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Society, rules, concerns, etc.

Forwarding two mails from Ajay. Useful for all of us to think about:

A) Memo and Bye Laws - I'm stuck!

I started drafting the Bye Laws of IP.

IP should be a Society registered as such under the Societies Registration
Act, 1860. When the Act was made, the lawmakers perhaps did not visualise
that one day we'll make a virtual association on the internet and wish it be
registered as a society. The problems arise due to this.

BTW, we need to be registered as a body and also get exemption from income
tax as a not-for-profit organisation. Otherwise, all our income would be
taxable - and we'll have hell to pay.

The reason we need a tight set of regulations is that the system should not
allow any person to misuse his position, or to take action which is not
acceptable to the association.

The Society should have a Managing Committee. The Society should also have
General Meetings, at least once a year.

How can we ensure that the MC and General Body - in their physical
meetings - take only such decisions which are acceptable to all or majority
of members of the MC/IP who are spread all over the world and are unlikely
to physically meet? In normal times, decisions taken over the net/by
email/poll on the website would be incorporated as the resolutions of the
MC/General Body and minuted as such.

However, my worry is about the exceptional circumstances when one or more
members who are in the city where the office is registered wish to act
contrary to the society's real decisions. They can do so simply by calling a
physical meeting and taking decisions - and totally ignoring the decisions
taken in the virtual environment. The rules, if possible, should not permit
such a thing to happen.

I am unable to find an acceptable solution and am stuck. We are unlikely to
have problems now - but we must take care of such eventualities while
drafting documents.

Can someone help?

Ajay Gandhi

b) Press Coverage

What we have undertaken is very newsworthy.

Moreover, it is novel - both in the task and the method. No one has before
thought of an ideal manifesto. Neither has anyone ever tried doing it over
the net. We are a virtual association.

We can get good media coverage. And in turn a larger number of members. The
larger number of people interested and involved, the greater our

I think we should issue a Press Release to various magazines and newspapers
explaining our work.

After a few weeks of this, we should also write letters to editors
explaining the same and inviting people to join.

I believe we should get tremendous response.

What do you all think?



My quick response: 

a) Don't bother too much to 'straigh-jacket' the rules. I trust fully in
the people who join and attend the meetings. If things go out of hand, one
can always unsubscribe. This is such a threat - of complete disanding of
this work - that nobody I believe will work against this open effort to
debate, as citizens of India. After all - what will a governing body
"manage" if there are no members left?

b) Press release: let us have one: but let it be discussed and approved by
all of us. Only very few decisions should be with the managing body. 

Others may comment, of course.


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