“Free Software, Free Society” was the mantra which echoed from every perspective of its applicability in the first day of the National Conference on Free Software-2010, Bengaluru.
With voices of eminent people inclined to, and affiliated to the Free Software Movement and its ideology reverberating in the auditorium, while they were substantiating each and every nuance pertaining to Swatantra Software, the inauguration couldn’t be any better.
The response to the conference was overwhelming,with about 1000 participants on a single day, of which about 300 were from states other than Karnataka,i.e., from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi,Maharashtra,West Bengal and Tripura.
The Conference was declared Open by Prof. Baraguru Ramachandrappa, with a riveting speech subsequently. Speaking in Kannada, he threw some necessary light on the IT policy of the Governments(both state and Central) and its fallibilities, which have been advantageous for the shrewed, so called MNC’s. He questioned the nationalism of the Indian origin MNC’s in IT who have been encouraging ‘unfreedom’ in the technology domain, and also about these companies not contributing to the local needs of people. He also justified the waiver of copyrights and patents on Software, as it is being wrongly marketed as a product instead of knowledge in digital form. He went on to talk about the “IT untouchability” which has perpetuated into the society since the supposedly ‘IT Revolution’ began in India.
The context of the conference was laid before the audience by Prof.Gopinath, IISc in an elaborate and comprehensive manner, emphasizing on important issues staring at us from near future like technology to deal with Climate Change, Free Software on Mobile phones etc…
The presidential address was delivered by Dr. N. Prabhu Dev, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University. He gave an account of the Free Software Movement and its ideology.
Mr. Umashankar, IAS, held the audience awe-inspired with his facts and sheer exciting facts about Free Software and its implementation in the government projects in Tamil Nadu. He did inspire a lot many of us by his Inspirational Talk.
Apart from this, Free Software representatives from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal also showcased their regional activities.
With lunch being served to all the participants, full strength of the audience was on the floor in the food court enjoying simple authentic Karnataka food.
Post lunch, the general participants were to attend talk on e-governance, followed by Python workshop and a session on Free Software migration, which later I was told went on well.
While these sessions were happening, we the delegates had assembled in Shikshakara Sadana, to churn up ideas and, to try and float a National body of Free Software, which would be a ‘Network of Organisations functioning at regional levels’. After debating about this issue for 4 hours, all the delegates unanimously have endorsed this idea of a National Entity to which each regional body would be affiliated. This had been the motive behind the Delegate conference, and each one of us is really happy that we could arrive at this: Free Software Movement of India 🙂
By the time the Delegate conference was over, I was assigned with another responsibility which became an adventure on its own. I shall dedicate a post talking about this soon.
On the ground,the bubbling energy of volunteers and organizers were appreciated by all the participants and delegates. Mixed with fun moments, hectic engagements and responsible activities we’re glad to have successfully completed Day 1 of the conference. Now, time to buckle up for the second day 🙂 See you all there.