Obituary: FOSS activist Shyam Karanat

September 4, 2010

Obituary drafted by Anivar.

Our Friend, and member of This List Shyam Karanatt  ended his life himself yesterday afternoon. Still most of his friends are still shocked and not recovered from the  pain of this news. Shyam was a very active Free Software advocate and Activist.  I like to recall his major contributions to Free Software Movement in India

He was known to me initially through Google Summer of Code candiate for Swathanthra Malayalam Computing , for building the prototype for Malayalam Speech Recognition system. and he started that with a project named sharika based on CMU-SPINX library.  He become an active volunteer of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing and part of various other LUGS like Swathanthra Software Users Group Malappuram, Foss Group in MES, FSUG- Thrissur etc. He become the project admin  for Translating GNU.ORG webpages to Malayalam, and made a lot of progress with that work .  He involved with Organising Various FOSS programmes in his college and varouos cities in Kerala.

Shyam initiated the Syllabus Review page in FCI Wikia and compiled most of the data, in association with Venkiy . Which become a major intervention too later. He took a major role on realising the idea of GNU labs and implimenting the first functioning GNU lab in MES kuttippuram

Shyam was a good speaker in various FOSS conferences like FOSS.IN , etc and associate with Various FOSS Groups like IndLinux,
SMC, FSUG-Thrissur, FSUG-Calicut, SSUG Malappurm etc

His funeral is  at Ramapuram, Pala, Kottayam District today

Shyam’s Photo From Niyam’s collection

~ in the memory of a good friend


10 Responses to “Obituary: FOSS activist Shyam Karanat”

  1. Osama Khalid Says:

    I’m really sorry to hear that.
    Life can be too tough.

  2. Ashish SHUKLA Says:

    I never met aeshyamae aka swathanthran personally, but he was one of my good friends on IRC. And it is unbelievable to me why he did that.

    I talked to him 4-5 days ago, and he sounded alright just a bit bored 😦

    Shyam, why the hell you’ve to do this 😥

  3. svaksha Says:

    My condolences and I hope his soul rests in peace!
    I had attended his talk on Speech Recognition systems and this news is unexpected tragic, sad and hard to believe.


  4. […] September 7th, 2010 § Leave a Comment I now have a GNU! I bought it in memory of my friend swathanthran from #emacs-in. RIP swathanthran […]

  5. Venky Says:

    Anivar had put me in touch with Shyam and he was the most active contributors to the Syllabus Review page in FCI Wikia

    I had spoken to him a few times when the Syllabus Review page was being updated and his drive and committment were very obvious. The community has really lost a very wonderful collaborator.

    Shyam’s loss prompts me to say this to my friends in the community, which is mostly built up of hard core geeks (and I consider myself one, so I am not excluded from my own advise!). A wise person once said that, “All life is relationship, and true relationship is friendship.” We geeks need to invest more time in building healthy relationships. If we have love and compassion in our hearts, everything else will fall into place.

    May Shyam’s soul rest in peace and may he find a lot of love and happiness wherever he is.

  6. kiran Says:

    really shocked…sad to the root :(…will miss him sooo much 😦

  7. Anivar Aravind Says:

    Dear all,

    I uploaded a Video of Shyam Interviewing RMS in last FSFS

    SMC is planning to bring the translation of articles , coordinated by shyam as a book on his memory . Those who can support this initiative , please mail me .\ at anivar at movingrepublic dot org


  8. From the first time I saw Shyam at FOSS.IN 2007, we became good friends and we used to keep in touch over various FOSS matters from Malayalam l10n to Emacs.

    It is sad to loose such young FOSS contributor and a good friend.

  9. Gora Mohanty Says:

    Whatever one can say is obviously inadequate in the face of such a tragedy.

    As Venky, and others, note above, I think that this is definitely an aspect that all of us *techies* need to improve upon, i.e., that there is a real world and real human beings beyond names that we encounter on various glowing rectangles. This is something that we (well, at least I) tend to ignore as somehow unimportant, but it is a failure on all our parts that we have evidently failed to appreciate the desperation of at least one person that we counted among our own. I hope that one rememberance of Shyam can be that we do not let such a thing happen ever again.

    Rest in peace, Shyam. My condolences, and love to all his near and dear ones.


  10. Harriet Says:

    I didn’t know this young man who had all of his life before him but just didn’t know how to negotiate the difficult highs and lows that came along…and perhaps didn’t know who to turn to. My warmest sympathies to his parents and persons he loved and who loved him. The comments on this blog suggest that many can relate to what must have been going through his Shyam’s mind. Even one young life lost is one too many. It is important to find someone you can confide in and someone you can talk to and trust. Most persons who are suicidal do give some warning sign before they actually take their lives….and we need to learn to try and pick up these signals. The onus is on us to be aware and more important to care and not feel bad if our offers for help are rejected. It can save a life.
    Here’s a link to what you can do to help someone who is feeling suicidal.

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