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Winning freedom with Gandhi's words!

T. Saravanan

MADURAI: Exposure to modern technologies and technical advancements has increased public awareness. Hence, people like to explore new things and are even prepared to take risks. Any obstacle to their endeavours is considered a threat to their freedom.

Probably, the same have happened with a bunch of people, as they have decided to start a movement to popularise the Open Source Software (OSS) system.

The occasion they have chosen to launch their movement is also quite interesting. They want to celebrate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a big way by declaring October 2 as `Software Freedom Day'.

But what is the relevance of this declaration on Gandhi Jayanthi? Quoting Mahatma Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win," Navin A. Sylvester, Coordinator, Madurai Linux Users Group (LUG), said that Mahatma's words could be applied for software freedom also.

Under the banner, Madurai LUG, a public forum of Open Source enthusiasts, the software students, IT professionals and business users have come together to popularise the usage of Linux and other open source software in this part of the world.

Elaborating on the purpose of the declaration, Mr. Navin Sylvester said: "as freedom gives the vital power for sustainable growth of any positive aspect of a society, the youngsters should be given a free hand and they should be taught to innovate and invent. But it is not happening in the field of computers, despite computers becoming an integral part of our life. It is high time that the public understand the handicap of the existing proprietary software system, which prevents any budding technologists from exploring the depths. The open source software ideology provides unlimited freedom and scope to explore new designs and systems for the technical persons."

The participatory software development lends more credibility to the functioning of the open source software. Besides the technological scope, it also provides full freedom, low cost of ownership and higher level of security.

For a country with huge digital divide, open source stream has all the potential to become a main IT source.

Hence, the Madurai LUG has planned to send requests to respective agencies to declare October 2 as `Software Freedom Day'.

Public who wish to know more about Open Source Software and about software freedom can dial 98409 42488 to contact Navin A. Sylvester.

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