FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

A recent conference in India offered examples of how FLOSS affects everything from education and health services to internal software markets.


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Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

India isn't going to make any progress on this front as long as pseudo-jounalists keep putting words in other people's mouths.

Dr.Ramakrishnan has never ever used the term "GNU/Linux", and certainly didn't at this event. He is well aware of the politics behind the term and avoids them like the plague. He even named the Government initiative "Linux India".

Attributing such phrases to him invalidates the entire article. If the New York Times is big enough to admit that their reporter lied, shouldn't LJ check on what it publishes as well?

Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

There you go. A totally irrelevant attack based on the GNU vs. Linux issue. What does this have to do with the main theme of FLOSS in India ? Not everybody is dogmatic about this and may use the terms "Linux" and "GNU/Linux" interchangably since both do represent different aspects of the linux reality.

Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

I disagree with you, largely because you seem to have missed the point the original anonymous poster was making - a reporter may not change statements that someone actually made.

If that person actually said "Linux" instead of "Gnu/Linux", then reporting that he said "Gnu/Linux" is wrong.

I don't think this has anything to do with the actual Linux v/s Gnu/Linux debate - this is just about good reporting ethics.

Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

Its nice of some Indian authors to jump into this linux bandwagon and try to show how much linux is making inroads into India. But much of this is propaganda and eyewash. While linux has made a few inroads in India, it does not compare in any way with its progress in other parts of the world. I know of several friends/relatives who use computers but not one uses linux (they use winME, win XP home etc.). Here are some examples:

1. http://www.observer.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,982275,00.html
The is no major Indian city which has legislated what Munich, Germany has done.

On the other hand, the state of Karnataka, India has done the opposite as reported in http://www.blonnet.com/bline/2002/11/14/stories/2002111400551700.htm
And Karnataka happens to be the state of India's silicon valley city (Bangalore)!!

2. There is absolutely no national level policy made by the Indian government to promote OSS as pointed out by the author in http://www.flonnet.com/fl1925/stories/20021220005410700.htm :

Is such a development likely in India as well? Not as long as there is no agreement between governments in this large, quasi-federal country. As Gopalakrishnan wrote in a recent article: "Why has there not been a national policy as yet on promotion of open source software? Part of the reason is that the policy leadership of southern Indian States where the issues are more focused on IT production than on IT use." Clearly, the free software movement faces a much bigger challenge in this country.

Compare this with what the Chinese government has done to promote OSS in China by giving contracts to redflag linux :
More successes in http://www.redflag-linux.com/jujiao/enews_more.php?type=0

In fact, as per http://www.distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=redflag :

Red Flag Software Co., Ltd. (Red Flag Software) was founded by Software Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and NewMargin Venture Capital.

Where is the Indian parallel ? An Indian-based linux distribution called ELX-linux is not doing too good.

3. Its largely a cultural issue. India, historically, has never been a land where knowledge has been disseminated without discrimination based on caste, color and sex. And this state of affairs continues even today. Even without Bill Gates, there are enough evil forces in that country to prevent the entry of a way of thinking (thats what FLOSS is all about) that may very well threaten the "status quo". FLOSS is too "equal" for such countries. Besides, FLOSS does not have the "American" glamour that Uncle Bill (and Uncle Sam who often aids him) has.

4. Another cultural problem is that not withstanding the large number of software professionals (one of the largest in the world) coming from India, very few are OSS developers. They are just paid professionals who put down code and go home at the end of the working day. They would rather spend the rest of the day in idle gossip (and watch trash Bollywood films) than invest time in developing OSS. They lack the ideals that spur developers elsewhere to write quaility OSS. And this is also very true of Indian students of computer-related fields. For them, its just a means of making some money by learning some tricks of coding, not about principles of freedom. Freedom and rights are nowhere near the radar.

Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

I often think that if Mr. Gandhi were alive today and had to use computers, he no doubt would have chosen FLOSS over propietary software.


Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

Gandhi was very much anti-technology. He would not have touched them. He was also against import of foreign products. It so happens that almost all computer hardware (processor, memory, motherboard etc.) and OSS software is manufactured/developed outside of India. For all you know, he would have preferred a Indian made closed-source, costly, junk software to a "foreign" free and open-source software (that is produced by a truly global collaboration of developers from US, Europe, East Asia and Latin America). So, please stop this Gandhian ass-licking. Progress does not require Gandhi's approval.

Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

You obviously dont know anything Gandhi. He was against the colonial economics of the British, leeching on India.

He would surely be using Linux IMHO :)


Re: FLOSS Gives India a Boost in Many Markets and Endeavors

Anonymous's picture

And you obviously have no clue about Indian history. Gandhi wanted a rural economy while J. Nehru wanted an industrialized country. Gandhi's vision included local "cottage industries", not the global industrialization which has generated the worldwide computer industry (linux is a consequence of that). Gandhi was dead against any form of globalization. Linux is the product of globalization.

In any case, it does not matter what Gandhi would or would not have done, since he's dead. If India needs to be on the OSS forefront, Indians will need to develop quality OSS code rather than worship their gods (includes Vishnu and Gandhi).

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