[fosscomm] Help required to form FOSSCOM as analternate Industry and Civil Society body to NASSCOM

Guru गुरु guru at itforchange.net
Sat Jul 11 20:14:05 PDT 2009

Dear Praveen and Anivar,

Two facts may help in your reinterpreting the situation:

a. Raj refused the nomination citing 2 reasons - apart from diplomacy, 
also not having a formal position on ILUG. I saw no reason to not accept 
his refusal just as we have accepted refusal from many others. (He has 
subsequently reversed his refusal but that was not a fact at the time I 
spoke to Andrew)

b. Many people (Nagarjuna, Sunil, Sasi, Prabir myself) had suggested 
Andrew and he and Kishore were the only people after long discussions, 
who had not refused (Nagarjuna, Sunil, Gora, Raj, Prabir, Jaijit, Venky 
all declined citing various reasons) to take on this role.

Hence I called Andrew (and Kishore later) only to communicate the 
suggestion from many members that they would like him to represent and 
find out if they would accept this responsibility. I have already 
explained the urgency and criticality of the issue as the reason for 
this proactive step and see nothing wrong in it.

If you see my earlier mail, I had agreed to Nagarjuna's proposal of 
'Andrew/Raj' so I was OK by either. I met Kishore, Raj and Andrew for 
the first time on 4th at Delhi and don't know any of them, but 
completely willing to trust that any / all of them will represent 
FOSSCOMM well on this issue. I have no special love for Andrew or 
dislike for Raj (I think I love all of them :-) ). And hence I am not 
happy :-( with any suggestion that any of us are ignoring Raj or 
promoting Andrew.

Andrew mentioned to me in our conversation he was having problems with 
his comp and not able to come on the list and he would do so. Whether 
this issue is still holding him up from coming on the list, I don't know.

I think we should avoid coming quickly to conclusions about people, 
especially if they are negative about them. If we have basic trust in 
one another (a pre-requisite to building any alliance), then we should 
give a bit of a long rope before concluding conspiracy, power mongering, 
non-transparency, democracy-murder :-) and the like. Also I think heavy 
lobbying for one person is not needed, it suggests lack of trust in 
others. More mature behavior, especially in the beginning stages of 
FOSSCOMM will have a positive impact on trust building.  I am saying 
this since I know that knee jerk flame mails are a feature of many 
'technical community' mailing lists and tend to be destructive to group 
cohesion and effectiveness.

Basically, it will help if we see the impact of our mails, not only on 
the immediate issue of Who will represent FOSSCOMM (Like Prabir, 
Nagarjuna and Sunil have said, this is not the most critical issue. Also 
we are all happy with any of Andrew/Kishore/Raj representing FOSSCOMM), 
but also on the larger process of building FOSSCOMM. Lets be more easy 
on our emails please and accept that others are also interested in 
democracy and transparency.

We may not currently have unanimity on the methods of implementing this 
democracy and transparency. I dont know fully well what the 'technical 
group' norms on these issues are and think we should discuss them. 
However we should not assume that these are  automatically applicable to 
this list. I can see in the future FOSSCOMM will have members who are 
not comfortable with email and may not read mails daily/ regularly but 
may want to participate in FOSSCOMM work. Insisting on a particular 
level of participation on the mailing list is one such principle which 
will need to be discussed and not automatically assumed.

thanks and regards,

Praveen A wrote:
> 2009/7/11 prabir <prabirp at gmail.com>:
>> The issue here is not maximum support - FOSSCOMM should not be seen as
>> a minority majority vote but how to maximise our unity and trying to
>> build consensus. It does not help this process if some of the people
>> here state that they only trust people they know and all others are
>> suspect.
> The issue is here is someone who does not even respond even after
> repeated requests representing FOSSCOMM and decisions are taken over
> riding the consensus/completely ignoring majority supported
> representative. I did not see anyone opposing ANdrew, all we asked was
> him to repond to the list acknowledging his willing ness. I don't
> think that is asking too much for a representative. This is especially
> important for being a transparent process and as Nagarjuna said, if we
> are modelling ourselves as equal peers.
> - Praveen

Gurumurthy Kasinathan
IT for Change
Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities
Tel:98454 37730
*IT for Change is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with United 
Nations’ Economic and Social Council*

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