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?