Most countries celebrate Independence Day to celebrate some kind of freedom associated with their countries history, a liberation from something which had been keeping them under chains, something which had been restricting them, confining them under the rule and wishes of someone else other than their own men. Indeed, Indians know the better of this story and we still feel proud of the freedom fight that a forefather (a few generations ago) participated.
Freedom is not just associated with this political or social liberation, but with technology as well. When the technology we used is controlled by a single company or individual, then that single entity starts controlling us indirectly through that technology. Think of a situation when someone says he owns all the water is this world. It may seem funny, stupid, but still if that situation becomes reality then the entire human race will be under the control of one single person. Thankfully it won’t be happening with water, but it might be happening with something else that has managed to become a part and parcel of our lives. Yes, computers have become very much crucial to all our lives. It’s there in our life in most objects we interact with, starting from mobile phones, to consumer electronics, in education, in hospitals, in banking, in our national security and what not.
It was in 1983, that this invisible thread was realized and an effort was started to educate humans about this threat and the solution to prevent it from becoming reality. A movement was started in the name of Free Software Foundation to this cause and been striving hard for the past 2 decades to make the freedom in software a reality.
As a part of this strive towards liberating the world from crutches of proprietary software, we celebrate one day for spreading the awareness of software freedom and it’s importance. This day is called as Software Freedom Day and it comes every year on September 20th. I have been participating in it for the past 4 years, in those celebrations which were organized by ILUGC.
This year, as am away from home turf, I was wondering where to join and thankfully Vincent Vikram called me up today and invited me to join FSUG Bangalore’s SFD celebrations in Christ College. There are indeed lots of other planning various things in India, like some Ubunteros organizing one in Mysore, ILUGC organizing a Demo Day at Kamban Engineering College, Jaya FOSS Club organizing SFD celebrations in Jaya Engineering College. Also a friend of mine, a fellow Ubuntero and an Ubuntu Tamil Team member Sri Ramadoss is releasing some of the RMS’s work in Tamil. This will help more local language readers to know about the Free Software movement and its ideologies in their own language and hence they can understand the importance of software freedom more effectively.
Looking forward to SFD @ Christ College and will keep you all updated on that