Monday, June 03, 2013

RIP Atul Chitnis

One of the biggest names in the Indian FOSS community, Atul Chitnis, is no more. Several months ago, I was saddened to hear that he was diagnosed with cancer and, since then, I have followed his updates on Facebook. I must say that Atul put on a brave face and went down fighting (and cooking!).

Atul was one of the pioneers of the open source movement, popularizing Linux and open source with his numerous articles. Many years ago, as a part of the Mumbai Linux Users Group, I kept hearing of how popular the Bangalore Linux User's Group was and saw its popularity for myself when I was in Bangalore. I don't remember the year, but it was a wonderful feeling to attend the BangLinux meeting and see around a 100 FOSS enthusiasts gathered there. Over the years, I spoke at a couple of Bangalore Linux (later renamed to FOSS.IN) events and sought his help during the policy battles around OOXML and Open Standards.

With Raj Mathur and now Atul Chitnis passing away, the FOSS community has lost two of its pioneers, who will be sorely missed.