[Fsf-friends] Re: GNU Freedom

Ramanraj K ramanraj@md4.vsnl.net.in
Wed Sep 3 05:52:04 IST 2003

Dear Friends,

G.U.   Pope  has translated  kappam  as  tribute,  which is  money  or
equivalent  paid periodically  by one  prince or  State to  another in
acknowledgement  of submission  or as  price of  peace  or protection.
However, the word tribute sounds  respectful, because of it also means
mark of respect, and does  not convey the sense of shame, humiliation,
helplessness,  and ignominy  that is  usually associated  with kappam.
Taxes  are normally  and  ideally  retuned to  the  people as  welfare
measures and  common benefits, but  kappam always ends up  as luxuries
enjoyed by  a King. All states  paying kappam deeply  wish for freedom
and  fight for  Swadesh sooner  or later,  in the  interests  of their

The East India Company was just  a trading company when they landed in
1600  in  India.  Kappam   and  taxes  soon  followed.   According  to
Montgomery Martin, who studied the drain of wealth from India in 1838,
wrote  thatthere wan  annual  drain of  3,000,000  pounds, and  fairly
conceded that `for half a century we have gone on draining from two to
three and  sometimes four million  pounds sterling a year  from India,
which has been  remitted to Great Britain to  meet the deficiencies of
commercial speculations, to pay the  interest of debts, to support the
home establishment,  and to invest  on England's soil  the accumulated
wealth of  those whose lives  have been spent  in Hindustan. I  do not
think  it possible  for human  ingenuity  to avert  entirely the  evil
effects  of a  continued  drain of  four  million pounds  year from  a
distant country like  India, and which is never returned  to it in any

England's debt to India is  estimated at 5,000,000,000 pounds, at 1945
currency values.   Add Rs.1,350 crores of British  capital shipped out
between August 1942 and July 1948 when India was declared Independent.

I  hope  we  have learnt  our  history  lessons  right, and  take  RMS
seriously when he says:

    Our  goal is  to  replace it  (non-free  softare) entirely.   
    Free  software is  software swadesh -- not  just for India,  
    but for the whole world.

    The resemblance between non-free software and  British rule
    in India  extends  much further.   Non-free  software  is a
    form  of  electronic colonization."

RMS is a Mahatma for the  world.  GNU Freedom may become the mother of
all freedoms.  As the author of calpp, working on legal procedures and
proceedings with computer  aid, I have no hesitation  at all in saying
that the GPL is the most valuable legal document as significant as the
Bill of Rights, US Constitution,  UN Charter, or our own Constitution,
and is  likely to create a  much greater change and  impact on society
than any other  legal document has done so far.  

I  just saw a message from RMS listed by Frederick Noronha:
    if the Indian government hires one person in India  to work
    with us, that could enable us to add 1000 more packages per
    year.  We would appreciate the help.

Could we rise up to the occasion?

K. Ramanraj.

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