LINUX JOURNAL: FINLAND WORKS ON AN APPLIED LINUX INSTITUTE
"An old saying posits that a prophet is never recognised in
his own home or time. Helsinki, however, is trying to show all that
wrong. To start, the city is planning an institute that would
play an important role in promoting FLOSS across the globe,
specifically in developing countries..."
More Infrastructure stories: http://linuxtoday.com/infrastructure
The British used religion as a tool to divide and rule India. Gandhi
attempted to use religion to unite us. The use of religion for
uniting or dividing is dangerous as we now know. RMS, being a self
proclaimed atheist, does not suffer this vice. His modesty is a
blessing for many who distribute GNU/Linux calling it after their own
corporate brand names!
We have pesticides in the soil and water that are refusing to go away,
largely because we forgot the virtue of the Gandhian principles of
non-violence and simple living.
Thiruvalluvar has arranged the parts in Thirukkural as follows:
Virtue -> Wealth -> Pleasure
This is the core of our culture. The time tested truths of
Thiruvalluvar and Avvayar, should be at the core of governance.
Fusing this into the software we write is a real challenge, and it may
produce real results.
Please try to prepare a list of people who live up to the highest
virtues preached by Thiruvalluvar, Avvayar, and Gandhi. I have placed
RMS at the top of the list, as a mahatma the world could admire.
The figures sound (are meant to sound?) sensational.
Could we suggest that these guys try marking Free Software
The GNU GPL grants a means of livelihood, that could well be seen as a
right flowing from the GPL. All software "pirates" could turn
respectable by distributing GNU/Linux software and live with dignity.
The lottery agents in Parrys Corner, Chennai, used to scream in the
streets, "Saar, 10 rupees lottery. 3.00 PM draw. You can become
crorepathi!" Recently, the Government of Tamil Nadu abolished
lotteries and all the lottery agents suddenly went without employment,
after the High Court confirmed the state action. Now the agents are
selling watches: "Saar, 60 rupees worth watch for only 20 rupees".
Could any cost-accountant in the list prepare an estimate of the worth
of all free software available? Though free software is priceless
[pun unintended] I modestly estimate the value of all free software to
be Rs. One Hundred Crore per *distribution*. [Rs. 100,000,000,000/-].
Our road side distributors could then say "Saar, several crores of
rupees worth software for only fifty rupees!". Better versions of
free software are released almost every month, and this is guaranteed
to be a perpetual business like the FMG segment.
Gandhi asked our people to take to weaving Kadhi and other cottage
industries to make a living, and be self reliant. Because of the GPL,
free software CDs could be a source of income to many. The lottery
agent is an example of the freedom of livelihood at the lowest level.
At the other higher levels, we are already having corporations, and
others doing brisk business, fully aware of the bright future of free
The GPL is clearly ahead of our constitution here, in making right to
livelihood a reality.
G.U. Pope has translated kappam as tribute, which is money or
equivalent paid periodically by one prince or State to another in
acknowledgement of submission or as price of peace or protection.
However, the word tribute sounds respectful, because of it also means
mark of respect, and does not convey the sense of shame, humiliation,
helplessness, and ignominy that is usually associated with kappam.
Taxes are normally and ideally retuned to the people as welfare
measures and common benefits, but kappam always ends up as luxuries
enjoyed by a King. All states paying kappam deeply wish for freedom
and fight for Swadesh sooner or later, in the interests of their
The East India Company was just a trading company when they landed in
1600 in India. Kappam and taxes soon followed. According to
Montgomery Martin, who studied the drain of wealth from India in 1838,
wrote thatthere wan annual drain of 3,000,000 pounds, and fairly
conceded that `for half a century we have gone on draining from two to
three and sometimes four million pounds sterling a year from India,
which has been remitted to Great Britain to meet the deficiencies of
commercial speculations, to pay the interest of debts, to support the
home establishment, and to invest on England's soil the accumulated
wealth of those whose lives have been spent in Hindustan. I do not
think it possible for human ingenuity to avert entirely the evil
effects of a continued drain of four million pounds year from a
distant country like India, and which is never returned to it in any
England's debt to India is estimated at 5,000,000,000 pounds, at 1945
currency values. Add Rs.1,350 crores of British capital shipped out
between August 1942 and July 1948 when India was declared Independent.
I hope we have learnt our history lessons right, and take RMS
seriously when he says:
Our goal is to replace it (non-free softare) entirely.
Free software is software swadesh -- not just for India,
but for the whole world.
The resemblance between non-free software and British rule
in India extends much further. Non-free software is a
form of electronic colonization."
RMS is a Mahatma for the world. GNU Freedom may become the mother of
all freedoms. As the author of calpp, working on legal procedures and
proceedings with computer aid, I have no hesitation at all in saying
that the GPL is the most valuable legal document as significant as the
Bill of Rights, US Constitution, UN Charter, or our own Constitution,
and is likely to create a much greater change and impact on society
than any other legal document has done so far.
I just saw a message from RMS listed by Frederick Noronha:
if the Indian government hires one person in India to work
with us, that could enable us to add 1000 more packages per
year. We would appreciate the help.
Could we rise up to the occasion?
The true freedom movements in each and every sections and sectors
of the society should work in co-ordination to fight against
imperialist globalisation and GPL can be a good tool this
I think it is interesting to contrast the free software movement, as
an example of beneficial globalization, with the form of globalization
that we usually criticize. Globalization of business domination is
evil and harmful; globalization of voluntary cooperation and sharing
of knowledge is good.
Advocates of open-source software development love this quote and have emblazoned it
on t-shirts next to Tux the penguin.
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
- Mahatma Gandhi
The figures sound (are meant to sound?) sensational. Could we suggest that
these guys try marking Free Software instead? FN
Pirated software, VCDs worth Rs.50 mn seized
>From Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) Raids conducted by the economic offences wing of
Delhi Police have resulted in the seizure of pirated computer software and
video CDs worth over Rs.50 million.
In the first raid on Vishal Bhawan in south Delhi's Nehru Place area, a huge
cache of pirated software, including CDs containing MP3 music files, worth
Rs.45 million was seized, a police official said Wednesday.
Three men, identified as Sanjay, Sunder and Deepak, were arrested in this
In another raid on a shop in Palika Bazar at Connaught Place, police seized
1,030 pirated video CDs of Hindi and English films and 72 CDs of
pornographic films. The market price of the VCDs was estimated at
Police also raided a shop in the Chandni Chowk area in the city's old
quarters, seizing 5,202 pirated video CDs, MP3s and audio cassettes worth
Rs.4.1 million, the official said. Police arrested a man named Sanjay Kumar
Singh in this raid.
Police have booked all the arrested people under the Copyright Act and are
conducting investigations to ascertain the source of the pirated CDs.
--Indo-Asian News Service
Asian Tigers Plan to Challenge Windows
Three North Asian countries are closer to signing
a deal to co-develop an open-source operating
system to replace Windows, according to the
Japan news daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The
agreement is likely to be announced this week
by Japanese trade minister Takeo Hiranuma at an
economic ministers' meeting in the Cambodian
capital of Phnom Penh, said the report,
quoting unnamed sources. (ZAnetindia.com cited in
Financial Express, Mumbai)
o Linux Business Has Already Become A Large & Mature Segment.
says IBM Asean Linux business manager Sandeep Menon.
Quoted in Financial Express, Mumbai
o 'SCO-IBM Lawsuit Won't Affect Linux Expansion In India'
Report in Financial Express.
Frederick Noronha (FN) | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist | http://www.bytesforall.orghttp://goalinks.pitas.com | http://joingoanet.shorturl.comhttp://linuxinindia.pitas.com | http://www.livejournal.com/users/goalinks
T: 0091.832.2409490 or 2409783 M: 0 9822 122436
Through my earlier mail, I have tried to raise following four points.
1. The spatial and historical variation of the message conveyed through a word should be taken into consideration while those are used in campaign for freedom.
2. 'Swadesh' is not a proper word to represent 'free software', instead 'taddesh' can be used which is synonymous with Gandhiji's 'gram swaraj'.
It is true that Gandhiji had used the word 'swadeshi' in campaign to boycott British goods during Indian independence struggle. However later Hindu fanatic groups through their vigorous campaign used it to divide people on religious line.
Here it is unknowingly used by a person like Richard Stallman who himself is an evangelist of freedom and leader of a freedom movement for usage of software. It will in turn become a tool for right-wing fascist groups in the contemperory India through synonymous use of 'swadesh' and 'freedom'.
3. 'Free' is not a proper adjective to represent freedom.
As Ramanraj and others correctly pointed out 'sudandira' in Tamil and 'swathanthra' in Malayalam, Hindi, Sanskrit etc. are the best choice to represent freedom. However these languages altogether is spoken by only less than 25 % of the world population. So there should be better adjective in English itself.
4. The usage of 'Linux' for 'GNU/Linux' is justified for ease of use.
It is true that 'Linux' is name of a kernel. However it is more frequently used to represent the 'GNU/Linux' operating system.
Mahesh T Pai has pointed out certain links to philosophical documents. There should be timely revision of these document, then only the philosophy and practice of freedom will live for its purpose. Otherwise it may turned to formation of another cult.
(Appropriate Technolgy Promotion Society, Kochi)