The social media was abuzz on Tuesday with news of cancellation of license of TEDx Chennai, by TEDx, allegedly due to irregularities in the organising of the recently-held TEDx Chennai 2012.
Lara Stein, director, TEDx, confirmed through e-mail that the TEDxChennai license had been cancelled.
Ms. Stein goes on to say, “We granted the TEDxChennai license to Kiruba Shankar in 2009. After repeated violations, we have decided to cancel his license and he has agreed to step down from his position as TEDx ambassador in India. We do not make these decisions hastily, and this particular decision came after consulting with the TEDx community, TEDx ambassadors and Kiruba.”
Kiruba Shankar, licensee and curator of TEDxChennai, and ambassador of TEDx in India, confirmed he had stepped down as the ambassador.
The letter by the TEDx team addressed to TEDx India licensees which was circulating online also raised a larger objection about repeated violations of TEDx rules in India.
TEDx, is an off-shoot of TED, a not-for-profit initiative that lends a platform to achievers and thinkers from diverse fields such as design, technology, science and literature to present their most inspirational ideas in 18 minutes or less. TEDx follows the same format, but is planned and co-ordinated independently at the community level. A TEDx organiser must first obtain a TEDx license from TED.
The letter states that it had recently come to their attention that TEDxChennai had flouted rules by “holding a press conference with sponsors, having a venue sponsor as a speaker on stage and speakers that were part of another conference.”
Responding to these allegations, Kiruba, while agreeing that some rules were flouted, maintained that it was not for monetary gain. “It was not done with any ill-intention, and when I look at it in hindsight, I should have been careful,” he said.