In General

Today morning, I received a formal Cease & Desist from Wikimedia India office.  It’s the right thing for the foundation to do.  As soon as I received it, I sent the following mail to the members of the Wikipedia community.

Dear Wikipedians,

First, I start with apologies if I have caused any disrespect to any. That was not my intention and if I have,  I’m truly sorry.  I respect the community and all the efforts.

Since my last email to the group earlier this year, I have consciously not associated or falsified my position. I agree that my old business-card was misleading and apologize for the confusion.

Its good to have clarity in this issue and this mail to the group clears the confusion.  To reiterate, I’m not associate with the board in any capacity and will contribute as a Wikipedian as another member of the community.

Thanks for the patience and once again, apologies.  If you have any further queries from any member of the group, I’m happy to answer them.


Kiruba Shankar

I meant every word that I wrote in the email.

Now, where did it all start?  When the efforts to establish the Indian chapter of Wikimedia Foundation started early last year, there was a public invitation to members of the community to apply to be on the board.

I was quite active in helping promote Wikipedia in my own way then. I helped co-organize WikiCamp as part The Knowledge Foundation to bring together Wiki enthusiasts together in 2007. I organized small but regular Wikipedia Academies in Chennai which helped teach Wikipedia editing, Organized a Wiki Photo Hunt, an initiative to click more pictures of landmarks and places in Chennai and add them to Wikipedia commons, even compiled a book titled ‘Wikipedia for Beginners’ to make it easy for people wanting to contribute to Wikipedia.

I guess these must have worked in my favor and I was invited to be part of the initial team of Wikimedia India. We met together often to start planning for the formation of the India chapter. I was proud to be part of the team and each of the fellow committee members were highly committed and accomplished people in the Wikipedia community. The problem started when I ran ahead of myself and added myself a title on the assumption that each one of us would be Members of the Board of Directors soon.  Even added that on my business-card.   Clearly, that was a mistake.  I shouldn’t have done that and for that I apologize.   I was under the impression that Chapter formation would take  a month, at the most two, without realizing that it can take years.

Back in February 2010, I stepped down from the board committee after the majority of the board members voted for it. Since then, I have consciously not associated myself with any position.  The issue got reignited when recently I used one of the old business-cards which I published in December 2009.   Even though I stuck out the title, it did create a confusion.

Looking forward, its a good thing that the issue has been cleared now.  I responded to the notice from the foundation today that I’m in no way connected to the board.  More importantly I owed an explanation to fellow Wikipedia community members.  This post is especially for the team. I want to say I’m sorry if I have caused any disrespect to any one and I apologise.

I look forward to contributing actively to Wikipedia as a volunteer. I’m especially keen on contributing to the 10th anniversary celebrations and make it a notable event here in Chennai.

Should anyone have any queries or need clarification, please feel free to get in touch with me at +91.98415 97744 or email me at Kiruba[@]