[ILUG-BOM] FOSS Landscape and History in India

Rushabh Mehta rmehta at gmail.com
Mon Nov 10 10:48:44 IST 2014

> --- On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 9:35 AM, Rushabh Mehta <rmehta at gmail.com> wrote:
> | It seems no one person is more responsible to popularize FOSS in
> India other than Chitnis.
> \--
> Again, I can't speak for Atul Chitnis, but, I feel you need to come
> away from idol worship.
> Yes, there isn't any one person who is responsible to popularize F/OSS in India.

I think you missed the operating word “more” responsible. If distributing a million Linux CDs in tech-averse India is not a major achievement then I don’t know what is. I know people will say he and CyberMedia made money out of it but the end result was that he did reach a lot of people. The word that comes to mind, (sorry for the movie reference) is “Chutzpah” - "I distributed a million Linux CDs in India and even got paid for it."

I am not sure about idol worship - I am pretty much an outsider and have never met Chitnis or attended his events. I am forming opinions on what I have seen online.

The only other person who comes close (from what I gather publicly) is probably Satish Babu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satish_Babu) - unfortunately he does not blog so I have no idea what drives him / his contributions and if he is really responsible for State of Kerala being such an active implementer of FOSS.

Would love to know if there are such people!

> ---
> | What is the state of FOSS activism / evangelism in India today?
> \--
> There are people and communities that cater for both local needs, and
> at the national level. Some call it fragmentation, but, cloning is
> natural in F/OSS communities, and it is important for scalability.
> There is no one single silver bullet though.

I agree, but also believe that consolidation helps. It also depends upon the urgency one feels about the state of affairs and the crores of public money spent on software licenses. Activism / Evangelism should be multi-pronged and both local and global

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