Talk:Atul Chitnis/Archive1

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Uh, about that speedy...

This page has been tagged with speedy delete with the reason "Contents are copy paste from Business website of person in question as mentioned by person himself"

We get a lot of that, but this would be the first one that contains material like this: "In the past, Atul Chitnis has been know to abuse/threaten people who disagree with him, mostly in private communication ("LIG Archives") or in public (through blogs and mailing lists).". If that's a copy/paste from his business website, I certainly have to tip my hat to him for honesty... Um, I contest this speedy until more evidence is presented. Herostratus 15:07, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


Uhh...that edit was made by me. The original text (before my edits) has quite a few sections which have been copy pasted. Please also refer to Cleanup TaskForce page for this article, which has more discussion regarding the same.


Have DePOV-ed it to the extent possible after reading through links. -- Thenothing 19:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


First, many thanks to Thenothing for the cleanup. While I personally would have preferred deletion, this is almost as good.

As requested by Canderson7, here are some comments:

  • In Controversies, an edit has been made to give too much importance to Linux India. I admit to being controversial (often intentionally), but I have been controversial LONG before any of the campaigners had ever heard of Linux. In fact, I don't see how the "falling out" with a set of mailing lists can be treated as a "controversy".
  • The whole registration/unregistration thing with reference to the BLUG is essentially one gigantic POV by the small handful of people who are pushing this campaign. There is no verification available anywhere that this is anything more than a "jilted lover" style rant. A recent edit of the BLUG page showed that the group isn't sure of its facts about the registration, and the only/primary reason why the comment has been added here appears to be to legitimise their POV. No verification is available other than the rant linked to, which was written by one of the campaigners. The sentence "There has been no official statement on why the BLUG was de-registered and then the reincarnated as an unregistered organisation" is weaselish, because it implies truth of an unverified statement.
  • If you want controversies, try the BBS Tax instead, which pre-dates the formation of Linux India by some 5 years. (Personally, I'd treat this "controversy" as an "achievement", but let's not go there :)
  • The photograph issue was a non-issue all along - see here, and look at the notice at the bottom of the page. Even if this hadn't been around, the fact that Wikipedia considers the use of published publicity photographs as "fair use" would have covered that.

Achitnis 18:15, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

NPOV Comments

Thank you Rebelguys2, for recognising the NPOV status of this article. Here are a few comments (I cannot actually edit this article, as I am the subject):

  • NPOV tag does not apply to the entire article. The NPOV should only apply to the "Controversies" section, not the entire article (which has been deemed "de-POV'd" by other editors).
  • Article focus is not on subject, but on "controversies". Many items were edited out of the original text (which was copied from my online biography) to create this "sleeper article", to give the impression that my only "notability" is my long-forgotten association with a set of obscure mailing lists, and that I am supposed to have killed/hurt the BLUG (which, btw, is alive, kicking, and very much active).
  • This article is not a reasonable biography. Most of the items in the article seem to exist only as an introduction to the "Controversies" section, which is the single biggest item in this article.
  • There is no reputable source. The basis for all accusations is a single "jilted lover" style rant by one of the editors, which does not represent a reputable source by any interpretation of Wikipedia rules. There is no justification for it being linked to under "External Links", as that rant is not related to the subject, but a controvery related to organisations that the subject is associated with (violates the "guilty by association" guideline). It also mentions the subject only one time, in passing. If the author were to edit the article now, it would only underline the reason why such sources are not deemed reputable (see Wikipedia:Reliable_sources#Using_online_sources).
  • Campaign: The involved editors are linking to both the Wikipedia article (as well as its related talk, cleanup, deletion and other pages) on IRC, mailing lists, blogs and other forums since this campaign was started on the 17th of March. See [1] and [2] as examples. By contrast, you will find no attempt by me *anywhere* (other than on these talk pages) to raise support for my defence, because in doing so, I would be violating Wikipedia rules.
  • Motivation. The people involved in this campaign - "TracerBullet2", "Tazo", "Zaatar", "Jackerhack", "SidCarter", "Sintihca" (note the last handle, which is my handle in reverse, making it quite clear what is being targetted)- created accounts when this campaign started, and their only contribution has been the editing of this article, a few closely related ones. They are not creating a "neutral article" (as claimed), but a "neutered" article to serve as a platform for public embarrassment, harrassment and ridicule of the subject (me). It should be noted that the very same people who nominated the article for Speedy Deletion were the ones who voted against the deletion. In effect (not physically), the entire list of people mentioned above represent a single person, and hence a single POV. The article now clearly matches the Wikipedia:Attack_page guideline.
  • Notability: Neither my leaving some obscure mailing lists nor the imagined death of a user group (that continues to flourish, and that I am an active member of) are sufficient reasons for my "notability" on Wikipedia. If there *is* any notability, this article does not present it in any way, and I continue to maintain that this article should have been deleted, or rendered to a stub to allow real people to write a real article, if one is found to be necessary at all.

Achitnis 06:14, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

One small point

Neither my leaving some obscure mailing lists nor the imagined death of a user group (that continues to flourish, and that I am an active member of

I dont know why you're calling the linux-india mailing lists "obscure".

Just because you left the list in 2001?

srs 07:26, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

No Suresh. I left the lists for reasons which you are well aware of. That doesn't make them obscure. But this may come as a violent shock to you - as far as the rest of the world is concerned, and certainly the millions of people who read articles on Wikipedia, the li mailing lists are mostly unknown and hence obscure. This is hardly the place to try and raise the profile of those lists - how about using Linux India, instead of piggy-backing on this article? Achitnis 16:38, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Obscure? Perhaps, yes. Just about as obscure as linux in bangalore, for that matter. Most of wikipedia hasnt heard of either of these, and probably couldnt care less about LI-* but I doubt if they have heard of, or would care about, BLUG or either. None of us is in the same class of notability as lots of other stuff on wikipedia, come to think of it.

I'm not out to drum up publicity for the LI-* mailing lists, just trying to set a fact or two straight.

You got into an argument with me (and with various other people on the LI list) and then left the list in 2001. Fine. Then you, or someone else, posted some factually debatable and PoV content about this on wikipedia. You went on and on about how it was a witch hunt targeted solely at you, by various people you've had disagreements with in the past. The article was rewritten. Fine as far as that goes. But dismissing a list as obscure (or any more obscure than your LUG) does tend to smack of sour grapes, a bit.

What you said was your PoV. This is mine.

I tend to stay away these days from the petty flamewars you attract all the time, for one reason or the other (the one reason I'd exempt is your "german accent" that got mentioned in the original article). But I do wish you'd stick to facts.

srs 11:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Dude - I didn't write about LI in this article, and I don't even *want* any reference to LI in any article about me. But just like I cannot remove the current crap you guys put in there, I couldn't remove the orginal LI refs either - I wish I had, even if it violated WP rules. Why don't you do it for me? Show some non-bias here for a change - LI has not been any form of highlight of my life, so why keep a ref to it here???
And sorry to prick your bubble, but I certainly didn't leave the mailing lists because of you :) -- Achitnis 13:00, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, end result is that you left. The reason you left - do I care? Not really. As for references to LI, you were on LI at some point in time. You had disagreements with various people on LI. You left. Which is what that article says now.

I'm done with this article, and its talk pages. But try not to second guess the [quote] cleanup taskforce [unquote] will you? You dont seem to think they exist, or do anything other than edit your article, given your self edits of this article.

srs 14:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Which part of I have not added or edited any other parts of this article, since that would be against the rules. are you currently facing trouble with in understanding, Suresh? All I have "edited" is precisely what I have listed below. And I have not added or removed any text from the article, no matter how much you try to make it look like I did - the history tells its own story.
I am being fair here - are you? I continue to maintain that my membership of (and subsequent unsubscribing from) a set of mailing lists does *not* represent a controversy or highlight of my life, and has no place in this article.
In fact, I have gone to the point of repeatedly stating that I do not think that I am "notable" enough to be on WP in first place, and that this article *should* have been deleted or replaced with a stub to allow others (less biased than you) to write something meaningful.
End of discussion, unless you (or your friends) have something more to add. -- Achitnis 14:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh - the controversy is not in your leaving the lists. Its the rest of the material that got linked to in earlier versions, and then edited out as PoV. Long, vituperative arguments, complaints to people's employers and such.

Anyway I didnt create the article, dont know / care who created it, and couldnt care less what happens to it now. Delete it, dePoV it, Whatever. Over and out.

srs 15:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The "complaints to people's employers" story is, of course, only part of the story, and presented as your POV. And if my arguments were vituperative, then all I can say is "pot-kettle-black". Do you *really* want to use this page as documentation for your own past "glory"?
I have reverted your edit that removed the NPOV tag that was originally applied by Rebelguys2. I have not edited the material itself, which I continue to challenge as being factually wrong, unverifiable and irrelevant to the subject. The only reason why the material appears is to support your (and your friends') POV, which is unsupported and hearsay - no proof has been provide at all, other than a blog-rant. -- Achitnis 17:50, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


Let's back up for just a minute. I'm a latecomer to this dispute, but could someone point out to me what is being debated in terms of this article. Is there something that should be added or removed? I am not familiar with the mailing list in question or the events you describe, but here is what I know based on Wikipedia policies and guidelines: Atul Chitnis has been deemed notable by the community, but that doesn't mean the article should contain his whole life story. The fact that he quit a certain mailing list should only be mentioned if it has been discussed previously in other reputable sources (see Wikipedia:No original research). Otherwise, the article would be bogged down by meaningless details that contribute nothing to the reader's understanding of the subject. The question to ask yourself is: Why does the reader care that Atul Chitnis was a member of and quit the LI mailing list? Just because it's a true fact doesn't mean it belongs in an encyclopedia. The same goes for other controversial parts of this article. Please comment. Thanks. Canderson7 (talk) 19:01, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

As Achitnis states on his website he was instrumental in scuttling the efforts of Linux-India to formalise as a society Wouldn't that make it a viable reason for having the reference retained ?


I didn't support it either (in fact carry most of the blame for scuttling it), largely because I was totally against the Linux community being turned into (and being used as) a political body. Heck, even the mailing list that was supposed to discuss the registration process and form the charter was *secret*, with the community not allowed to see what was being planned *or* participate in the process!

w.r.t his remarks about the BLUG why doesn't he explain why he in his role as webmaster of the BLUG's website removed all references to the BLUG being a society if it wasn't de-registered?

The dissolution of the BLUG as a society also undid all the work done by various people, and allowed Achitnis usurp the assets and goodwill of the BLUG for "Linux Bangalore" which remains to this date an secretive entity with Achitnis as it's only known public face. The reason he gave for scuttling Linux-India is that the formation was being discussed in secret, Clearly a case of Achitnis's dual standard when it comes to how a "community" should function.

If Achitnis is really here to help put things in perspective, why doesn't he provide proof to the contrary of what has been put up here? He clearly is in a position to do so since he was the official webmaster and admin of the BLUG website when it was a society. How about an authoritative statement saying "The BLUG is still a registered society, here is the proof... and the document linked to from the page is factually incorrect?"

--TracerBullet2 07:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Kingsly (that's you, right?) - go back and read what it says at - and try to read it with an open mind. I didn't say I was instrumental for it - I said I am being blamed for it. I do not hide the fact that I was against it, but I certainly didnt (and was in no position to) scuttle it.
As for the BLUG registration thing - have you ever revealed the facts about your source of information about this? The fact that *your* name appears on the member list of the society, but mine never did? Even if you would accuse me of backseat driving - that isn't possible if even one member (you) was against it. Since I have never been a member of the formal BLUG society, your entire rant that you linked to in this article is irrelevant to the article.
Again, *I* do not have to provide any proof at all - if *you* make an accusation that I have done something, it is for *you* to provide *verifiable* proof for your accusation. A rant-blog entry isn't proof.
Let it be noted that at this point, I and the BLUG have called for a meeting on April 29th, and have requested all stake-holders in this matter to be present to discuss and resolve these issues in front of the BLUG. Further washing of dirty linen in public on Wikipedia seems like a bad idea until this meeting takes place.
--Achitnis 07:39, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Not everything that Atul Chitnis mentions on his website belongs in an encyclopedia article. That being said, it at least is a verifiable source that can be used to some extent in this article. How about changing the controversies section to the following:
Atul Chitnis has been involved in quite a few controversies since his initial days of involvement with Linux India.
In 2001, Atul Chitnis had a falling out with the Linux India FOSS community. This was due largely to the fact that he opposed the formalization of the community, fearing that it would become a "political body" [3]. He left that community, but continued his FOSS-related work with the Bangalore Linux User Group (BLUG), which he helped create in 1998.
In 2005, he was accused [4] of killing off the Bangalore Linux User Group, which became de-registered and inactive in 2004. However, months before these accusations surfaced, the BLUG returned as an unregistered organisation. There has been no official statement on why the BLUG was de-registered and then the reincarnated as an unregistered organisation.
This version uses the information existing in the article and that on his website. What do people think? Canderson7 (talk) 12:16, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The first para again attributes too much importance to Linux India, which really played zero role in my life or in my "notability". I cannot accept this statement because it simply ignores all my work *before* those mailing lists even came into existence in 1998. I was a published and recognised columnist, speaker and public figure since 1993, and had been influencing the Indian datacomm scene since 1989![5] I know that this sounds like I am beating my own drum, but those are *verifiable* facts.
Para 2 has factual errors in it as well - the "formalization process" was proposed in Aug 2000 and died in Sep 2000 - the real reasons for its death can clearly be seen in the archives[6]. You will see no involvement by me anywhere in those discussions.
Again, I maintain that the entire Linux India thing is irrelevant - I was on those lists for 2.5 years out of more than a decade of FOSS promotion, and these lists played no role in my actual FOSS promotion or datacomm and networking work.
Para 3 is true (that I was accused) but the rest of the para is factually incorrect and unverifiable. The accusation was made by someone who had a personal axe to grind, has never provided evidence for, and is technically and legally flawed since I was never a member of the said society.
I appreciate the effort, Canderson7, and I know this is making things difficult for you, but Wikipedia *is* about verifiable facts.
--Achitnis 13:54, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick response to that draft. I agree with you that the current organization of the article lends undue weight to these minor "controversies." How about we eliminate the controversies section altogether and merge the information from there into "FOSS Activities." I think this is a good plan, but the problem is deciding what information merits inclusion. In regards to Para 2, it was a result of my impressions from, it does not assert that you were involved in the discussion regarding formalization, just that you opposed what was happening to the community. Is there a way to phrase this paragraph that would be more accurate? I included Para 3 because I was trying not to make too radical an edit. I wouldn't mind eliminating it unless better sources are found. Canderson7 (talk) 18:00, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I would be happiest if the entire Controversies section and its contents are just eliminated - not because I don't accept being controversial (I often am, and by design), but because the currently stated controversies are either irrelevant to this article, or defamatory, and factually flawed.
The issue really is the undue weightage given to my erstwhile membership of a mailing list (only one of them, BTW), and the legally flawed arguments in Para 3 (also linked to in the External Links). In fact the whole article now basically exists only to be a online reference to provide credibility to the original accusation, and is already being used for that purpose.
Not surprisingly, the people who wrote these controversies *are* from those mailing lists (and don't deny it). To them their lists are of course important, but in the context of this article, they don't add any value for the reader of this article.
As long as this war rages (complete with the publicity it is being given by the campaigners on mailing lists, IRC, etc), and with all those warning signs in this article, nobody who actually knows anything about the subject matter would add to it.
The original article contained quit a lot of relevant and verifiable information, but was edited out by the editors in the course of their campaign.
For example, the matter of the government inviting me to make policy recommendations - this [7] document - is verified by newspaper coverage of the very same document [8]. It was on this basis that I was invited to participate in several efforts, and led to my becoming part of the steering committee and faculty committee that oversees the NRCFOSS project - verifiable by a simple google search that reveals this page. My extensive and verifiable work with the Government of India and the results I have helped achieve are a source of great satisfaction to me and the FOSS community. Yet a statement like The "Work with Governments" section is factually incorrect was put on record and used as justification to remove what was potentially notable?
On the same lines, while to most Westerners a BBS may seem insignificant, my BBS that was set up in 1989[9] was the first online service of any sort in the Indian subcontinent[10][11], and was the breeding ground for many other such efforts that followed it, and gave many Indians their first glimpse of the online world, including Jackerhack, one of the editors in this campaign[12]. All the campaigners have explicitely known this, yet they removed all references to the BBS and its importance?
The fact is - the campaigners did their best to shift the weightage of this article first to only FOSS (instead of the many other fields that I am active and possibly notable in), and then completely towards the Controversies section.
For the record - I consider my achievements outside the FOSS world (datacommunication, networks, internet, mobile computing) far more important than my promotion of FOSS. While FOSS is very dear to me, I have only been a promoter, not a contributor, unlike in other fields I have been active in over the past 20 years.
If cleaned up and left alone, people will probably come along and flesh the article out over time, as it happens on Wikipedia. If this cannot be allowed to happen, then I *again* recommend the speedy deletion of this article.
Many thanks for your help.
--Achitnis 20:23, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I've edited the article to merge the controversies section. I've eliminated Para 3 as well. If nothing else, what we have now is an improvement over the previous version. I'm impressed that you are resisting the temptation to edit this article yourself. That being said, no one knows as much about you as you do, and it will impair this article's growth greatly if you continue to be unable to contribute more directly. I have created an article subpage, Atul Chitnis/Draft, which now contains the current text of this article. You can make as many changes to that text as you want, and I'll gladly incorporate most of them into the actual article. Does that work for you? Thanks for your patience. Canderson7 (talk) 23:48, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Whoa! Many thanks! You did miss a spot though - the last link in the External links still has the link to the factually flawed rant in it (the last one) - which is apparently the key to the entire campaign :) And I am still not comfortable with the undue reference to LI - they are basically mailing lists and a website, and having such a trivial item in the article distracts. If these two items could be fixed, then you could also remove the NPOV tag, because I won't contest it anymore, and others can fix what needs fixing.
I am not so sure if I am quite comfortable editing anything about myself on WP, even a draft. In effect it could just be proxy editing, which isn't in the spirit of things either.
The article will probably get improved over time. I have been a "public figure" (I hate the term - I am a very private person) since the late 80's, and there are lots of people out there who know about me and my work. But the issue is that in India, awareness of the power/use of Wikipedia is a bit slow to catch up - in time, it will happen, and hopefully people will start contributing meaningfully to this article.
What I would like to see is the contents of this talk page to be archived and moved (not deleted) from here so that it isn't the first thing people see if they hit the talk page. It really is filled with stuff that has no place on Wikipedia - almost nothing (except our discussion) is related to the article anyway, but is/was more of a dispute between people who know each other in real life.
I really appreciate the help you have provided in resolving this issue, and hopefully the other "stakeholders" to this issue will show up at the meeting on the 29th, and we can settle the issue like rational people, instead of the way it has been done so far.
--Achitnis 09:00, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad you like the way the article is progressing. I will continue to work on it for the next few days, trying to flesh it out with some more verifiable information. I think you're right that as time passes more and more users will come to this article and help to improve it. You certainly don't have to edit the draft of the page, but if you want to demonstrate how you think the article should be improved, don't hesitate to do so.
One of the best things about Wikipedia is that people with an interest in an article can come to the talk page to see how it was developed. There aren't formal standards for when to archive pages, but I don't think that this page should be archived until it gets longer or some of the messages are older than three months.
Thank you for your helpful input in working on this article; I hope that you continue to contribute to discussions here. Good luck on the 29th. Canderson7 (talk) 15:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Made some changes here and there. Some of the changed parts were either off-topic or with inadequate details. The link to the accusatory article was irrelevant looking at the topic. Have added some information about FOSS activities. There might be some more information that I can add here later. Dalfry 22:07, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Fixups made

I know it is against Wikipedia policy, but since the "Cleanup Taskforce" evidently is taking its time, I have made the following changes to the article:

  • Returned the original photo, whose copyright status is now clarified
  • Moved the NPOV tag from the top of the article to NPOV-section tag in Controversies. I continue to dispute the relevance of the items in this section as being relevant to the subject (me), and there are serious factual errors as well.
  • Tagged the article with RRevised to encourage others to have a look at the article and improve it.
  • I have removed the Cleanup tag in the talk section as it no longer applies - the original campaigners have made their changes and have deemed the article as NPOV.

I have not added or edited any other parts of this article, since that would be against the rules.

I request the original campaigners to quit the edit wars, and leave the editing to less biased editors.

Achitnis 06:02, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

YouTube links

Information icon.svg

This article is one of thousands on Wikipedia that have a link to YouTube in it. Based on the External links policy, most of these should probably be removed. I'm putting this message here, on this talk page, to request the regular editors take a look at the link and make sure it doesn't violate policy. In short: 1. 99% of the time YouTube should not be used as a source. 2. We must not link to material that violates someones copyright. If you are not sure if the link on this article should be removed or you would like to help spread this message contact us on this page. Thanks, ---J.S (t|c) 03:19, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

References Section

The articles linked to in the "References" section aren't referenced by the wikipedia page. Instead these "Atul Chitnis In The Press" kind of URLs. These URLs would suit a personal page / resume but is not apt for a wikipedia biography.