[FSUG-Bangalore] Kochi conference and hurt egoes - a call for truce

Senthil Sundaram (sensunda) sensunda at cisco.com
Mon Nov 17 10:59:13 IST 2008

Century of the Self - Hurt Egoes or The cause of the movement - a call
for  truce till resolution

I was there.  We were preparing for the session 'Caste Discrimination in
Konwledge Communities ' along with IISc Venky.
Arky called and we rushed to the spot of the problem . I saw many folks
there including 
Sameer of Ilug,Kochi, MES teachers and students, Arun , FSF , Secreatry.

I did tell him that from slumdweller we can put up a protest poster if
what folks were saying was true and
 exrpressed my solidarity.
However in public I also told that things are not as simple as they
appear to newbies like us. 
And as Arky told me the previous day - be careful my dear newbie - as
everyone has their 'agenda' at the end of the day. 
There was a gentelman standing next to me with an IEEE T-shirt. Who was
also protesting the incident. 
I told him that a ideologically strong free software advocate would have
differences with IEEE. That doesnt mean I 
tear his t-shirt.  He told me "you dont know what contribution i was
doing to ieee and fs ' and the significant work
 we have done to bring ieee to free software'. 
Yes though he is working  with IEEE for free software ( as i did in blr)
I need to understand the free software cause
 and help it spread rather than doing a stupid thing like tearing his
I have to see and understand his contribution to free software .
This is the question - do i take a puritan stand based on what RMS
himself said - and say nothing doing with IEEE 
( though they are not MS) - or do i look at it as avenue for growth of
free software - especially when the field is
 still empty ( imho) 

i feel that there is a need for both these groups - the radical and the
mass based - both have their role.  

infact i also saw that many leaders ( apart from the organisers and
protesters) were inspired by the event - 
especially by the mobilisation - and in  fact saw the role of both the
radical and the mass leader - and were involved in
discussions with both these groups 
Why are we seeing thse controversies errupt in recent times. Is it
becuase the free software movement is growing. 
Is it because some are worried that its growing in the wrong direction. 
Another person  told me this during the day : in a company you have
profit as a motivator - in a social movement 
ego is a motivator - as human being have we found a solution to this
issue of 'ego' - i dont think so - but i do believe - 
that whenever folks put their egoes behind and put the cause in front -
amazing things happen - but i do not 
know if its so easy for myself to do the same .
i did also see and hear many people - who strongly believe - that many
things can be done in their individual spaces - 
without being drawn into all this trouble and all these things are not
avoidable ..
whomever i met i requested this - a couple of years back when i was
inspired into the movement - i didnt see this happening - 
a controversy and flame every month - something has changed - i am sure
fsf , india can resolve this ... 
until then lets have truce in the field - without cheap hijack falmes
and stunts and lumpen behaviour -  let the mass based and the radicals -

do their work in the field - without disruption and provaction - after
all i see that many of them are on the same thinking lines and 
within the same family - and claim - simillar affilliations. 
btw we did sell 4365 Rs worth of gimp paintings from the slum computer
center.  had my chance to meet people like 
redhat venky, gora mohanty , pramod sir , mes students and teachers,
ilug kochi sameer, bio-informatic students 
who had put up a stall. thanks community ..we are inspired once again.
in solidarity
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