Divisiveness is never something to be encouraged in any community - online or offline. Regionalism is one of those toys for those first crude attempts of Salami Tactics. The introduction of imaginary lines, dividing where no division existed, pulling in foreign boundaries into an otherwise level ground is one of the first seeds of discord that you can seed a community with - especially where physical meetups occur out of band. People who've met each other physically generally interact better and this can be easily misinterpreted as a regional or language bias.
God knows there have been wars fought over much less. And there was one on #linux-india because I got involved - with me getting most of the abuse. But here's some history behind the story - some idiot was spamming #linux-india in 2005 (*some names changed to protect the guilty (and/or innocents)).
**** Dec 13th 2005 * vIkSiT has changed the topic to: crazy day at #linux-india the ban list doubled in a matter of minutes || /bin/flame > /dev/chill <lunatech> vIkSiT: some people thought that the ops (i.e me) were too leniant <lunatech> in not kicking people out at slightest provocation <t3rmin4t0r> slightest ? <lunatech> that was a major reason why I did not give ops to $culprit <lunatech> t3rmin4t0r: after the things spiralled out - he was kicked out <vIkSiT> why? <lunatech> vIkSiT: why to which statement ? <vIkSiT> he was kicking people because they were flooding? :) <lunatech> no, he was asking for ops, but I did nit give it -- he started ranting about how the channel was own3d by north indians <vIkSiT> he actually SAID that? <lunatech> hehe - yes <vIkSiT> good god
Now, fast forward to present day - when things have not changed much, as the events would prove. But right now, it is quiet out in the west frontier.
** Chapter #1 - where tazz is a power hungry maniac ... NOT ! <tazz> Lap_64, i would suggest you do a '/msg chanserv access #linux-india list' <techno_freak> tazz, for ? <tazz> for the good of the channel <$culprit> 50 members - vow <tazz> so that you can see that my name is not in there and when the ops here ask woh wantes to be an op here you can vote for me. <tazz> comeon Lap_64 i am just a power hungry maniac <$culprit> tazz are you from north of the vindhyas? <tazz> no i am from the west of the mumbais <$culprit> tazz: then you have no chance of becoming an op <tazz> hey i have dreams and hopes you know
Now, I've got a good memory - a very good memory. It is not like I've never been sour grapes about being denied anything - but sooner of later you've got to stop throwing tantrums and grow up. I'm nobody's personal shrink, but the above conversation drew a picture of someone pouring in tiny blue drops of bitterness (everyone knows jealousy comes in green) into the common well of wisdom (*narf*) that is #linux-india.
** Chapter #2 - t3rmin4t0r acquires magical op powers * ChanServ gives channel operator status to t3rmin4t0r <tazz> i wanna be op!, i wanna be op! :-S * t3rmin4t0r has kicked $culprit from #linux-india (I need to be born exactly where ... ?) * t3rmin4t0r removes channel operator status from t3rmin4t0r <brainless> what did $culprit do ? ! <t3rmin4t0r> heh, he said that you need to be born north of the vindhyas to be an op here
There are a bunch of people in this world, whom you could respect, if only they'd shut up for a while - ESR comes to mind, immediately. These are people who are not only senior to you in age, but in terms of age in the community - people whom you expect to be calm, mature and mellowed. But there are often exceptions which prove the rule (or compensate for it) - even people twice my age.
** Chapter #3 - $culprit unleases his insults <techno_freak> omg, $culprit is saying he wont return back <segphault> techno_freak: I am damn sure he will * $culprit (email@example.com) has joined #linux-india <techno_freak> ahh * techno_freak grins at segphault <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: in my opinion you are an immature rascal unfit to be in this channel <$culprit> or any channel <$culprit> op is a priveldge given to people deemed to be mature enough to protect a channel * segphault feels like nostradamus <$culprit> unfortunately at times ops are given to petty minded people with a chip on their shoulders who like to flaunt their authority <tazz> t3rmin4t0r, was harsh in kicking $culprit out. <$culprit> not harsh - a juvenile display of his unfitness to be an op <$culprit> why the hell did they make a madrassi an op? <segphault> $culprit: t3rmin4t0r is a veg mallu - madrassis come in different flavours -- like sambar <brainless> $culprit, well maybe they are not well represented in the op clan ? <segphault> I propose a quota system to fix this issue of ops representation. <$culprit> but no more madrassis - and t3rmin4t0r should be de-opped
Funny, isn't it that the same man who was b*tching about people from south india not getting ops is complaining about some madrassi being an op. Yes, the thing I like about these conversations is their consistency of content. But either way, I'm at the pool table (@office) for the period of that conversation - which leaves enough room for other conversations.
** Chapter #4 - "I am codier than thou" quoth the raven <$culprit> that woman is a girl who has not contributed a line of code to foss - like her friend empty_mind <empty_mind> $culprit, she has contributed far more to Creativecommons than anyone else * floyd_n_milan doesn't understand why only `code' is considered as contribution <empty_mind> $culprit, <blank> is not a computer geek she is a writer <$culprit> empty_mind: tell her to stick to writing <empty_mind> $culprit, it is stupid people like you who piss away serious contributors <empty_mind> $culprit, she is sticking to writig and contributing more than you have contributed <$culprit> what happened to that mallu clown t3rmin4t0r ?
After the random quarter of the continent insults, it starts to get personal - so I'm putting that part off the RSS feed. Let those who want to dig into the steamy underside of IRC life in #linux-india click the link.
** Chapter #5 - insults get personal <t3rmin4t0r> what else can I talk about @ a college ? <empty_mind> t3rmin4t0r, loads of things <t3rmin4t0r> "Do as I say, not as I do" is so hypocritical <$culprit> $culprit kicks t3rmin4t0r <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: is the ultimate hypocripte <t3rmin4t0r> $culprit: yeah, I took the Hypocrite's Oath <t3rmin4t0r> no run of the mill hypocrite, I am <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: you are a cheap asshole <t3rmin4t0r> $culprit: exactly how am i an asshole ? * empty_mind watches $culprit's cheap rant again <t3rmin4t0r> for good, return good <$culprit> in every way <t3rmin4t0r> for evil, return justice <t3rmin4t0r> so if you think I'm a cheap asshole ... let me not be the one to judge <empty_mind> t3rmin4t0r, "return NULL " to $culprit <t3rmin4t0r> $culprit: I still don't understand what you've got against me or anyone else in this channel <t3rmin4t0r> but what goes around, comes around <t3rmin4t0r> if you can't deal with it, don't dish out and so on * HereBeDragon didn't get the feeling that $culprit has got anything against anyone <$culprit> except that mallu asshhole * empty_mind thinks $culprit forgets he is not in a court room <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: why did you kick me from the channel? <t3rmin4t0r> because you said something idiotic about people's birth places and channel ops <t3rmin4t0r> now, if you can't press /rejoin and take a joke ... I don't know <t3rmin4t0r> is your problem, I guess <t3rmin4t0r> drag politics into this channel and start saying regionalistic things about "above the vindhyas" <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: has licked bihari ass and got power and showing it off <t3rmin4t0r> just to stir things up, I don't know what a decent ops guy might do <$culprit> t3rmin4t0r: you are a sick son of a bitch <HereBeDragon> whoa $culprit, let's not be regionalistic <t3rmin4t0r> or personal ad hominem attacks <Lap_64> $culprit, may be he licked OldMonks arse <HereBeDragon> gawd <HereBeDragon> folks, no personal attacks or regionalism. Period. That should be the rule. <$culprit> anyway i am leaving this channel - until that asshole t3rmin4t0r is kicked out <empty_mind> t3rmin4t0r, kick $culprit again for personal abuse <t3rmin4t0r> empty_mind: nah, I don't really take irc that seriously <Lap_64> $culprit, chill out * $culprit (firstname.lastname@example.org) has left #linux-india
The insults were so bad that we actually suspected whether it was $culprit himself or just someone else pretending to be him. The IP turned out the be a Bangalore IP, while last known location of $culprit was Chennai. Anyway, I don't really care whether it was the real one or an impostor, that kick was warranted as some conversation later proved - people pickup these biases quite easily.
** Chapter #6 - the influence remains <$kid> Oldmonk is true bihari <HereBeDragon> $kid: what about Biharis? <$kid> HereBeDragon, lots of things <HereBeDragon> $kid: "no regionalism" you get it. Or else I'll recommend you be banned. <$kid> HereBeDragon, can list them all here for a real example see any bihari talk to him for 5 mins and you will know
So that was friday on #linux-india. I hope I haven't made an enemy out of $culprit, he doesn't quite deserve my enimity - but just as a hint, mellow out, old timer. There are so many better things in life to do than mud sling my teflon coated soul - maybe get yourself a copy of the 70's Show DvD and watch The Cat Fight Club episode.--
Why don't those stupid idiots let me in their crappy club for jerks?
-- Homer Simpson (#2F09, "Homer The Great")