[Fsf-press] Software Freedom Day.

Arun M arun at gnu.org.in
Wed Oct 5 11:32:13 CEST 2005


Software Freedom Day Celebration calls for the decolonisation
of Indian minds from Proprietary Software.

Commemerating the 136th birth anniversary of Mahatma FSF India
AP Chapter celebrated the Software Freedom Day. As a part of
the worldwide activity to celebrate freedom in software
development, Free Software Foundation of India has organised a
seminar on "Free Software and India". The seminar aimed at
spreading the spirit of Free Software among young minds at
Engineering collges throughout the state.


Kiran Chandra, Convenor FSF India, A.P. chapter presided over
the event. Prof. D.N. Reddy, Pricipal, Osmania University
College of Engineering was the chief guest. Arun, Secretary of
FSF India and Dr.Ravi Kumar, Director of Geodata Division,
Geographical Survey of India were the other speakers. There
was a technical session on "Power of GNU/Linux" with the aim
of showing Free Software alternatives to proprietory software
that we use everyday. Prof. Reddy noted that the availability
of source code in Free Software has a potential to greatly
impact the learning of technology in engineering colleges. He
also listed the four primary freedoms that are the objective
of Free Software in letting the user use, modify and
redistribute software in any way desired. Arun noted the
similarity between the East India companies set up by foreign
countries long back and the current proprietary software
companies that are a threat to our freedom. He described the
proprietary software model as people keeping knowledge to
themselves and building walls around themselves which hinders
the advancement of science and technology in a knowledge
society. Dr. Ravikumar told us how GRASS, a Free Software
Geographical Information System, is creating a revolution at
the Geographical Survey of India. It is zero costs and much
superior alternative to proprietary GIS system that they were
using earlier. He also mentioned that GIS software can be used
as a key to solving problems and regulating the production of
various crops in the

A Software Freedom Campaign rally started at 9:35 AM from the
University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli and touched the premier
institutions like IIIT,JNTU and reached OU College of
Engineering at 11.30 AM. The Freedom Campaign Flag was
received by two children stating that the Freedom Campaign
will continue as and long there is life existing on earth. The
Freedom Campaign rally was led by M.Naveen the core member of
FSF AP.

An Oath was taken up by the one thousand participants. The
pledged to take forward the freedom campaign and shall strive
for a world with clear stream of reason breaking the narrow
domestic walls that curtail this freedom. The pledge was taken
from Rabindranath Tagores greatest work Geetanjali.
Stalls were arranged for the participants, and they were
demonstrated Free Software that could replace the currently
being used proprietary software. Seven stalls covering common
learning tools used by engineering students were setup. They
include   compilers   like   GCC,G++   integrated   development
environments like KDevelop, Anjuta, Eclipse , 3D modelling and
animation tools like blender, installation of GNU/Linux
operating system etc.

This seminar was attended by one thousand engineering college
students from all over the state. FSF AP core members co-
ordinated the activity      and GNU/Linux Osmania University
Campus Club.



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