[FSUG-Bangalore] Blog post on National Conference & Boycott Novell Protest

naveen.nj at BIRLASOFT.COM naveen.nj at BIRLASOFT.COM
Thu Nov 20 11:27:09 IST 2008



A Glimpse into The FSF Conference - CUSAT

I am a fresher - in all aspects - into FSF. I feel my pulse mount when I
see monopoly, the reason that leads me down here. I was back to my
campus (CUSAT) last weekend when I came to know about this conference
and had the honor of being a delegate for the last two days. But what I
witnessed finally had to be mentioned about, at least to serve my

A Temple of Education - one like CUSAT - esteemed to be one among the
best in the state has been affronted by some recent series of atrocious
incidents happened during the Free Software National Conference -
labeling the students and teachers of this prestigious institution as
erratic and irresponsible, questioning their integrity and devotion. It
has been raised by some 'former students' and some so-called
revolutionaries who love to be addressed as the 'proprietors of free
software movement, supported by a few intellects. 

I, as an alumni and a witness to the roll of incidents take it as my
obligation to comment on it.  The SFI and the CUSAT University Union is
being blamed in the light of the recent incidents that took place. But
the fact that it was SFI who first invited  Richard Stallman (Prophet of
FSF) to preside over the Students Parliament which held on 2004 in
Trivandrum and that it was the CUSAT University Union who made the
platform for him in CUSAT is being deliberately kept under cover. The
tradition of CUSAT B.Tech Students - has been put down! There was a time
when they retorted the monopoly of the big players when the American
Dictator was screeching Iraq with bombs - with pure rejection of
sponsorships from big-names like Pepsi & Coke and moved into the court
raising fund from among them to accomplish their Culturals & Sports.

Let's get into the nerves of this Novell Whim. Only two days before the
conference started did the organizing committee get the sponsorship from
Novell - the reason why Novell's name was omitted from the official
website of the conference. Organizing committee is at an obvious burden
for not letting themselves know who is pouring in such a huge amount -
lack of commonsense, I must say!!! But its beating around the bush, let
me hit on the nail - the fact that Novell's stall appeared in the
exhibition only on Saturday morning while the exhibition actually
started on Thursday, is the ultimate proof that sponsorship from Novell
was confirmed only on Thursday or Friday. It is intriguing that even
after knowing this one of the program committee members himself is
raising the issue that Novell's name was purposefully omitted from the
conference website. This has to be thought off amply. 

I understand the passion the free software activists had while
protesting against Novell, an outflow of grave anti-dominion feel. But
this was not the way, especially considering that the protest against
Novell was lead by a member of the program committee - there should've
been some morale. 'NOVELL' was the next important thing after the
conference from Saturday, considering the gargantuan 20x30 backdrop hung
in the main stage. I must say, being humble enough to proclaim that I
possess some basic common-sense that it is next to unbelievable that
among the 15 - 20 people behind the BOYCOTT NOVELL MOVEMENT, not even
one of them saw this banner. I remember Mr. Arkky (the cameraman in the
exhibition hall) who send a mail about this, and many others retorting
about this 'UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT' but present in the inauguration
ceremony. As per the hierarchy of incidents, the fact that Novell had a
hand in sponsorship was realized too late by them, too difficult for me
to accept considering the above facts, and even if they knew it early,
instead of resorting to cheap publicity methods and making a mess of
things they should've shown the sense of making it clear with other
committee members like Anil and Deepak who have made their points clear
through blogs and mails before. But they fled with their say-sos and
made the innocents from MEC & TCR Engg College partners of their crime -
conspiring how to make a huge mess out of the whole thing. Some ALUMNI
did approach the organizers but not to gather support for BOYCOTT NOVELL
movement, but to escape the hands of the volunteers for the chaos caused
by these so called revolutionaries. Novell put up their stall only after
giving the sponsorship cash to the organizers. I won't be able to digest
the reason - even if I get one - why one among the program committee
member himself lead this anarchy!!!!!!!.

Why I call it a beautiful drama, I'll speak about later - but after this
drama of incidents I had a casual chat with the organizers of the Novell
stall. They actually thanked the protestors - how wonderful - as the
whole incidents boosted up their publicity. People who knew nothing
about Novell now know everything about it - the very purpose of stalls &
publicity. 'Boycott Novell' posters were pasted in many stalls
forcefully. Banners welcoming the delegates put up on behalf of the
various associations like Cochin University Employees Association and
Cochin University Teachers Association etc had no escape... Dr Bhasi, a
highly honored faculty of CUSAT, when trying to obstruct the chaos that
ensued in the exhibition hall was probed about his authority in the
matter. It is demeaning to note that a former student stooped to such
low levels as to ask such a respected man to remove the posters himself.
I do take this as an opportunity to express my heartfelt regret at such
an action. Even the University Security Officer, Mr. Suresh Babu - an
extremely student friendly officer, was assaulted by questions about his
authority and was asked to show his identity card - how appalling for
him, for us. Volunteers, pushing away their exam pressures going on
throughout this month did an awesome job to make the whole program a
grant success - their dedication and commitment to the principles of
such a movement being the driving force. Unfortunately they too weren't
spared. The 'former students' who did witness a variant of such an
atrocity during Culturals and Sports can have a better understanding, I

Ah, the drama version alias the one-man-show! Organizers asked the
posters to be removed triggering the one-man-show exponentially. I came
across numerous mails/blogs/messages that a mob of 20 was protesting.
But this one big man was being recorded by the rest in their respective
hi-technology cell phones - and the man was happy and on fire. 20
minutes after this incident - pics & movies in various angles were
posted online - the very proof to the above fact. Before attempting any
intentional-publicity-claim, informing the media is a dirty trick played
so often by many such small 'organizations'. He knew it, the samurai,
and now we know it, watching his moves n movies in the videos recorded.
Allies arrived flying for rescue aid in 20 minutes after the show-off
started - now that makes me suspicious (just me or even you?). A 'press
conference' threat raised by this gentleman incase the poster is not
removed before the arrival of CM proves his/their intention to the core
line. The University Registrar made a polite request, but then he had
his own standards of replying dirty - and so he was asked to stepped off
(instead of being slapped off).

Glimpsing through the Conference Organizers let me put my view in this
regard. Free Software has to be FREE as the name says - no possessor in
terms of the giants in this arena, no patent and nobody enjoys
cumulative accounts. People who have been earning money couching idly in
their bedroom cushions are scared when CPM, who has a massive and
valiant history of struggle against capitalism and monopoly, is
promoting free software. CPM is supporting a fetus in this arena of
Software World and must be supported by all. If the people who messed
and the people who organized happen to be the same, I truly believe you
have affronted your own organization and give your heart and soul to
your cause next time and better keep things at your home within your

Criticizers... I do understand that growth and criticism seems to be
parallel but they meet only after realizing that the blogs and mails you
use for complimentary, to criticize but actually has to be colossally
appreciated, has the tinge and scent of the sweat, pain and blood of
these organizers.




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anivar Aravind <anivar.aravind at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 5:51 PM
Subject: [FSUG-Bangalore] My Blog post on National Conference & Boycott
Novell Protest
To: Principal Support List of FSF-India <fsf-friends at mm.gnu.org.in>,
Free Software Users Group - Bangalore <fsug-bangalore at mm.gnu.org.in>,
Free Software User Group Thrissur- Discussion list
<discuss at lists.fsugtsr.org>

I blogged about the national Conference & Boycott Novell Protest


If you are any more questions to me. Leave a comment on the post . I
will update the FAQ


I am always happy when I am Protesting: Richard M. Stallman
FSUG-Bangalore mailing list
FSUG-Bangalore at mm.gnu.org.in


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