Saturday, March 14, 2009

BJP's IT Vision supports open source and open standards

The BJP, the largest opposition  in India has released an IT Vision document that endorses open source and open standards. Many of the points mentioned in the FOSS Manifesto for India that we put up online last week have been incorporated in this document.

This document was unveiled by none other than Shri. LK Advani, the BJP's candidate for Prime Minister. I did a quick read of the 40 page document and am impressed with how thorough and comprehensive it is. As a long time supporter of free and open source software, I am delighted to see a major Indian political party endorse it. However, I am even more delighted to see that this endorsement is rooted in a comprehensive vision for India's development. A big chunk of the credit for this document should go to Shri. Sudheendra Kulkarni (an alumnus of IIT Bombay) and Shri Prodyut Bora (an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad). Shri Kulkarni was advisor to Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee when Vajpayee was prime Minister of India and Shri Bora is Head of the IT Cell of the BJP.

I was happy to see that the Digital Colonization theme that my friend, Jaijit Bhattacharya of Sun talks about has been incorporated in this document. Apart from the FOSS Manifesto, some of my key passions on open standards (that we don't pay for standards like weights and measures in the physical world, so why should we pay for standards in the digital world?) have been reflected. Also, as a co-founder of IndLinux.org which we started in 2000 in an attempt to bridge the digital divide, I am happy to see that the BJP has promised to create a National Mission for Indian Language Computing.
The CPI(M), another national party in India has always been a strong supporter of our stand on open source, open standards and our fight against software patents. We are hopeful that other political parties will also take cognizance of the FOSS Manifesto and incorporate the same
into their IT plans for India.

With the country schedule to go to polls next month, we now have a broad consensus emerging around the use of open source and open standards. This is great news for all of us who believe in free and open source software!

6 comments:

Abhishek Nagar said...

its a good sign for FOSS movement in India

Prajeev said...

Whether BJP comes to Power at the center or not is immaterial here. What signifies here is FOSS has got a center stage and is an issue now among the top decision makers.

All 3 states where left wing is ruling have adopted OSS in a big way i.e. by having in Schools' curriculum as well as support by govt.departments.

Even if BJP does not rule center after the elections, we can see them implementing the same in states ruled by BJP and congress will anyway not like to be ridiculed by not supporting the movement. It is a party which is old and learns the right lessons though little late but we can be sure of them as they evolve.

Aamod said...

In the manifesto, they've said that there will be internet connectivity to remotest places in India. I think they must first built roads and fulfill necessities of people in such remote places..
I'd well vote for a party that hates FOSS, if it would mean that people would be safe from terror strikes, and this country be run better.

Anonymous said...

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/red-hat-criticized-for-staking-out-patent-claim-on-standard.ars

Although you say Redhat fights patents but it seems they are themself indulging in the same dirty gutter. Call it hypocrisy.

I am no longer interested in Redhat products and as of today I boycott them.

Is there a link with the deal redhat signed with microsoft few days back for virtualization ? I guess whatever microsoft touches turns evil.

ghonada said...

Hi,
I came to your blog and found that you write on open source software. On close look I found it very surprising that you have never mentioned the word "ubuntu" or "debian" in all your blogs (result of search). You seem to talk about competition between redhat and suse but presently redhat has clearly betrayed the open source community by making people pay for their "enterprise" edition. It is indeed ubuntu that has kept the hope of open source alive. For a journalist who claim to write on open source software you seem to particularly ill informed or strangely biased by your employer.

Venky said...

@ Gonada, the focus of my blog is how open source can be leveraged for India's development and the policy issues around this goal. Occasionally, I comment about developments on the business side. Distro wars do not interest me.

@ anonymous: If you believe everything the media says, you will believe everything.