Firstly, I would like to condemn this email from a person named “Arvind Menon” - this email is very much a personal attack on me, to misguide a community member, character assasination and to defame, all using a fake profile. If the person is actually seeking any information for community benefit, as Piyush rightly pointed, it would be helpful to know the person’s Wikimedia identity, and their work. Otherwise, this can merely be regarded as an ad hominem attack, which has happened several times in the past on this mailing list.
Before I go into details, I have been very disturbed by this email, as several people were asking me, and I was pressurised. I personally request community members to look for authenticity before considering anything. I fear this might become a practice to target people just by creating fake profiles/emails, and wrongfully nameshaming them on public platforms, without complete understanding.
Regarding my role with WMF, firstly, there was a contract, but I did not have any employment, and do not hold any. There has been public documentation about it, and stating there wasn’t any is untrue. All the relevant details+evidence will be put forward. I have asked WMF support regarding the same, and they would be giving further on this shortly (probably in a day or two) after this email.
I would like to particularly focus on the WikiConference India part. My relation with WMF has nothing to do with the grant, and no benefit of the same has been applied in either of the contexts. Though initially people expressed concerns, many of them, after clarifying, went on to support the proposal, and it gained more than 40 endorsements from community members, which shows the community is in favour of the proposal and the conference. WMF comments were not against it. We created FAQs on the grant page itself to help community members understand the reasons behind it, and even all the questions on talk page were answered. We also mentioned that “all bills worth valuing more than ₹30,000.00 will be publicly published” - this demonstrates transparency, in an attempt to establish a new practice. Anyway, the entire Conference and Event Grants program has been paused due to COVID-19 pandemic, and none of the proposals forwarded from the initial stage.
I provided clarification even though the initial email doesn’t address me or respectfully seeks any information. I am taking this effort to provide detailed clarification, for the sake of community members and understanding only. This email, though posted by a fake profile, created great stress, and almost spoiled my entire day. I once again request the community to be careful of random postings with unidentifiable identities. I wonder if there is any way further such personal attacks can be avoided, towards any community member.
Krishna Chaitanya V.