[Reader-list] Call for endorsements: Open Letter to Mamootty from Free Software Community

Anivar Aravind anivar.aravind at gmail.com
Sat Apr 19 12:07:17 IST 2008

 Dear Friends,

I request all to endorse Open letter to Mammooty
It is available at http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/Open_Letter_To_Mammootty

You can endorse it (organisationally/individually) either  on wiki  or by
sending a
mail to me
If You are logging it . Dont forget to add it to


Dear Bharat Mammootty,

This letter is to express our deepest disappointment in your involvement
with Microsoft to launch their e-literacy program in
is based on the belief that you have high social convictions and
commitment to the people of Kerala.

Kerala's civil society had in the past been delighted by your decision to
dissociate with the coco cola
as a response to the resource exploitation and pollution caused by
the corporate body. However, people of Kerala will be bewildered to see that
you are lending your name and fame to support a devastatingly nefarious
techno-monopolistic campaign unleashed by Microsoft in our state. We feel
your move is both ill-advised and harmful.

Being the Director of a major media initiative (Kairali TV, Malayalam
Communications Limited) that claims to be people-oriented both in terms of
its initial resource mobilization tactics as well as its professed
commitment to people's causes, it is embarrassing to see that such concerns
are completely sidelined in favor of a hideous agenda of a major US based
multi-national IT giant, despised even in US for its monopolistic
tendencies. In fact there are records of this company using underhanded
tactics to enforce its
an organization like ISO which maintains international standards for
public benefit.

We are assuming that you were not given enough information about the IT
Scenario we live in.

Software is a tool and a means with which we can achieve a lot of things. In
this respect, it is similar to infrastructure like roads and rails. Using
Microsoft software is akin to using a road built by a private agency who
levies a charge for its use. Any further development of that road and the
terms of usage of that road will be subject to the whims of that private
agency alone, however insane it may be. Free Software is like an alternate
road , with equal or better quality. It is community owned - public
property. What modifications have to be done, and where it has to be done is
driven by public need and is not influenced by a private party.

When we use Microsoft's products, which do not give the 4 essential freedoms
in Computing (Right to study, Right to copy, Right to modify and Right to
Redistribute software), we are becoming helpless creatures. Non-free
softwares like Windows are designed to keep users helpless and prohibit
cooperation. On the other hand , Free software believes in sharing and

For your kind attention, Microsoft, the company with which you plan to sign
the contract, has a track record of being fined($1.35 billion) for Antitrust
Charges in European Union for not complying with EU standards and trying to
avoid giving essential information required for interoperability to others
by asking for a huge price. As the report says, "Microsoft was the first
company in 50 years of EU competition policy that the commission has had to
fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," The Hindu February
28, 2008 <http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/28/stories/2008022854441401.htm>.

The Kerala state IT
motto of Akshaya project is 'making technology and e-government
services accessible to common man'. For making technology and e-governance
accessible to common man without vendor lock-in, Free Software (Swathanthra
Software) is the only solution available.

On IANS Report<http://www.aol.in/bollywood/story/2008040806139012000006/India/index.html>you
are saying "your mission is to help make all sections of the society
literate". We understand and appreciate your genuine spirit. But selecting
Microsoft as an accomplice would be a wrong choice. Making people literate
benefits the society as a whole. Proprietary software rejects their thirst
for knowledge: it says, "The knowledge you want is a secret — learning is
forbidden!" Free software encourages everyone to learn. The free software
community rejects the 'priesthood of technology', which keeps the general
public ignorant of how technology works. The people and Government of Kerala
understood it and has already introduced it in our
schools<http://www.indianexpress.com/story/280323.html>and government
institutions. So we request you to stand for free software
and essential freedoms in computing to fulfill your mission.

Since you have on several occasions expressed your support to the causes
upheld by left forces in the country, we hope that it will not be news to
you that CPI(M) and other progressive forces in the country have been ardent
supporters of free software and as a matter of principle, detest Microsoft's
monopoly built through treacherous market machinations that even the
developed countries find unbearable.

It is high time that you understood the implications and ramifications of
your support for Microsoft. It seriously undermines your role as a socially
committed artist, progressive media leader and sympathizer of leftist

We hope that being a thinking man, you will realize the error in endorsing
proprietary software and will persist in your mission of bringing about IT
to the common man via free software and open standards. As a great man who
has enriched the culture of Kerala and India, please do set an example by
using and promoting free software. You are already using GNU/Linux and
Apache webserver (both are free software) for your site:

We as a body that strives to support free standards and free society through
free software, request you to reconsider your decision and be a proponent of
free software to achieve your mission to help make all sections of the
society IT literate.

Let us build your dream together with free software.

A group of free software activists, supporters and users who believe in
freedom, free society and free expression of ideas.
Endorsed by  Organisations

   1. FOSS Communities in India <http://fci.wikia.com/>
   2. GNU Linux Users Group- Thiruvanathapuram <http://ilug-tvm.org/>
   3. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing <http://smc.org.in/>
   4. Swathantra Software User Group
   5. Palakkad Libre Software Users Society <http://plus.sarovar.org/>
   6. GNU/Linux Users Group Calicut <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gluc>
   7. Free Software Users Group Bangalore <http://bangalore.gnu.org.in/>
   8. Open Source Foundation of India <http://opensource.org.in/>
   9. Movingrepublic <http://movingrepublic.org/>
   10. Indian Linux User Group Cochin Chapter<http://www.ilug-cochin.org/>
   11. Global Alternate Information Applications(GAIA)
   12. ViBGYOR Film Collective <http://vibgyorfilm.com/>
   13. Keraleeyam Magazine
   14. Third Eye Films <http://thirdeyefilms.org/>


   1. Abhinandh <http://abhi.totalh.com/>
   2. Amit Surana <http://suranaamit.blogspot.com/>
   3. Anand S Babu <http://ilug-tvm.org/>
   4. Anivar Aravind <http://anivar.movingrepublic.org/>
   5. Anoop John <http://www.thondomraughts.com/>
   6. Anoop Jacob Thomas <http://freedomismybirthright.blogspot.com/>
   7. Anoop P Alias <http://gnusys.net/>
   8. Anoop Panavalappil <http://gnuism.blogspot.com/>
   9. Anoop V Muraleedharan <http://ilug-tvm.org/>
   10. Anu James <http://www.ilug-tvm.org/>
   11. Arun.K.R <http://www.chintaadaara.blogspot.com/>
   12. Ashik Salahudeen <http://www.ilug-tvm.org/>
   13. baburajbhagavathy
   14. Baiju M <http://baijum81.livejournal.com/>
   15. Birenjith P S
   16. Chandrasekharan Nair S <http://keralafarmer.wordpress.com/>
   17. Cibu C J <cibucj at gmail.com>
   18. CK Raju <http://ernakulam.sancharnet.in/doxa/>
   19. George John
   20. G. Palaniappan
   21. Hiran Venugopalan <http://hiraneffects.blogspot.com/>
   22. Jayesh V
   23. Jinesh K J <http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/User:Jinesh.k>
   24. Joby John
   25. Justin Joseph
   26. Mahesh Aravind <http://maravind.blogspot.com/>
   27. Manilal K M <http://libregeek.blogspot.com/>
   28. Manish Sharma
   29. M Jayadev
   30. Nimesh V
   31. Nishan Naseer <http://www.ilug-tvm.org/>
   32. Pramode C.E <http://pramode.net/>
   33. Prashant Shah
   34. Pratheesh Prakash <http://njaan.blogspot.com/>
   35. Praveen A <http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/User:Pravs>
   36. Rajiv R Nair <http://ilug-tvm.org/>
   37. Sajith VK
   38. S.Anoop<http://fci.wikia.com/index.php?title=User:Gameon&action=edit>
   39. Sameer Mohamed Thahir <http://www.ilug-cochin.org/>
   40. Santhosh Thottingal <http://santhoshtr.livejournal.com/>
   41.  Shashank Bharadwaj <http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/User:Shashank>
   42. Sheshu K R
   43.  Shyam.k <http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/User:Aeshyamae>
   44. Sujith Haridasan <http://sujith-h.livejournal.com/>
   45. The Overclocked Fragger <http://overclockedfragger.wordpress.com/>
   46.  Sudev<http://fci.wikia.com/index.php?title=User:Barar&action=edit>
   47. Vimal Joseph
   48. V K Adarsh <http://blogbhoomi.blogspot.com/>

 Relates Links

   1. Microsoft, Mammootty to launch Kerala e-literacy
   2. CPI(M) supports Free
   3. Globalization Institute's submission to European
   4. Kerala schools use free
   5. What is Free Software? <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html>
   6. ORUMA: the result of KSEB's concerted

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