[Fsf-friends] On National Conference on Free Software at Kochi

Vikram Vincent vincentvikram at gmail.com
Mon Nov 17 12:11:35 IST 2008

After a good experience at the First National Conference at Hyderabad I had
been planning to attend the Second Conference at Kochi from the time of its
announcement a couple of months ago. Even my serious ill-health could not
keep me away from the conference as many will vouch. After two weeks of bad
health of which 5 days were spent on a hospital bed I woke up from the
hospital bed and came straight to Kochi.

The Conference was well organised and the 1000+ delegate participation from
all over the country was magnificent. It was a representation of the growing
peoples' mass movement which cannot be stopped or controlled by vested
interests or power centres. What is obvious is the conscious conversion of a
developers' movement to a peoples' movement. THE PEOPLE ARE TAKING CHARGE.
The resolutions brought out at the conference are important and I hope that
they will be released soon.
One of the most important talks was the one by Sri. Sitaram Yechury where
the issue of the crisis in global capitalism and its impact on people and
the role of the Free Software Movement in building the resistance was
presented in terms that even a 10th standard student could understand.

A couple of years ago when organising the GPLv3 conference I noticed that
only a small group of people took responsibility and organised the 'event'.
But now the dynamics has changed. Events are being replaced by processes.
The Karnataka team (I am not referring to FSUG-Bangalore because though I am
an integral part of it I know that it is not representative of Karnataka but
only a miniscule part of the Movement. A single community. FSUG B'lore is
just a mailing list.) comprising of ordinary people from the slums, computer
technical trainers from villages, academicians, IT employees, engineering
students and others participated in the conference. The conscious effort to
build a mass movement in Karnataka is bearing fruit and this was clear when
almost one and a half bus loads of activists from Karnataka reached Kochi.
Even the efforts to sideline genuine work and at various important
protests/programs could not/cannot dampen our spirits.

What struck me as odd was why FSF-India which claims to be THE free software
community was not a part of this important process.
While we will support causes which are just irrespective of individuals and
banners we will definitely not allow elements to disrupt the movement here
in Karnataka or anywhere in India and we will continue to work to build the
movement the best way we know -- as a mass movement.
Join us and you will be assimilated.
In solidarity with the Free Software Movement,
Vikram Vincent
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