31 March, 2010

I don't like it, If it's not my way!

Does it sound arrogant, or is this how you feel too?

Whatever it might seem like, this is how I feel when things aren't going my way. As a consequence of this friction, firstly, it gives rise to disliking, if further pushed -there is repulsion,and ultimately I ignore the causing instance by turning blind eye towards it.

By saying 'My Way', I don't mean that it is a hardcore individualistic path that I tread on. It is just a pattern of doing things affiliated to some basic principles I endorse, and ideally speaking these affiliations should be found more ubiquitously.

Now,if you are wondering what 'extraordinary' affiliations I'm talking about-they're nothing: Just simple ideologies.

Although these seem simply trivial, in reality, witnessing the manifestations of synchronized synergy between these three is a rarity. Even if one would want to do it this way, the influences trying to convince you do it otherwise are more, and consistent.

Nevertheless, a strong conviction towards one's principles,substantiated by self-convincing logic and reasoning would be more than adequate to get things done in one's own way.

28 March, 2010

Mave-rick-shaw driver :)

On the first day of the National Conference on Free Software,i.e., on the 20th of March,by the end of the evening I was assigned with a task. I was asked to drop the Press Note of the day's proceedings to all media centres. I was told that an autorickshaw would be arranged for the purpose and that the driver knew most of the newspaper centres and TV broadcasters.

So,I hopped into the rickshaw, and the driver-T.N. Manjunath briefed me about the places we would be going and warned me that it would take a long time.

Once we started visiting the media centres, I was taken aback, firstly, by his cognizance in this regard- he told me that if we had started early we could have reached out to about 70 centres(that's full attendance!). Nevertheless, in a span of two and a half hours, we visited not less than 40 newspaper and TV centres in the peak hours of Bengaluru traffic.

Out of curiosity I asked him as to how he was acquainted with the MEDIA map of the city. This initiated him to mention about his endeavors apart from being a rickshaw driver.

He is a proactive volunteer and activist of various social concern groups. He is also an active member in a political party and other forums. He and his buddies bring out a weekly newspaper-Janashakti in Kannada and he also lends support to another Malayalam daily. He narrated to me the legend of a Union leader of theirs-his hardships,sacrifices and accomplishments. He spoke about the Women's day celebrations one of the groups he endorsed had organized and the success of it.

There were a many other inspiring activities he was engaged in, which I might have missed out. But, one thing for sure,if each of us try to emulate a bit of T N Manjunath, trying to do a little towards the betterment of the society 'proactively' in our own ways, a lot of the reasons we crib about in the world would evanesce into oblivion.

I am deeply inspired to have met a 'common man' showing uncommon concerns towards the society,bundled with tremendous energy and strong conviction.

Now here's a real Maverick -:)

26 March, 2010

Civilization and Its Discontents

If civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on man's sexuality, but also on his aggressivity, we are in a better position to understand why it is so hard for him to feel happy in it - Sigmund Freud

I think the above statement summarizes the context of the arguments presented in Sigmund Freud's book Civilization and Its Discontents. 

This pioneer in Psychoanalysis elucidates the intricate interactions between an individual and the civilization. He convincingly conveys the bamboozling civilization  has perverted to the individuals.

Concept of religion, beauty and love, their roles and implications in subduing individuals' 'libido' are explained using general observations, which Freud calls common sense!

The striving of an individual towards happiness in pursuit of quenching his drives of sexuality and aggression, against a system made of entities like himself - wanting to do the same - has been analysed to bare facts, comprehensively, using Freud's own creations of id, ego and super-ego.

Personally,I appreciatively enjoyed Freud's analysis of the connection between conscience -->sense of guilt, and super-ego --> remorse, in the context of unsatisfied drives. It was amusing as to how he takes us along to meet the ego, super-ego and to witness the birth of conscience, and their competing efforts to bring joy and sorrow to the id, facilitated by the friction with civilization.

Although, another read would help me digest all the facts more comprehensively, this was an enjoyably revealing read,with a touch of cynicism and constant skepticism.

23 March, 2010

The Revolutionary Think Tank: Bhagat Singh

Today being the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, I am here expressing my admiration towards Bhagat Singh.

Bhagat Singh in jail at the age of 20 

The radicalism which he manifested starting when he was a teenager until his early death have immortalized him to be one of the greatest thinkers and revolutionaries to have lived.

His uninfluenced ideals, radical ideas, strong conviction, his strategy for the freedom struggle and the fore-thinking about independent India's future definitely makes it hard for me to believe that he was only 23 when he was executed. But,not before he had implanted an everlasting source of inspiration and laid a path for the youth of the country to follow in decades to come.

Even today, while reading his manuscripts one can truly feel his powerful ideas seeping into the mind and questioning our roles as citizens of India and the world.

Power of an individual and his ideas are best expressed in Bhagat's own words:

"It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas. Great empires crumbled while the ideas survived."

Bhagat Singh was a revolutionary who will always be called the "Think Tank of Indian Freedom Struggle". He sacrificed his life not just for the freedom struggle of India, but to become a source of inspiration to all the young minds who would rise in the free India he dreamt of, in the decades to come.

PS: All the manuscripts written by Bhagat can be found at this link

21 March, 2010

nc2010-Day 2 and the "Free Software Movement of India"

All good things come to an end, so has the National Conference on Free Software-2010, but not without overwhelming everyone involved with its results and by itself.

The crux for organizing the conference on this scale of grandeur was basically to spread the word of Free Software, and another crucial reason was to try and bring a National identity to the regional movements. As mentioned in my previous post, "Free Software Movement of India(FSMI)" has been formed to channelize the regional efforts without losing the regional foothold of the individual movements. Sixteen different activist groups from all across India now will be networked to each other through the platform provided by FSMI, mainly to substantiate our efforts while addressing issues of national importance and regional interests. This is the most important result which has emanated from the Conference, and will become an epochal event in the history of Free Software Movement in India. This result is also important for the manner it was arrived at: A unanimous decision with full endorsement from all the groups :)

Time for a bit of self appraisal now: About the sessions and other activities, I might have to dedicate individual posts for just briefing about individual sessions and the speakers. These sessions were of such high intellectual content and of social importance that, I now regret that we shouldn't have had any parallel tracks, and that every session should have been given individual slots!(although it is highly impossible with numerous constraints in play)

Also, I who was personally responsible for conducting few sessions was slightly worried about the delays and small confusions because of technical glitches and multiple venues, which I also understand are unavoidable. But, there's always scope for improvement.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, when the impact of the conference is felt like an embracing wave of warmth,with appreciation pouring in ubiquitously, all the small errors get trivial, fatigue vanishes and we feel rejuvenated to buckle up and do something more. In this regard, the valedictory session was touching, wherein all the efforts by every activist were recognized and appreciated.

This conference has been the richest experience to each of us involved: in organizing, volunteering and participating in it. The conference has been successful in propelling the standards and extending the boundaries of every individual in all facets of him/her in being a Free Software enthusiast.

With more responsibilities and a broader vision now, FSMK along with all the peer groups from across India in the form of FSMI will try to do everything in our power to turn the 'unfreedom' into 'freedom'.

PS: More sections of the event
AC3 Photography Exhibition
AC3 GIMP artist Mani's graphical paintings
Books :) Great content

20 March, 2010

National Conference on Free Software : Day 1

"Free Software, Free Society" was the mantra which echoed from every perspective of its applicability in the first day of the National Conference on Free Software-2010, Bengaluru.

With voices of eminent people inclined to, and affiliated to the Free Software Movement and its ideology reverberating in the auditorium, while they were substantiating each and every nuance pertaining to Swatantra Software, the inauguration couldn't be any better.

The response to the conference was overwhelming,with about 1000 participants on a single day, of which about 300 were from states other than Karnataka,i.e., from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi,Maharashtra,West Bengal and Tripura.

The Conference was declared Open by Prof. Baraguru Ramachandrappa, with a riveting speech subsequently. Speaking in Kannada, he threw some necessary light on the IT policy of the Governments(both state and Central) and its fallibilities, which have been advantageous for the shrewed, so called MNC's. He questioned the nationalism of the Indian origin MNC's in IT who have been encouraging 'unfreedom' in the technology domain, and also about these companies not contributing to the local needs of people. He also justified the waiver of copyrights and patents on Software, as it is being wrongly marketed as a product instead of knowledge in digital form. He went on to talk about the "IT untouchability" which has perpetuated into the society since the supposedly 'IT Revolution' began in India.

The context of the conference was laid before the audience by Prof.Gopinath, IISc in an elaborate and comprehensive manner, emphasizing on important issues staring at us from near future like technology to deal with Climate Change, Free Software on Mobile phones etc...

The presidential address was delivered by Dr. N. Prabhu Dev, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University. He gave an account of the Free Software Movement and its ideology.

Mr. Umashankar, IAS, held the audience awe-inspired with his facts and sheer exciting facts about Free Software and its implementation in the government projects in Tamil Nadu. He did inspire a lot many of us by his Inspirational Talk.

Apart from this, Free Software representatives from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal also showcased their regional activities.

With lunch being served to all the participants, full strength of the audience was on the floor in the food court enjoying simple authentic Karnataka food.

Post lunch, the general participants were to attend talk on e-governance, followed by Python workshop and a session on Free Software migration, which later I was told went on well.

While these sessions were happening, we the delegates had assembled in Shikshakara Sadana, to churn up ideas and, to try and float a National body of Free Software, which would be a 'Network of Organisations functioning at regional levels'. After debating about this issue for 4 hours, all the delegates unanimously have endorsed this idea of a National Entity to which each regional body would be affiliated. This had been the motive behind the Delegate conference, and each one of us is really happy that we could arrive at this: Free Software Movement of India :)

By the time the Delegate conference was over, I was assigned with another responsibility which became an adventure on its own. I shall dedicate a post talking about this soon.
(BMSIT team)
On the ground,the bubbling energy of volunteers and organizers were appreciated by all the participants and delegates. Mixed with fun moments, hectic engagements and responsible activities we're glad to have successfully completed Day 1 of the conference. Now, time to buckle up for the second day :) See you all there.

19 March, 2010

25 personal favorite post captions as my 250th post :)

Had this thing in mind for long, to recollect some of my personal favorite 'post-captions' on my blog. I like these captions for, I was happy when I came up with these, while a couple of these are reflected from elsewhere which had influenced me. 

(Arranged in the form of links to the posts in decreasing chronology)

Making of the "National Conference on Free Software-2010"

Conceptualized before less than three months, initially facing skepticism from every direction "National Conference on Free Software" is now a reality, which is happening from tomorrow at the Jnana Jyothi Auditorium, Bengaluru.

If there has been one thing which hasn't depleted, but has grown immensely in the past few weeks is the undaunted passion of all the activists from FSMK. A National Conference at a magnanimous scale like this,with about 1500 participants expected over the two days, studded with the best people in the arena has been brought into reality by a bunch of passionate enthusiasts with boundless support from all the associated.

The distinguishing factor between any other National Conference and this National Conference on Free Software is that:We, the FSMK activists are no full-timers, as in philosophically we are eternally associated, but, when it comes to our time and resources, we aren't.  We are all either working professionals or students who have been dedicating our free time to this passionate endeavor, not out of compulsion but driven by the drive to do it :)

Immense efforts have flown into the conference, and is continuing to flow, on an hour to hour basis, and we have been able to reach out with the news of conference and awareness of Swatantra Software through our vivid run-up events to no less than 3000 people, which includes students, professionals,teachers and not to miss the common people! Out of which a turn out of at least 1500 people is expected :)

With equal importance being given to the "Freedom technology" and more importantly to its "impact on the society", it will definitely leave an impact on the audience, which might easily alter the paradigm of their perception of "technology and Society as a whole".

Thanks for all the efforts and support each of you have lent in making this happen. Hope it will perpetuate :)

Free Software is the future,
The future is ours!

PS: This is the Conference theme T-shirt, which you can purchase at the FSMK stall during the conference :)

16 March, 2010

People watching :)

Whilst I have been busy in various activities off late, there has been a particular amusing inquisition reverberating in my head.

I, from long have wondered as to how a stranger would perceive me-Would he have an idea as to how complex an individual I am, or Would he have a clue as to what I am...

Conversely, I begin to contemplate the various possibilities when I look at someone passing me by, looking at them and imagining them to be people with extraordinary stories, but, behind ordinary faces.

The smile spotted on a stranger's face for some precious reason of his/her's is something I adore very much. It is like a momentary Ode of joy to me.

It's amazing as to how our lives are masked behind our appearances, and how only a moment could spill an intriguing bit of our lives into others'.

If you haven't experienced anything like this, just look out and glance at people, let your imagination sway thinking about them for a moment. It could put you in a cute delusion of some kind.

This is growing to become my newest hobby :)
PS: Amicable percussion instrument sellers I met in bus...

15 March, 2010

"Namma Debian" Thiruvizha :)

"Thiruvizha" was the word which was ringing in my head while witnessing today's run-up event, that of releasing the Kannada version of GNU/Linux operating system which we called "Namma Debian ". Thiruvizha is  a Tamil word which stands for joyous celebration!

This was exactly how the atmosphere had metamorphosed in the Ambedkar Community Computing Centre or AC3, as we call it. AC3 is based in a small community of slum dwellers,adjoined to the establishments of the biggest IT players in the world. Here,computer and related skills are imparted to the local kids by enthusiasts from FSMK.

Today's event was a colorful programme organized by the local members along with FSMK. MC was a local kid, who compered the entire event excellently :)

G Ramakrishna, Editor of Hosatu was the Chief Guest. He spoke passionately about the untapped potential abundantly present within the children in places like the AC3. Lack of opportunities, cribbing at fate and being complacent with their living conditions, according to him were the evils haunting them,and that anyone who wanted to change his life to betterment could do it. He invoked the lives of Elridge Cleaver and Ho Chi Minh , who defied the circumstances and became leaders. His talk was an inspirational one, mixed with passion and anguish about the disparity in society. He released the "Namma Debian" operating system, by handing over the same to the eldest woman in their community.
There was also a brief demonstration of Namma Debian, running through games, image manipulation tools etc...

This was followed by a sensational speech by an about 10 year old kid, who beautifully interleaved quotes from The Quran and The Gita while emphasizing the importance of education in life. He also reminisced Dr.B.R. Ambedkar, who is considered to be the Savior of the downtrodden people in India, for the benefits he ensured them in the Constitution of India.

The colour to the event was the exuberant music and dance by the localites. A music troupe of one Mr. Arul, inhabitant at the AC3 region performed peppy songs, which got all of us groove to the rhythm of the beats.

The issue of Accessibility software was echoed by a beautiful young lady Ms.Vidya with partial visual impairment and an associate of her's, to the audience in a manner which struck chords with them. She demonstrated the proprietary tool which she uses for screen reading, and FSMK raised the voice for refined development of such in Free Software domain.

With all the local people enthusiastically participating in an event conceptually still distant to them, but with a hope that at least it would benefit their kids, a purpose is strengthened:
To continue trying to do the little we can in not letting their hopes down.

Sensational talk by 10 year old kid from the local community....

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Song and music at AC3

13 March, 2010

"Freedom Walks" by Free Software Movement-Karnataka

(@M.G. Road)
(@ Jayanagar 4th block)

FSMK(Free Software Movement- Karnataka) is organizing the National Conference on Free Software, where issues pertaining to Freedom in Computing and the related Software are going to be discussed and debated in a week's time, on the 20th and 21st March. Campaigning for the Conference took a different shape today when Freedom Walks were organized starting from two nodal points in the city; One starting from Mahatma Gandhi statue on M.G. Road and the other from Jayanagar 4th Block.

Students from NHCE,CMRIT,YDIT took up the initiative to call for these Freedom Walks at M.G. Road and Jayanagar 4th Block, along with numerous other activists from FSMK. We initially held a gathering to gain attention of public, displaying posters, distributing Conference pamphlets,issuing copies of Bharat Operating System Software(BOSS) provided by CDAC, and other GNU/Linux operating system software, then began marching along the streets in small groups talking to people about the Free Software Movement and the Conference.

During campaigning, the one thing which took most of us by surprise was the interest 'general public' showed more than the young minds and the techies we were targeting.There was lot of inquisition about the Conference and the other activities we were engaged in from the general public. This inquisition of the 'common man' towards a cause like the Free Software Movement is to be converted into cognizance about issues pertaining to 'Society and Digital Freedom'.The National Conference is one such effort from FSMK.

The lacuna in the society we are addressing surfaced again while interacting with people, when one person inquired about the conference and expressed his interest in participating in it, but also told us he was an illiterate and that he knows only Kannada. We then welcomed him to the conference, briefing him about the gamut of Kannada related activities we are organizing as a run-up to the conference and in the conference itself. He was glad to accept the invite.

While campaigning continued profusely,an auto driver approached us. He was curious as to what we were doing. After listening to us he introduced himself. He has completed his Electronics Hardware training and conveyed to us his interest in learning some software technologies. He was interested in the National Conference as well, and told that he would be contacting the FSMK office at Madiwala for further details.

Bangalore being the IT hub, didn't disappoint us. We also encountered Software Gurus working in Free and Open Software Technologies, who were delighted and appreciated our efforts for organizing a National Conference on Free Software.

This was an eye-opener to lot many student activists of ours, who would now start to believe that there definitely needs to be a bridge between technology and the common man.

The motive behind organizing the Conference is to try and bring awareness to people about the choice to Free Software and technology (Free as in Freedom) and also to throw some much required light up on the gap between 'technology and common man' in an Indian scenario.

PS: nc2010.fsmk.org/

12 March, 2010

Self made simpleton :P

Each of us definitely goes through a period of mania,when unintentionally we make fools out of ourselves.
It is a fun to become objects of fun and harassment to your peers,without having put intentional efforts towards it.

I am just now recovering from peak of such a passing phase, of making numerous simpletons out of myself.
At work, making the dumbest of the mistakes, which have become items of good fun for my peers :)
With friends, behaving weirdly,in manners least expected of me, which initially annoyed a few and later turned into amusement :)

And, I claim to have accomplished these feats with no conscious efforts at all. It has been a result of my engrossment in numerous other activities,which have caused unequal allocation of me and my resources,
and, I could also attribute it to a bit of hangover as well ;) not caused by alcohol though, but as a result of workohol(not inclusive of my job;)

It does feel good to have surprised people pleasantly because of my incongruity;)

11 March, 2010

On a small sabbatical...

There are many things to be shared with you all. But, I have been occupied in various things for a few days.This will continue for a few more days.

Don't miss me until then :)

08 March, 2010

FSMK Road Show on 13th of March:)

We've done Technical workshops, Philosophy sessions, Candle held parades, and even Rock shows! Why?

The only motive behind all these activities has been, to reach out to as many people as possible with the message of Freedom in Software. We are the Free Software Movement- Karnataka: Enthusiasts,propagandists and activists of Swatantra Software.

And now, the students, who are the vibrant dynamics of our movement have come up with yet another off-beat means to spread the word about Free Software and the National Conference on Free Software in particluar.

We are planning to hold road-walks with a flashy parade and perform Swatantra Software street-plays.

The road-walks will have the famous mascots of the movement- The GNU and The Tux, along with catchy banners and hoardings. Train of students and enthusiasts will walk along the roads (without disrupting the already disrupted traffic!) trying to grab attention of as many people as we can.

The street plays will not be performed exactly on streets,but in the nodal points of the city like in the Forum Mall,MG road......... This struggle for digital freedom has been going on for 25 years and does have a long history and epochal events to be remembered. We intend to portray these to the audience in short skits and dance-acts.

With the National Conference in the horizon, we are leaving no stone unturned to attract a huge audience and to put a small but important message of Freedom in Software and Computing into their heads.

05 March, 2010

God,Men and Godmen ;)

God: An effigy,symbolizing all the aspirations of every individual's ultimate fantasies,like omnipotence,omnipresence and omniscience. 
God has been,and still grows to be an insignia,which we weaklings want to look up to, and feel assured that there's an invisible divine power taking care of us, so that we can happily  shrug away from the responsibilities of our own.

Men: By men, here, i include all humans, including the better half of the world ;) We,the people, are the puppets with consciousness, who till our end do not realize the purpose of life, and spend lives chasing futility wrapped and presented to us in the name of God, religion and hollow spirituality.

Godmen: Shrewed opportunists, who take advantage of an advantageous situation offered to them. They are not to be blamed at all,these are the people who are enlightened. Yes, they are enlightened about the stupidity of people, and, they proceed to do the appropriate.

The interactions between the above three,in today's world is the farthest digression from the natural and instinctual cravings of humans in all ways.
It professes irony, and practices paradoxical perturbations, to push people into delusion and an almost ubiquitous paranoia, which ultimately people fail to recognize.

Conclusion, with a caption:

Is it,
"God save the world of men!"
or,should it be 
"Save the world from God, men and Godmen :P"

(Can be a good T-shirt quote!!!)

04 March, 2010

Breakthroughs to break through....

Breakthroughs, at personal and professional levels, and at regular intervals are quintessential for us as individuals to fare better in our roles.

Breakthroughs occuring to individuals are ephemeral in nature. The positive impact of such occurrences doesn't last long,it is impulsive. We need to experience them regularly to keep ourselves focussed and confined to deliver our best,and also to push ourselves beyond what we see as the horizon at those epochal points of time in our lives. It also becomes a motivator of the purest form, which keeps us driving to do more instigated by the sheer proven ability of us.

On the other hand,lack of breakthroughs can cause a dip in confidence levels. This leads the mind to go sway in search of alternatives to unworthy accomplishments. A complex complex takes form within us, which confuses the self and derails the thought-action train of activities.

Antidote to such drought hit state of breakthroughs is - either to grow numb towards these lacunae, or to aspire for a personality which would converge to that of a highfaluting poltroon!

Again, to reiterate the point of the post, breakthroughs in one's life are like hopping stones, where every subsequent stone is to be laid by us. We can either choose to rest on any of these stones without knowing what awaits us at the end, or to continue hopping over these breakthroughs to rendezvous the purpose of one's life :)

01 March, 2010

When memories seep through the carapace of oblivion....

Although,to some, I might seem a hermit-like specimen who doesn't show unusual attachment towards people, I treasure my own small section of people, who carry utmost beautiful personalities.

I'm lucky to be a part of this extraordinary system between us, a system with no false pretensions but with genuine affection, care and admiration as the bond. We know each other in certain ways that no one else who claims to know us individually would know about. There is no question of trust amongst us, for, trust seeps in where there is doubt. But, this almost Utopian entourage of ours is doubtless...

Off late,we do not interact as much as we used to,nevertheless,the warmth between us still remains the same.

I deeply miss those times,which, without warning have passed by and, today these memories have softened the carapace of the voluntary oblivion which I had pulled over myself,revealing my yearnings of what I will, at any point of time in my life call ♫ The best days of my life ♫


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