[Fsf-friends] Statement of FSF India board on recent incidents

Nagarjuna G. nagarjun at gnowledge.org
Sun Nov 30 19:25:17 IST 2008

On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Arvind Kumar Chinniah
<arvindkumar.c at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is not my concern for not making you sit on the Dias stage.
> First you said you were not invited for the session organize.
> Then, you accepted that you were invited to hold a session under you.
> But this is not the actual talk of the discussion.
> We are not in a descriptive manner explained about,
> 1) Why the Kochi Conference had a protest against Novell, why cant that be
> made when the lend a hand towards you (As you were already informed, the
> proof is the mail scraps at
> http://www.gnu.org.in/kochi-conference-communication ). Why on that day, why
> not before that?

It is answered already.  It is because the organizers never disclosed
the relevant fact to anyone, not even to those who are part of the
organizing committee.   They did not mention that on the event
website.  (all these points are repetitions.)  THAT IS WHY it happened
on THAT DAY, and NOT BEFORE THAT.  So, you should go ask them why this
information was surpressed?

You are asking several questions to us, since FSF India created a
forum for transparent discussion.  This conversation is possible and
that is why you are asking questions, we are patiently responding to
your queries.  If FSFI does not believe in generating opinion why
should there be a list like this where people can discuss
transparently and understand each other.

> 2) Why the Free Software Foundation is not considered to be a Mass Movement.
> If its not, its not going to be a community. You spoil the real nature of
> Democracy (and in turn Freedom) in that.

Complete misunderstanding.  Most of these are based on inaccurate expectations.

FSF was founded in 1985.  What kind of hindrance did it create for not
letting democracy or freedom flourish?  On the contrary it took the
lead in promoting and protecting these virtues.  It gave the direction
to the movement.  FSM created tools that help create social networks
to let this happen.  It is therefore an enabler of freedom.

FSF supported the GNU project where people from all over the world
participated and collaborated in a distributed development
environments using mailing lists, cvs, web servers, list servers, chat
rooms etc.

How can you say that doing such things spoils the real nature of
democracy and then in turn freedom?

FSFs do not want to administer freedom movement, it wants to give a
direction and support, and become a body to protect software freedom
(when you find someone is voilating GPL, a country changes a policy
and introduces software patents e.g.).  And the body of FSFs include
people who take leads in those movements.  They may come from several
other organizations/groups etc.

Political parties on the other hand want to administer social change,
but we do not do that. They want power and control but we don't.

Free software movement is possible without creating any large
political groups.  The most important identity that we respect is the
human being and that beings' freedom.  When we have a large number of
small groups at every part of the country (an FSUG in every town,
district, we don't have them now.) FSM will flourish.  FSFI will
support their formation, provide them direction, give them
infrastructure, invite the leads of such groups into the working
group, generate consensus etc.  and support each other.

We are doing it differently from other political movements, because we
have a point to make here.  The point is when freedom is granted to
each individual, and they develop an ability to defend their freedom
at all times on their own, there remains nothing else to govern.  This
is possible when knowledge is free, and the software that helps in
creating, managing and distributing that knowledge is also free.
Creating powerful groups even if they are democratic does not solve
the problem (India and US are good examples of that, both are large
democracies, neither of them respect or grant freedom.).  That is
possible in user groups, mailing lists, wiki spaces, chat rooms where
people can have a dialogue.   We need a large number of small
organizations, and a network of these organizations, which happens
automatically.  This is how we grow.  This growth is organic, and
organic growth is sustainable. We want to catalyze the formation of
such an ecosystem.

Let us all work towards such an organic growth, instead of creating
one large network of FSF chapters. let me repeat, FSFs do not want to
become a political powers, and does not want to govern.  That will be
self-defeating to the ideals of freedom.


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