Be The Change That You Want to See

Bongs prefer Netaji to Gandhiji. Period.

I am a Bengali, more lovably known in certain parts of our country as a Bong. And an inevitable bias of growing up as a Bengali, and that too, in Calcutta, is that you have more Netaji Subhas Chandra blood in you that Gandhian ideals. Kind of explains why Forward Bloc is a part of the ruling coalition in the state for the last 30 years while the Indian National Congress (and other siblings) have been twiddling their thumbs for longer than I have been born.

The fact that my grandfather was a close aide of Netaji (if my father’s bedtime stories are to be believed) and that I grew up in a house on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road for 25 years does not seem to bear relevance to this phenomenon.

Any, in short, Bongs prefer Netaji to Gandhiji. Period. Munnabhai, notwithstanding.

But, lately, one of Gandhi’s quotes have been striking me hard inside. It’s forcing me to get out of my comfort zones, realign my biases and admonish myself more effectively.

Be the change that you want to see in the world

And that’s my only request to people who want to see changes happening in Barcamp Bangalore 5, coming up somewhere around November this year.

Let’s not just say, “This did not work”, “The auditorium was not effective”, “The sessions were boring”. My challenge to you (and myself) is “What are you going to do to effect a change ?”

Positive emails are one way to make a great start. I have observed that there are two primary types of emails that come in

  1. This went wrong
  2. This went wrong and I wish this would be the way it was

We need to create the third category: This went wrong and I wish it was this way and THIS IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.

Gripe Be the Change
Too many collectives I will dedicate myself to only two collectives and not jump around ten.
Nobody knew what was happening where I will serve on the org. comm. and be the official coordinator OR I will upload all talk schedule on the Wiki and update it realtime, even if that means I miss out on a few good sessions myself.
Some of the talks were boring I will learn and employ the law of two feet with graciousness
Keep the talks short and impromptu I will lead, organise and coordinate a SpeedGeeking session. I will make sure that we have good participants and also run the publicity line to secure a solid audience. [Delegation/Loadsharing allowed]
Want solid content, not just impressive speakers talk empty and loud I will coordinate an “In-depth” collective where sessions will be of 60 mins at least and the topics will be pre-screened for content and depth. Only serious participants; curious onlookers and people with unwelcome.
We did not have the codejam ! I will convince my parents/spouse to let me stay at IIMB for a night and freak out with people half my age and double my intelligence.


You kind of get the idea. Don’t like it ? Change it. BCB is a platform. You want to define your own thing, go ahead and do your bit to change it. If you face issues, then come back and mail the world and raise hell about it. Do not expect organisers, who are only normal people like you (and me?) to provide you a platter worth of goodies. This will not happen.

“Being the change” helps in two ways.

  1. It will help get the thing you want done.
  2. OR, you will come to a better understanding why it is not being done or why it is so difficult to do.

This is our house and we will have to keep it clean.



  1. I am really impressed with you post Shourya. This is what people should think and do the needful. I think the one line “Be the change you want to see in the world” is self-explanatory. That was a good post.


  2. As wonderful post as the person himself. Appreciate the initiative. Lets be the change!

    Hope you have inspired a good lot bunch of folks. And don’t worry you gel extremely well with people half your age! (reminds me of Un-Band!) [:p]


  3. Nice post Shaurya.

    Being a newcomer to BCB, found it really useful to get focus on what i would wish to be (as you said- would like to see).


  4. Great post. I think we all [including me] are born ‘black hat’/criticism experts — at the same time we all posses the innate ability to make a difference and be change agents.


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