In the light of discussions in FSF Friends, I am forwarding this thread , happing in Kerala mailing lists


Forwarded conversation
Subject: [smc-discuss] Fwd: [ATPS] Website inaugurated

From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/23

Web site for the National Free Software Convention, 15, 16 November has bee inaugurated
Here is the link


സ്വതന്ത്ര മലയാളം കമ്പ്യൂട്ടിങ്ങ് - എന്റെ കമ്പ്യൂട്ടറിനു് എന്റെ ഭാഷ
വെബ്‌സൈറ്റ് :  IRC ചാനല്‍ : #smc-project @ freenode
പിരിഞ്ഞു പോകാന്‍:

From: Anivar Aravind <>
Date: Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 11:44 AM

2008/9/23 JOBY JOHN <>:
Some mistakes in About page

It says RMS participated in Hyderabad conference. As far as i remember
RMS was not part of Hyderabad Conference. RMS was not in india at that

See news on Hyderabd Convention (From my memmory :-))


Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown FOSS
industry because it creates the basis for future jobs. Learning
Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.

From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/24

mistake will be corrected

2008/9/24 Anivar Aravind <>


From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/25

please see this comment

Dear All,

This comment is with respect to the observation that those who didnot contribute anything to Free software movement are the organisers of the conference.

In fact, the term organising committee for the Kochi conference doesnot mean to say that they are the organisers of the movement. They are organisers of the event. With this hosting of the event they too become part of the movement. This is a process of enlisting the support of wider sections of the people.  So Long as our itntention is to enlist the support of everybody that is interested in FREEDOM of software and knowledge, why should we blame those who come forward to host the conference, for the reason that they have not contributed so far? No body can highjack the movement to wrong tracks. The movement is so strong by virtue of the ideals over which it is founded and the credit will always remain with the FSF.

The factual errors pointed out are being corrected.


They got it wrong for the simple reason that these 'so called
organizers' were not even in the picture when the first conference was
conducted. Never thought people could become this shameless.




From: Praveen A <>
Date: Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:00 PM
To: Anivar Aravind <>

I thought he was questioning FSF India :-( (and I was kind of
shocked). So luckily I added my doubt at the end...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Mathew <>
Date: 2008/9/25
Subject: [ilug-tvm] Re: [Vivara] Re: [ilug-tvm] Re: [Vivara] Re:
[smc-discuss] Re: Fwd: [ATPS] Website inaugurated
Free Software movement has come this far only because of the selfless
efforts of communities and individual users. New groups and
organizations coming up in support of this movement is always a
welcome sign.

The question here is an ethical one. The organizers have every right
to hold a conf on FS. But tell me how are they morally justified in
calling this the 2nd National Conf on FS? The 1st National Conf was
conducted by FSF India, Swecha and Dept. of History University of
Hyderabad. If they really wanted to conduct a sequel to the 1st conf,
they could have done so in consultation with the initial organizers.

The least they can do at this point is to admit their mistake and
rename their conf. to something else.
"Freedom is the only law".
"Freedom Unplugged"

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From: Anivar Aravind <>
Date: Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:05 PM
To: Praveen A <>

I understood his point. It is a valid one

Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown Free
Software industry because it creates the basis for future jobs.

From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/26

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: thomas joseph <>
Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 8:35 AM
Subject: [ATPS] Re: Fwd: [ilug-tvm] Re: [Vivara] Re: [ilug-tvm] Re: [Vivara] Re: [smc-discuss] Re: Fwd: [ATPS] Website inaugurated
To: James Mathew <>, atps <>

The confusion is very clear now. The example quoted is that of a political party, the CPI(M). It should be with the blessings of that party that the Coimbatore party organisation hosted and organised the congress.

But here it is not the FSF annual that we are holding in Kochi.

It is a conference on Free Software. We are trying to get the participation of activits from across the country, with experts putting their views before them, so that the movement spreads across the country, which is not the activity undertaken by FSF.

This was done in Hyderabad too. Hence this is second edition of that.

This is not replication of institution or activities of FSF India.

There is no conflict with FSF activities or ideals.

On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 6:14 AM, James Mathew <> wrote:
> As per Arun of FSF India himself,
> Free software activists in AP has organised the convention at Hyderabad.
> FSF india only supported it and welcomed all the Free software activists to
> the event.
> Then why free software activists in Kochi cant host and organise the next
> conference. It too will have to be supported by FSF India.

The 19th Party Congress (CPM) was held in Coimbtore this year. It was
organized by the Cadres of that place, with the blessings of CPM.

Do you think that it is possible for some over-exited cadres in Kochi
to announce a 20th Congress on their own next year? I don't want to
elaborate on this. Hope you get the point.

    Joseph Thomas,

From: Praveen A <>
Date: 2008/9/27

2008/9/26 JOBY JOHN <>:
Does that mean, a political party, CPI(M), organization is more
important than a civil society organisation? Does that mean only a
party organization needs to be respected?
That is the exact problem we are talking about. When some one (who was
not associated with the first edition) say it is the second edition of
an event conducted by FSF India (along with other organizations),
people believe it would be similar to the earlier event. But you have
now stated it is not the same. If the event is not same as the first
edition, how can you call it the second edition?
Wow!! That was a good judgment of what the FSF has been doing all
these years !!!
You want us to believe that? A statement from someone who does not
even know who organized the first edition in Hyderabad.
But taking over the legacy of first national conference from FSF.
If you believe taking over the ownership of second edition of an event
organized by FSF India without discussing with them is not conflict,
then I will have to agree with you.

We are not contesting the fact that the event is going to promote Free
Software. What we have a problem with is hijacking the legacy and name
of first national conference on Free Software __WITHOUT__ discussing
with the organisers of the first nationa conference. This has led
people to believe there is something else is going on behind the
scenes and we are asking for clarity.

If it was announced as First National Conference organised by 'so and
so' organisations at Kochi, it would not have been a problem. So I
would suggest you to discuss with the organisers of the first national
conference and ask them if they are ok with using their legacy. Or
remove the "second" part from the name and have it as your first


From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/28

James Mathew asked :

What made you think that the 1st national conference was not an annual
event of FSF India?

thomas joseph <> says :

I am not undermining and under estimating the great FSF organisation by assuming that it was inactive during the period from 2000 to 2007 to the extend to hold its annual in Hyderabad in 2007.

James Mathew said :

"..which is not the activity undertaken by FSF."  Again how did you
know? Did you ask somebody from FSF India?

thomas joseph <> says :

What is done by Hyderabad organisers has not been done earlier by FSF, mobilising activists from all over India. For knowing that one need not ask somebody at FSF India. All are watching and understanding what is FSF India.

James Mathew said :

Please refer to this link.

The organizers are clearly listed. I think this is to be given more
weight than a quick mail from Arun.

The point i'm trying to stress is that you didn't show the courtesy to
contact/consult any of the initial organizers. Had that been done, we
could have all worked together for spreading this philosophy of FS,
avoiding all this confusion.

thomas joseph <> says ;

The website of swecha website lists FSF India as one of the organisers or even the main organiser. Yes, they may have their own assessment of the assistance obtained from FSF or the role played by it. Can you please quote any FSF India document to show that it held its first or any subsequent annual in Hyderabad during March .2007.

Again, the question of ethics and rights are being raised. Why FSF India should have this sort of Identity crisis ?  By such questions and mails from those in FSF India confusion is created among the supporters and activists.  Better FSF India shed its over emphasis on its rights. The emphasis on its right, in effect, mean the right to contain, restrict and prevent advancement of the Free Software movement. FSF is a respectable organisation and its name and fame shall not be destroyed by such stand taken by FSF India, please.

On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 10:41 AM, James Mathew <> wrote:
To: thomas joseph <>
What made you think that the 1st national conference was not an annual
event of FSF India?"..which is not the activity undertaken by FSF."  Again how did you
know? Did you ask somebody from FSF India?Please refer to this link.

The organizers are clearly listed. I think this is to be given more
weight than a quick mail from Arun.

The point i'm trying to stress is that you didn't show the courtesy to
contact/consult any of the initial organizers. Had that been done, we
could have all worked together for spreading this philosophy of FS,
avoiding all this confusion.

From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

Vivaravicharam says :

The above words doesnot give any such idea that political party is more important than a civil society organisation. The point raised in that respect is that coimbatore conference of CPI(M) was its annual, which can only further be followed up by that party alone.

But the Hyderabad conference is not the annual of FSF India, it is an event conducted by the Hyderabad activists, efforts being made to enlist the participation of activists from all over the country.

Had it been the annual of FSF, what we are doing now in Kochi, ie . Naming it as 2nd conference is absolutely wrong. But to us the Hyderabad even was not the annual of FSF.

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

Vivaravicharam says :

Holding conference in series doesnot mean to repeat what is done earlier. The subsequent events will be much advanced with more participation and more results. The content discussed also will vary.

Again, the point is Hyderabad event is, in praveens own term, organised by civil society. FSF is only one of the organisation representing a section of civil society. No organisation can claim to be whole and sole representative of civil society.

Kochi conference also is being organised by representative of civil society, without any tall claim of representing all, but in any case representing vast majority.

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

The comment made by vivaravicharam earlier is justified by the fact that FSF has not organised any such event other than may be in Trivandrum all through he period of 2000 (Year of institution of FSF India) and 2007, the year of Hyderabad conference. This is why it is commented that FSF India has not been organising conferences in different parts of India with the aim of expanding the movement. They in FSF support, serve, offer consultancy and what ever they do to those who approach them. The vast majority of Indians are still unaware of the very issue of Software Freedom. FSF India, instead of disputing the rights of others to organise a conference or do something for the expansion of the movement, shall support all such activities going on in the country, as it has done to Hyderabad community.

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

Vivaravicharam says :

We both hold the same point. Either of us is correct. To me Hyderabad event is conducted by Free Software Activits of Hyderabad (AP) with the support of FSF India. It was not initiated, called for, or organised at the initiative of FSF India. On the contrary it was initiated, called for, support of FSF India sought for and organised by Hyderabad Activists including FSF members. Can any body show any of the FSF India document (I dont mean the site and documents of Hyderabad event ) to show that FSF India organised the Hyderabad event ?

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

Vivaravicharam says :

Is Praveen arguing that Hyderabad event was the first national conference of FSF India ? Just reconsider it. We have no claims. We only do what we felt correct. The questions, doubts, confusion etc were created by others who questions the right to hold the conference and name it  the 2nd. We are not claiming the legacy of any body. We have only named our conference 2nd to that  of Hyderabad conference only, because that was the first conference that was organised by activists of any city with earnest effort to organise participation from all over the country, irrespective of the success/failure aspect. Efforts were made. They were successful to a great extend despite the limitations of being the first one.

vivaravicharam said :

praveen said :

Vivaravicharam says :

So far, all are arguing for FSF India and contesting the right of Kochi organisers to name it as 2nd conference. No body talks on behalf of Hyderabad University, SWECHA and the FREEDOM activits of Hyderabad who is not connected with FSF activities and even Free Software Activities.

Organisers of Kochi conference are not claiming the owner ship of even this Kochi conference, leave alone Hyderabad one. Software freedom activists shall, at aleast, know the difference between ownership and right to ownership. Here, we don't claim any right to ownership. No claim of owner ship even. We are only serving the cause of FSF. But FSF India is annoyed, worried and agrieved of their right to ownership (!). We give the ownership right of Kochi conference to the civil society, which belongs to FSF as well. But we shall not surrender our right to our duty, the duty to work for FREEDOM of every body, not only that of software, but knowledge and civil in general. Let FSF claim the right of ownership (!) of this conference as well (!) by supporting it as they have done (?) in Hyderabad. Why creating confusion among the activits ? for whom ? And For what ?


From: Praveen A <>
Date: 2008/9/29

2008/9/28 JOBY JOHN <>:
The annual was just an example. It does not mean that only annuals
conducted by an organization needs to be respected by others trying to
conduct sequels.
It is just a strawman argument
That is the problem here. Everyone who participated in the first event
will think it is similar to the first event. Also people will
associate the event to the ideas and policies of the first event. Now
when some other party claims it is the second edition, we can only
hope it would have the same policy, especially when the first
organizers are not involved?
I did not say this. What I said was "Does that mean, a political
"Civil society" and "a civil society organisation" is not the same.

ഇതു് ആടും ആട്ടിന്‍കാട്ടവും ഒന്നാണെന്നു് പറയുന്നതു് പോലെയാണു്.
another strawman argument
I could give just a few names of the conferences that FSF has done

* International conference on GPLv3 (now
don't tell me international conferences don't count :-) )
* Free Software, Free Society conference
(again international)

I'm amazed at the enthusiasm you are showing to judge the activities
of FSF India when you don't even seem to be aware of the event
happened in Thiruvananthapuram 3 years back.

I don't have to continue batting for FSF India, since the community
knows how much it has contributed to promoting Free Software in India.
This is news to me !! Thanks to enlightening me.
I agree with this whole heartedly.
But the way to do is not by undermining the existing community by
hijacking their legacy but by joining hands with them.
As far as I know the event is initiated and organised by one of the
members of board of director of FSF India (he is also part of
Wouldn't the active participation and leadership of Kiran Chandra
won't count as FSF India participation?
I answered it already.
We did not contest the right to hold a conference, on the contrary we
are welcoming it. We are only contesting the name in a positive spirit
to remove any confusions arriving from the naming.
This is seriously an insult to the many active members of the Free
Software community who work tirelessly to promote the idea of Software
Freedom from a person who is arrogant to acknowledge the contributions
of the community and want to take credit for others work.

There is many conferences happening all over India at every time of
the year organised by different Free Software communities. FOSS.IN,
Freed, GNUnify, FOSS Meet@NITC, to name a few. We have not
gone and contested with them for credits or asked them to change
With the due respect for your duty to promote the Freedom only, we are
asking you to correct a wrong step. Rights also comes with
We are not asking you to give ownership to FSF here, but to release
the ownership of the first conference you have assumed without
consulting with FSF India. These are the questions I have to ask.

Why was FSF India not contacted when FSF India was the organiser of
the the first conference?

Why are you discrediting the contributions of the Free Software
community by claiming there is only one conference have happened till


From: JOBY JOHN <>
Date: 2008/9/29

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anilkumar KV <>
Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 8:47 AM
Subject: [Vivara] Re: [ilug-tvm] Re: [Vivara] Re: [smc-discuss] Re: Fwd: [ATPS] Website inaugurated

Praveen, James and all,

  The first conference was organised by a group of free software
activists in Andra. They wanted FSF-India be a part of it. The
FSF-India does not shown any interest in that event. However after
finalising the program, the secretary of FSF-India put an email
informing FSF-friends that some free software activists in Andra is
conducting such an event, and FSF-India supports it. No other official
initiatives were known to be taken by FSF-India for conducting
Hyderabad event. If I miss anything as such please point it out.

  Yes here question is ethical one. How can FSF-India claimed to be
organisers of an a event for which they just extended  its support.

  The organisers of Kochi event, have started their effort after
consulting with the real organisers of Hyderabad event. In fact the
name of the event itself was suggested by them and not decided by
Kochi organisers by themselves. Hence in here the legacy is a natural
right and not just a claim.

  Before the reception committee formation, the organisers of Kochi
event has asked support from FSF-India secretary,  However the
response was not in favour. Even now, it is not late for FSF-India  to
extend the support for this event. And I feel the Kochi organisers are
even ready to accept FSF-India as organisers of the second conference

 The FSF-India directors and secretary are aware of these discussions
going on here. Let them respond.

- Anil

From: Praveen A <>
Date: 2008/9/29
To: സ്വതന്ത്ര മലയാളം കമ്പ്യൂട്ടിങ്ങ് <>,

forwarding reply to an earlier discussion.

Kiran Chandra's active role in organising the event will not count? Or
are you claiming Kiran Chandra did not take leadership in organising
the event?
As pointed above, I'm asking about the role of Kiran Chandra in
organising the event.
Again repeat. As far as I know Kiran Chandra was actively involved in
the organising of the event. I'm amazed at the tone of the organizers
of this event in discredit the FSF India's role of supporting the Free
Software community for such a long time and also discrediting the role
played by many individuals in the Free Software community by claiming
the only effort to promote Free Software happened was last year in
Hyderabad. Now the concerns are getting even beiiger about the motives
of the organisers about this event.

Why would they not consult with the community?
Why would they discredit Free Software community's efforts for such a long time?
Why would they be blind to so many of the Free Software conferences
that has happened and happening all over the country?
I would like to know who suggested not to involve the orginal
organisers and who suggested the name?
This is the whole problem. Free Software community does not work this way.
This is like telling Linus Torvalds that he can join hacking the Linux
kernel by a newbie without any clue about the Linux kernel.
I'm expressing the concerns of the Free Software community in a manner
that is common in the community. We always raise our objections in
public mailing lists.


Any responsible politician should be encouraging a home grown Free Software industry because it creates the basis for future jobs. Learning Windows is like learning to eat every meal at McDonalds.