untouched by anyone else other than the author well after his father's passing away. It remained untouched for more than six years. Why did you suddenly get so deeply interested in the article after six years of its publication. Instead of telling me that it was not licensed - whatever the points of law are - you proceeded to damage the article without my knowledge. Usurping an invalid article which doesn't fulfill all the rules of licensing is even more problematic. But there is no point in explaining all this to someone who is not only usurping another person's article but is also plain rude. Additionally, your language is extremely unconstitutional. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Unrealiable editing[edit]

This page is in unreliable hands. Some anonymous editors have locked the page for an year. If these pranks continue, this page should be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

So nominate it at WP:AFD. Although I suggest that you read WP:GNG first. - Sitush (talk) 14:31, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
This appears to be an interesting case of a subject who fails WP:PROF but passes WP:GNG. Looking the publications at Google Scholar they aren't cited at all (i.e. no "significant impact in their scholarly discipline"). However one may legitimately argue the directorship of CSSSc to be passing the "highest academic post at a major academic institution" test. Solomon7968 21:02, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I was being sarcastic. The IP is De's son and has exhibited a massive degree of ownership on this and related articles. At various times when he has been unable to get his own way, he has demanded that we delete the article. - Sitush (talk) 21:09, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Sure but I am curious about the low citation count on Google Scholar. Example compare with the citation record of Tapan Raychaudhuri (213, 210, 62, 49, 47, 45, 41 etc.), whereas De does not makes it to double digits. Solomon7968 21:15, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I think you'll find that there is an element of systemic bias involved. De's works probably were mostly not published in English and, well, I suspect that he has been hyped up a bit in his own country also. Is there a Bengali version of Google, perhaps? FWIW, I heard of the guy many years ago - perhaps even as far back as when I was at Cambridge - but I've never read anything written by him. - Sitush (talk) 21:20, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I just rewrote the lead section. I believe De's primary notability derives from being the highest academic (bureaucratic?) post holder of number of institutions and as the editor for the West Bengal District Gazetteers (perhaps there should be an article about the series?), but his works does not appear to have made any significant impact. Also started the article on pathologist Barun K. De‎ who has in fact got much better citation record. Solomon7968 10:32, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
One IP editor says that De's son "... has exhibited a massive degree of ownership on this and related articles".(User talk:Sitush|talk 21:09, 27 February 2014) This article was started by B_de2002 on 21 May 2007. It is still not clear whether at the time of its opening, this editor, called Sitush, was editing on the Wikipedia. If he was then he may have noticed the starting of the page on Barun De. It is surprising that he should wait for more than five years to start acting as what he calls a 'globocop'. Why did he not edit the page according to the rules and regulations of the Wikipedia then itself? Why did he allow the page to remain as it was for so long?
If he did not notice the page, then that means that he may have come to the Wikipedia after the article was written and is now seeking to edit this page as a latecomer. In that case he could have discussed the matter of editing this page with the person who started it in the first place. He did nothing of the sort when he started editing it according to his own will from the middle of 2013, after De passed away. He has said that the contents of the page did not agree with the rules of the Wikipedia. Thus his heavy-handed editing. No editor has the right to do such heavy-handed editing without even consulting the original writer. Also, would I be wrong to suggest that Sitush may not have wanted to make these changes to the article while De was alive since that could have invited his ire?
Nobody is claiming massive ownership of the article or any other related articles. If a person writes something then he or she does have the right to request that his or her writing is not edited without his or her knowledge. If that is done then he or she does has the right to request that the article be removed from the Wikipedia. The present set of anonymous editors are usurping the page and are seeking to damage the reputation of the person on whom the piece was been written. For instance, in the introductory paragraph, an editor called Solomon7968 introduces De "... as director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and as the honorary state editor for the West Bengal District Gazetteers" in place of a sentence that states that De was above all a historian. De did not like being introduced as an academic administrator only. He was a historian to begin with. His academic achievements are hardly highlighted by these editors. It is well-known to all historians of South Asia that De was a scholar more than an administrator. Thus it would not be inaccurate to suggest that these editors are seeking to damage De's reputation as an academic bureaucrat in a Wikipedia article.
Clearly, this article has fallen in the hands of pranksters. Their identities are not disclosed on the internet. Given this condition the author of this post believes that the page on Barun De should be deleted. An article which is said not to have followed Wikipedia rules would then be removed from the public domain and De's reputation may not be damaged anymore. And finally, a son may not claim massive ownership of any article on his father, but he does reserve the right to ensure that his father is not insulted in his absence. The author of this post does believe that Sitush, whoever he may be, and wherever he may be located, is willfully insulting the memory of Professor Barun De, that too well after Professor De has left this world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:40, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
De is non-notable as historian but notable as a bureaucrat administrator and the present lead says so. I see zero evidence (i.e. Google Scholar citation) that his work has made any "significant impact" in modern Indian history. Solomon7968 07:12, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This tripe has been going on for over six months now and has involved numerous admins etc. It is spread over numerous talk pages also. The anon still exhibits ownership, still doesn't understand how Wikipedia works and still makes unfounded bad faith accusations. They're still effectively socking also, having used at least two registered accounts and a wide range of IPs. That a university academic is incapable of understanding the issues after all this time doesn't, I'm afraid, say much for the standards of university faculty members in India. Presumably, they are an exception to the norm.

I think that the best course to adopt from here onwards is simply to ignore them. WP:TE, WP:CIR, WP:IDHT and perhaps even WP:DFTT seem to apply. If they want this article deleted then let them take it to WP:AFD; otherwise, shut up. - Sitush (talk) 09:31, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Clearly, this page is in very unsound hands. Pranksters and utterly unruly elements with scant academic training have hijacked the page. Whether an Indian academic is a non-notable historian and a notable bureaucrat is neither of the two anonymous Wikipedia editors' lookout. Thanks, Solomon and Sitush for your considered opinions. I doubt if the history profession will agree with you. But it is now clear that you represent a particular point of view of a certain section of the profession clearly very envious of my father's achievements. Also, it is interesting to note that my father's page is sought to resemble that of Tapan Raychaudhuri's. But you will not be able to ignore these comments that I am posting as long as you keep my father's page locked, i.e. till the beginning of next year. By keeping it locked you are willy nilly engaging in the ongoing contestation.
Also, another comment is very instructive. My dear Sitush, your casting aspertions on Indian universities. I don't see how that is relevant to this ongoing fight over a Wikipedia page on an Indian academic. I wonder if you are at all employed and if so where? Clearly, you want a job in an Indian university. I think you live in the west. I do feel sad for you, and your state of exile more than evident in your ravings and rantings against Indian universities. I do feel sad for all those who are exiled and may never find a place in the Indian mainstream.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Nasty comments from you about other editors will not help your case. I concur that this article should remain locked, considering the persistence displayed by those who would promote the non-notable historian aspect. Binksternet (talk) 17:25, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Please, do go ahead and keep the page locked. But the fact of the matter is that one editor is showing signs of being extremely marginalized. Poor old Sitush, he makes nasty comments about the quality of the faculty of Indian universities. That means he took time out to check the websites of a faculty member of an Indian university. He has a lot of time to waste on the Wikipedia. And finally who do you mean by 'you'? Since according to one editor these posts are anonymous, the reference to 'you' loses its significance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I said "Presumably, they [ie: Bikramjit De] are an exception to the norm." Far from casting aspersions on the entirety of India's university faculties, I went out of my way to note the unlikely scenario. Now take it to AFD or belt up because if you post one more time here in the manner that has become typical of you then I'll seek protection of the talk page in addition to the protection that already exists on the article. - Sitush (talk) 15:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Please, seek protection and lock any number of pages on the Wikipedia, especially, your own talk page. That way you would prevent people from carrying on a discussion with you democratically. If that doesn't go against the ethics of this search engine, then mores the pity. Actually article writers on the Wikipedia need protection from your usurping of their articles - you are violating copyright laws, which I will refer to shortly - and extremely abusive language, what in legal terms one calls unconstitutional language. Let me give a few instances of the words that you, [i.e. Sitush] have used until now on the Wikipedia. "Sock puppeting" and "belt up" are only two of the many instances of the extreme rudeness that you are very well capable of. I quote you: "That a university academic is incapable of understanding the issues after all this time doesn't, I'm afraid, say much for the standards of university faculty members in India." This means that you are abusing all university faculty members in India. Finally, what do you actually mean by 'ownership'? An author does reserve the right to protect his article, wherever it is posted or published under copyright laws. I am not going to refer the matter to the Wikipedia board, if it exists. I have better things to do. My father's memory is neither restricted to a trifle Wikipedia page, nor to my representation of him. His popularity spreads across the length and breadth of the history profession. He will be remembered by members of the profession who may not rely on the malicious comments left on a Wikipedia page by someone clearly very envious of his centrality to the Indian mainstream. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:01, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
By ownership, they mean you are violating the policy WP:OWN. Also, Wikipedia is not a search engine, and please, no personal attacks. Comment on content, not contributors. - Purplewowies (talk) 05:08, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
The personal attacks have been carried out by Sitush. He is insulting Professor Barun De's memory, and is also launching slanderous attacks on his son. Without knowing the identity of the person who is leaving the posts, he is being plain downright abusive and rude. He has also started insulting all faculty members of Indian universities. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:19, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Can you provide links or diffs? Because you've repeatedly called the editor in question someone who is "clearly very envious", "showing signs of being extremely marginalized", and an entire post about how you feel sorry for him with some snide remarks within. I'm not entirely sure these are hard-and-fast NPA examples, but they don't help you. The only things so far you have mentioned the editor in question saying are sockpuppetry which is an actual term used on Wikipedia and "belt up", which, while I don't know the meaning, doesn't seem rude in context. - Purplewowies (talk) 13:47, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Purplewowies: On 12 October 2013 Sitush wrote that while RP [Regents Park] is playing the 'good cop', he, Sitush, would not. On 17 October 2013 he wrote: "shut up the moaning please". Both these comments are on this talk page itself. His language is rude.
But that's another matter. I do not know what the notability guidelines of the Wikipedia are, but in Calcutta, where Prof. Barun De spent his life, he wasn't and isn't considered to be a bureaucrat. He didn't live the life of one, nor will some of his students agree with this perception. Well-to-do academics, mostly from the subaltern school, may hold that view, but De didn't, nor did his numerous students who spent their lives with him in West Bengal, nor does his son, who lived in his shadow and will continue to do so for the rest of his life. Calling De a notable academic administrator and a non-notable historian is insulting to not only Prof. De, but to all those who were attached to him. Apart from anything else, De was a Tutor at Nuffield in the late 1950s, was the General President of the Indian History Congress in 1988, and has held several visiting professorships and directeurships abroad. All these posts were academic appointments. In Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, Duke, Milan and Oxford De was known as a historian and not as an administrator.
But your question again is reasonable. It's always easy to respond to such questions. This page can be set up with mutual agreement. Had Sitush been less arbitrary this respondent would have reacted much less sharply. Comments about academic appointments that De's son hold by Sitush are completely unwarranted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────...The language is somewhat uncivil, yes, but is not a comment on the contributor but rather the behavior (as opposed to the largely "you're obviously jealous" and other remarks toward Sitush. I'd suggest you (or anyone arguing points on this issue) read/learn the guidelines on notability as well as the notability of people in academic disciplines before you attempt to say what is and is not okay on Wikipedia. (I myself am not much informed on the matter itself but am looking at the exchange between the editors itself.) It's like being in school. If you don't do your homework correctly/the way the teacher wants, you get points off and may have to redo the material. If you break the school's rules, you may end up in detention. Wikipedia has rules, too, and if you're following someone else's rules and those happen to break Wikipedia's rules, you may find yourself in trouble. - Purplewowies (talk) 16:29, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

There is no point in trying to be an AGF do-gooder with this guy - it has been tried by numerous people in the past.
This is the IP. I'm not outing because they've previously identified themselves as being so using one or other of their numerous on-wiki identities, including B de2002 (talk · contribs) and Bikramjit De (talk · contribs) (and, yes, they've confirmed that they've used multiple IDs). The individual created this article & other articles relating to their family in breach of WP:COI but is only willing to see their continued existence if they take the form that he wants. That won't happen because his versions were useless, as per the various discussion threads here, at my talk page, at those of RegentsPark (talk · contribs), Qwyrxian (talk · contribs), SpacemanSpiff (talk · contribs) etc. I've failed to convince him, other experience editors have failed, the aforementioned admins have failed ... how much more of this campaign must we put up with? We've had many, many hours wasted by this person and they need to put up ior shut up, ie: take it to AfD or give up. Engaging in further discussion here, even if well-intentioned, will achieve nothing and there is no point in pandering to people who won't listen. I'm going to find some way to close this discussion down, even if it means semi-protection or a range block, but the obvious solution to the present requests is for the IP to take this to AfD. They'll lose any pro-deletion discussion there but at least it will then make semi-protection or similar easier to enforce. In the interval, I suggest WP:DFTT, even though he isn;t strictly speaking a troll. - Sitush (talk) 18:59, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Meh, I'm often the person that goes to great lengths to calmly discuss things until I just can't anymore (heck, I've done it with people who threatened my family even), though I do recognize that this person has several troublesome behaviors (which is why my first statement here was that they really needed to stop trying to own the article and that they were making personal attacks). Maybe my want to try to always work things out this way stems from the fact that I plan to work with very young children in the future, an age group notorious for not understanding/following rules and needing things repeatedly explained to them in firm but inviting terms... *shrug* - Purplewowies (talk) 21:14, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Sitush writes on 3 March 2014: "... We've had many, many hours wasted by this person and they need to put up ior shut up, ie: take it to AfD or give up ...". This is an example of just uncivil language, perhaps! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 4 March 2014 (UTC)


As I said in the above thread this guy, if he is notable, is only as director of a research institution and as editor of the district gazetteers for one Indian state (among 28). While he technically passes WP:GNG because of newspaper reports by clueless journalists, there is no evidence that De is noteworthy as a scholar (based on citation counts) or as an author (based on book reviews).

The editorship of the district gazetteers is also of suspect notability. Henry Scholberg lists 1,344 district gazetteers in 1970 (guessing the figure has crossed 2000 by now), 630 for the Bengal province (note: Bangladesh included) alone. Do all of the "editors" of the 1,344 district gazetteers are notable enough for WP articles? Note that the gazetteers published after 1947 have had very little "new information" to share, so likely they were copy pastes of the British versions. Can someone provide any other evidence of notability and explain the citation anomaly? Pinging some previous contributors to this article: Sitush, Purplewowies, Binksternet, RegentsPark, Qwyrxian, Fowler&fowler. Solomon7968 15:39, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Does this guy meet the guidelines of notability in general? (talk) 16:57, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

He possibly does, especially if someone were to trawl through native-language sources. That said, I wouldn't oppose someone taking this to AfD. - Sitush (talk) 17:17, 5 June 2014 (UTC)