[fosscomm] Help required to form FOSSCOM as analternate Industry and Civil Society body to NASSCOM

Guru गुरु guru at itforchange.net
Sat Jul 11 02:55:46 PDT 2009

Dear Nagarjuna,

I take your point that we should maximise our communications on the
mailing list, without making that a rule. Email has several advantages
including most importantly, transparency.

I think you have also made a very important point on the FOSSCOMM "entry 
ticket" - the number of FOSS enthusiasts like us will be in few lakhs in 
India, however our vision in FOSSCOMM is really the adoption of FOSS by 
the entire country, by each of the 1 billion + people. Which means we 
need to move out of our current modes of comfort/communications to reach 
out to others and this requires we make every effort to speak their 
language and create situations of comfort for them to participate in 

(I will like to draw an analogy to our freedom struggle. In the pre- 
Gandhi era, the INC was a small group of well meaning highly educated 
people who did not connect to rest of India. Their efforts did not 
bother the British. Gandhi's primary contribution to the freedom 
struggle was to make 'Freedom' meaningful and relevant to the 
illiterate/starving millions. This process is what chased the British 
out, which would not have resulted from the well meaning eforts of the 
small group.

FOSSCOMM will succeed if it can make 'free software' a meaningful idea 
to people who currently have no idea or interest about GNU/Linux as a 
piece of software! And that means we need to put energies towards 
political mobilization or 'social engineering' as you term it)

For the above reason, I also do hope that over time and work, our trust 
in one another will increase and we will be more comfortable with other 
ways of communicating that many 'non-technical' friends and FOSSCOMM 
members may  be more comfortable with. (After all speech preceded email 
in human evolution and email does not and should not make meeting or 
talking - two very important human processes irrelevant or less 
important :-) )

warm regards,

Nagarjuna G. wrote:
> On Friday 10 Jul 2009 4:30:34 pm Anivar Aravind wrote:
>> With all respect to Andrew & you, I have an issue here.  Andrew
>> was cc'ed in all recent conversations on this list when his name
>> is mentioned. It is not an issue that need to be settled or
>> granted offlist through personal Conversation.
>> Sorry to say you set a wrong procedure here. and I strongly oppose
>> this mode of communication /decision making in a FOSS Forum. 
>> Fosscomm representation is a not a grant. it must come through the
>> trust acquired through the prior work
> At the outset, let me support of Anivar's principle: As much as
> possible we should all try to maximize the electronic means of
> communication, on matters related to FOSSCOMM so that FOSSCOMM can
> demonstrate to the rest of the organizations that transparency is 
> more
> important than even democracy. Having said this, I do not think Guru
> did an act that needs a strong condemnation.
> I do not see any problem in this. If you insist no communication
> except email will be the means of communication, I do not think that
> is appropriate. As I said, we should maximize that means of
> communication.  As a hacker you and me feel confortable and used to
> working in this style.  Are you expecting that only hackers can bring
> in all the change you want to see?  Are you going to undermine all
> other social means of communication as useless.  I do not want to
> endorse such a narrow approach.  In another thread I had already
> expressed why I do not want to take this appraoch.
> However, as much as possible we should all attempt to work in the
> collaborative space, so that all deliberations happen and get
> recorded.  In fact, Guru wondered why Andrew was not replying, and
> took initiative to call and find out what his opinion is.  Instead of
> thanking him for what he did, you objected strongly.  The fact that 
> he
> reported back to the list regarding the communication.  
>> I feel this is a problem of thinking topdown instead of being
>> bottom up.
> we should neither be topdown nor bottom up.  the message FOSS 
> movement
> gives us is to repsect all the peers as equal.  Let us do p2p.  All 
> of
> us will be representing for different tasks at different periods for
> FOSSCOMM, each of us have an equal role to play.  Let us make this
> mode of formation a feature of FOSSCOMM.  We are not looking for a
> leader here, as Raj in another message clearly articulated.  We 
> wanted
> one representative, preferably from Delhi who can attend to calls in 
> a
> days notice at times.  
> Andrew is an active FOSS supporter and is currently the president of
> user's group in Delhi, and is willing to represent as well apart from
> the user's group. freed.in events were difficult to imagine without
> his support. Our FOSS friends in Delhi group already gaven him the
> role to represent.  We should also respect their decision.
>> I hope our friends will not repeat the wrong procedures (may be in
>> a good spririt) till that point
> If you have a list of wrong procedures, it will be good to discuss 
> and
> list them as well.  If not hanging out in mailing list is one of 
> them,
> you are denying almost the entire population of India to be excluded
> from playing a role in FOSSCOMM. as you know people who work like us
> are minority in any country.  If our culture remains an entry ticket,
> then we will be excluding many, which I think is not desirable.

Gurumurthy Kasinathan
IT for Change
Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities
Tel:98454 37730
*IT for Change is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with United
Nations’ Economic and Social Council*

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