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Government will popularise free software, says Achuthanandan

Special Correspondent



TAKING THE LEAD: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan with Richard M Stallman at the inauguration of a seminar `Free software for Kerala's development' in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. - Photo: S. Mahinsha

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government will take the lead in popularising free software, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said on Monday. Free software emerged as a force which could be used for growth and development.

The socialist and democratic countries pinned their hopes on Richard M. Stallman who challenged monopolisation of knowledge. The capitalists tried to monopolise the means of production and acquire labour at cheap rates. Now, they were trying to monopolise knowledge, especially in the IT sector. Mr. Stallman raised resistance against it and made IT a free zone.

The Chief Minister was inaugurating a seminar on `Free software for Kerala's development,' organised by the IT Mission and the Society for Promotion of Alternate Computing and Employment (SPACE) here.

Mr. Achuthanandan spoke about his efforts as Leader of the Opposition to popularise the use of free software. Though the previous Government tried to defeat such moves, the public approved his stand. Conditions were conducive to popularising it, he said.

Mr. Stallman, who delivered the keynote address, said free software was not an alternative to proprietary software, but it aimed at "liberating the inhabitants of the cyberspace from the clutches of the monopolists." Occasional use of free software would not help to achieve the goal.

Free software offered the freedom to study and change the source code and share it with others. Proprietary software had malicious features. The only way out was to use and popularise free software.

IT Mission director M. Sivasankar welcomed the gathering.

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