Atul Chitnis (Image: Wikipedia)

Atul Chitnis (Image: Wikipedia)

NextBigWhat records with sadness the demise of Atul Chitnis, a passionate technologist  who spent much of his lifetime popularizing free and open source software.

Chitnis, 51, who passed away this morning after a brave battle with cancer, is survived by wife Shubha and daughter Geetanjali. He was diagnosed with the disease in August 2012 and was under treatment.

He was involved in much of India’s open source activities and was a columnist and consulting editor for PCQuest magazine. He was instrumental in setting up communities around Linux and open source software.

In a blogpost last month, he wrote:

Ever since I got diagnosed with cancer in August 2012, I have been acutely aware of the fact that professionally, things were going to change dramatically for me.

While I intend to beat this thing, I also need to consider that a lot of things will change for me – things that I can do, things that I won’t be able to.

Chitnis had stopped writing lately as the Chemotherapy sessions had weakened him. He started writing again only a few weeks ago. While many people disagreed with his views, he was greatly respected in the community.

The Intestinal cancer he was diagnosed with, had affected his liver. “Cancer is a terrible disease, and it will take a lot to fight it – physically, emotionally, financially – but it is a battle that I am going to fight – and fight to win,” he wrote in an earlier blogpost.

Alas, you did not win over cancer, but you did win many hearts for being the passionate fighter you have been for all your life.

RIP Atul.

Atul touched many lives and we would like you to share your memories of working with him. Please use the form below to share.