[IndiChix] Website [was] Bangalore Meeting Minutes :: 2008Jan19
svaksha at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 18:30:05 UTC 2008
For folks unaware, there was a private complaint to the TresChix but
as it didnt work to their advantage due to complete lack of substance,
the attack and false accusations have taken a rather personal form.
Well, atleast we are having an open and transparent discussion on the
list instead of private emails being exchanged. Taking the
transparency spirit a step ahead, am CC'ing the TresChix too. We may
be a local chapter and have autonomy, but its not ok to misuse
"freedom" to create a cabal in the name of "the local lc'chix
community" and accuse women of keeping NRI men out..... What an absurd
accusation. Anyway, false accusations are not polite or helpful, so
please bear with this longish mail.
On Jan 26, 2008 9:15 AM, Pooja Agrawal <mailofpooja at yahoo.com> wrote:
> When Swati and I started this project, Atul and VaibhaV let us use the
Please, at least get your facts right. It was Archana (archu.oct, who
is also a list admin, remember her?) who started the mailing list in
July2005. After reading the email I realised that probably that is
what this is all about :: taking CREDIT for other volunteer's work.
Anyway, people are intelligent enough to read, understand and decide
Some facts about chapter/list creation : Archana's post to the LC
Announce list on Aug2,2005 and the old yahoogroups first post in
Erm... neither you nor swati announced the indianlc list, so when and
how did you both become the founders of this chapter? Care to explain
that please ?
> space on the sever. We envisioned that this was always about cultivating a
"we"?? ........ at the very least do give credit (to archana and and
other list members, not me) where it is due please. As for the
_vision_, lets not even comment on things which never existed in the
> group for the technically inclined women. If there is a problem with the
> hosting service let us list those issues and address them. There is also an
> implication in the above statement that we do not have enough *folks* who
> are willing to help. That is just contrary to the situation that we have at
Regarding the website, this was my post  and the domain
"linuxchix.org.in" was registered immediately followed with Swati's
post  on the same day which quoteth : "I and Pooja are working on
Why register domains where there should have been a public discussion
on the list. Anyway, forget that..... do scroll down to see why in
2006, after almost a year  the website still had "Linuxchix ROXOR
with an Indian flag" as far as content goes, and less than a year ago
there were mails as to why the website was just an Indian flag, when
you conveniently said you didnt find volunteers. /me searches the
archives for any "call for volunteers", and finds none and remembers
> hand. There are people who are willing to help and have been involved from
> day 0 in the project but are being alienated by categorizing them as men or
If the men have an opinion they are free to state it. No one stopped
them. None of the posts are moderated and all subscribers are free to
air their grievances, compliments and complaints. However, what seems
strange is few (men? via women?) making decisions for (or in the name
of) the women here and call it supporting women and/or a community
decision. That is an absolute farce. Also men have been on this list
since 2005 but the majority of these men on the list are not trying to
control and make decisions for the women.
FYI, any individual (read NRI's) can start a local LinuxChix chapter
in their country of residence. I wonder why that didnt happen.
Probably because its involves sustained contribution rather than just
ghost-directing and remote controlling a community project in the name
of supporting women.
> I am curious if the LC people you are talking about are based in India. One
> of the volunteers was rejected because she is not living in India. Before
If you mean Gayathri, rather she understood the point I made about
letting local women being contributors hence decision makers. If she
has a problem she can speak for herself, rather anyone (regardless of
Now, talking of the process to find new admins.... yes, it was an open
and transparent process done on this mailing list. All the members saw
how many women applied. None opposed, not because its a perfect
method, but _probably_ because it was open and fair to a larger
degree. Evidently there was no exchange of private mails to quietly
pass admin rights only to people/friends. What ever was done was on
the list and its archived. Is the transparent nature of widening the
circle of trust a problem ?
Talking of trust, maybe we list-admins should get that key-signing
done to legitimize the trust circle like upstream free software
projects do. That will ensure each individual is who they say they
are, not imposter's with anon mail id's, which I am sure will be the
next accusation against me.
> doing that was it thought through of how much of the work that she was
> volunteering to do requires her physical presence?
When local women are willing to take up the responsibility why should
they be denied the chance ? Are local grrls not worthy of trust and
responsibility? Maybe its this shadow politics and "high barrier" to
contributing that keeps genuine contributors in India away.
> By alienating out women who are not in India, you are effectively
> cutting out potential resources. Why? Just because they work outside
As mentioned earlier, any individual (gender neutral) can start a
local LinuxChix chapter in their country of residence. So feel free to
start a local chapter in the country/city you live in. Nobody stopped
women from doing that? FWIW, Gayathri had applied to admin the
Aussiechix chapter and they rejected her application too. Does not
mean we should emulate other chapters but chapters have the autonomy
to do that. BTW, over the years at LC there were many opportunities
for volunteering online (building the main LC website, designing,
creating content, irc admin work, etc..) and I never saw either you or
Swati volunteering there, just like you didnt champion Gayathri's
cause with the Aussiechix mailing list.
> India? What if one of the list / domain admins or the person who
> maintains the website travels outside India for work for an extended
> period of time, you will kick them out and change all WHOIS information
> for the domain and login information and everything else? And then
> change it back when they are back?
Let's stick to the facts shall we ... You just updated the whois
yesterday (25-Jan-2008 18:54:57 UTC), and added Swati Sani, until
which time it was in your husband Vaibhav Sharma's name. Was this
changed because of earlier mails asking transfer to the women
(Archana, Ankita, Runa, Aneesha, Barkha)? working on it. Was it
because it was put to vote on the list and women spoke in support,
hence quietly done to avoid having to put the ones actually working in
Why was this information not shared on the list and why was the
transfer made only to Swati's name when there are women active in the
community. What stops the addition of women like Archana, Ankita,
Runa, Aneesha, Barkha + one of the TresChix as the (third)
Registrant, Admin and Tech contacts. Rather from tone of your mail
and the private baseless complaints it seems more like a "lets control
domain, hence control project" issue at stake here. To repeat, why is
the domain controlled only by one/two people's and transfers take
place without discussing, asking or informing members on the list who
btw, have a right to know as they get zero monetary gain in return for
investing their time and energy here.
Created On:14-Dec-2005 16:12:34 UTC
Last Updated On:25-Jan-2008 18:54:57 UTC
Expiration Date:14-Dec-2008 16:12:34 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Key-Systems GmbH (R48-AFIN)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant Name:Swati Sani
Registrant Street1:15 atomic energy road, Wadi
Registrant Postal Code:440023
Admin Name:Swati Sani
Admin Street1:15 atomic energy road, Wadi
Admin Postal Code:440023
Tech Name:Swati Sani
Tech Street1:15 atomic energy road, Wadi
Tech Postal Code:440023
> This is like assuming that Free and Open Source projects can be
> contributed to only by people who do everything only for free just
> because of the word "Free" in it!
We all know that anyone is free to start a commercial project using
Free/LibreOSS but its not community when it is controlled by a select
few. That is contrary what free software projects are all about.
Linuxchix is about community participation, discussion and decision
making in an open transparent manner, none of which took place
> >>Vaibhav, since you have not responded regarding transfer of the domain
> >>[linuxchix.org.in] to the women here, can I ask if you are against the
> >>idea ? If yes, why ? I would really like a response since its almost 2
> >>months since foss.in where you had told me you would not be able to do
> >>it (install mailman) and i said "i would find grrls to do it".
> Mailman, it was not technically possible for him to have it on the same box
> and thats why he clearly mentioned it. If you understand it technically this
> is not a big deal.
Erm, since you were not present in India during my conversation with
Vaibhav after the BOF at foss.in ...... let me recollect, his words
were "I cannot do anything technical, you (assume he meant us grrls or
me, i dont know) will have to do it by yourself", which is fine,
because i dont expect him to install mailman or give strangers access
to his private server and said so earlier. Yet, later when women
were deciding on the list and voting for mailman, he was against the
idea. Why? ... only he knows.
> Point the MX of a sub-domain to some other box and host whatever list
> you want there.
Not required since LC took care of it.
> >>Anyway, LC agreed to support our request for mailman.
> I still do not get the point. How is seeking help from LC better than people
why not LC ? we are a local chapter after all. Why should we not take
help from upstream if required, or do you suggest we should isolate
our chapter ? If yes, why?
> who are already involved in the project and can help? It is sad to see that
> group is loosing focus and concentrating on gender war. There were technical
> problems with having mailman on the same box and you will have some
> limitations with any box that you use on this earth!
If there were technical problems why didnt he voice them on the list.
As for gender war, there is none, rather never was. What is evident is
a low tolerance for newbies who need to jump through loops and prove
their loyalty to a few who are in control. That much is quite apparent
by your baseless outburst.
> >> At the BOF we had decided on having a planet, among other things, to
> aggregate the
> >>'chix there. I am not asking you to install a planet or do the work
> >>for us but when women are volunteering, it would be a shame to lose
> >>them due to silence. We may not be experts but I am sure there are
> >>enough folks willing to help us learn.
> Please get your facts straight before pointing fingers on people.
Good you brought it up because I got tired of telling women to discuss
things (like website, who is in charge, who is doing what task,
content, etc) on this mailing list to no avail. Private mails kept
circulating. If they permit, I can post the private logs here. Rather
my reply to one of the private mail was just that .... feel free to
post this mail on the mailing list.
Speaking for myself, I am uncomfortable with private decision making
by a coterie (even though I was appointed in it.. oh joy!) and calling
it a free software *community project*, and this has no co-relation to
gender but is definitely about a few people controlling things with
shadow decision making. Why should there be private communication
(read emails) about keeping control in few hands in what is
essentially a community project? That is definitely not a community
> http://planet.linuxchix.org.in has been up and active for a while now. And
> none of the men have worked on that! One of the active volunteers on the
> group worked on bringing it up. The announcement was due on the list since
> it was in a test mode. If you have been in close communication with your
> fellow volunteers and had more time to actually concentrate on technical
> details you would have known this.
So why was it not announced that women volunteers were working on it
on the Indichix list. Strange, you imply the communication was private
and its very strange that the women working on a technical task (that
too our website) did not want to discuss or inform about it on this
list. They were ready to spend time putting minutes of local meet-ups
in different cities but were never wanted to discuss technical tasks
they were doing on the list. doh !!
Or is it that this a dictatorship where people suddenly close new
account creation in the wiki without any announcement on the list. At
foss.in i was told its because of spam trouble. Had you announced it,
women (even men) may have volunteered to clean it.
Anyway, forward to a month later in a private chat with one of the
'chix on IRC, when i had mentioned my frustration about the secrecy
and behind the scenes decision making which imho, was not the best way
to encourage newbies. Within a few hours, this announcement  about
opening the wiki came.
> than what it is now? What is holding it back? Let me guess, all the men
> and also the women who are not in India?
If you think its so, it must be, I rest my case !
> >>To transfer, we need the email-id's of 3 women in question. Also
> >>keeping 3 different women reduces :
> ->> too much power in single hands, this being a community project.
> Power? Hosting and domain are two very different things. Once a domain is
power ? ... reminds me of the whois changed yesterday, unwillingness
to give the domain to different chix as suggested (not decided
arbitrarily in private)
> A female student from a local college interested in learning new
> technologies would not be bothered with who owns the domain and who has
> the password to the lists and all the "control" items.
Nice analogy to confuse the points raised earlier and thence avoid
> * How does she use her existing skills and connections to start
> * What are the latest activities on the group?
> * What has the group achieved with its past activities?
> * What are the latest interesting discussions on the mailing list?
Yes, we would love to have answers to that too :) maybe starting
from 2005 if you must.
> Who (and from where) contributes to the group does not change the cause.
Are you indirectly saying that you (or your friends only) will keep
control because although local, this is a FLOSS project and others
(read local women in India) will do the leg-work. Very motivating.
> Domain names are not what they used to be in the past. Once they are set
> up, other than paying for it, you do not have to do *anything* with it
> anymore. And that is all that we have done for the past few years.
Perfectly summarised, *that is all* you have done !! Maybe that why
this mail in Apr07 asks about the website being under construction
 and your reply  saying you and Swati did not get people to
work. IIRC Swati, claimed that you both were working on it in Dec2005
. Erm.. what happened ?
> I really feel sad to see that the people who encouraged us in the project
> are labeled as *those men*.
....something missing here ! Is there a link you can provide for
your accusations about "labelling men" ?
Folks, thanks for reading thus far and your patience ! Goodnight !
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