Free software alternatives advocated

What is “free” about Free Software, who are the people advocating free software and why?

With hardware prices falling, more and more people are buying computers. However proprietary software can be expensive, so many people opt to install pirated or illegal copies of such software. The Free Software movement addresses this issue. For example, GNU software is a complete set of free software packages to have your PC/Laptop fully operational. ‘Free’ here doesn’t just refer to the cost, which is usually zero or negligible. It is free as in FREEDOM. That is, FSF talks about the freedom to use the software, to understand it, to distribute it and modify it.

Some of the important free software available are: Operating Systems like GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Open Office (containing Editor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Tools), and GIMP (a Painting and drawing tool). Bangalore is seeing a lot of activities related to the free software philosophy. Many of us at the Forum for Science and Development (FSD), the Free Software Users Group (FSUG), Bangalore and Free Software Foundation (FSF), Karnataka are planning various events to spread the idea of Free Software. FSF – India is the Indian chapter of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). FSF India is committed to advocating, promoting and propagating the use and development of ‘swatantra’ software in India.

FSUG – Free Software Users’ Group – Bangalore is a group of Linux and free software enthusiasts in Bangalore. FSD is a science organization interested in the free software movement. After a lecture from Kiran Chandra from FSF, Andhra Pradesh, the FSD folks in Bangalore were inspired to start similar activities in Bangalore. Since many from FSD are not computer savvy, a meeting was held in National Games Village, Koramangala to introduce the philosophy of Free Software and GNU/Linux. FSD then organized the visit of Eben Moglen, who is the lawyer for Free Software Foundation. Moglan spoke to the highly enthusiastic Bangalore crowd on the philosophy of free software vs. proprietary culture. We are now planning to take the free software movement to schools, colleges and NGOs.

Balaji: 94485-87772

Senthil: 99002-62828

Many social activists themselves work with proprietary technologies like those from Microsoft. NGOs will benefit from free software like GNU/Linux as they can focus their funds on the actual tasks they are involved in. We plan to conduct regular ‘Free Software Install’ workshops. We encourage interested people to come with their laptops or PCs and we can help install GNU/Linux.

Free Software Foundation ( | FSF-India ( | FSUG–Bangalore (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Unsafe spots, weak policing, poor support for violence victims: Safety audit reveals issues

The audit conducted by women in resettlement sites in Chennai recommends better coordination between government departments.

In recent years, the resettlement sites in Chennai have become areas of concern due to many infrastructure and safety challenges affecting their residents. People in resettlement sites like Perumbakkam, Semmencherry, Kannagi Nagar, and other places grapple with problems of inadequate water supply, deteriorating housing quality, insufficient police presence, lack of streetlights and so on. In Part 2 of the two-part series on women-led safety audits of resettlement sites, we look at the findings of the recent audits and recommend improvements and policy changes.         Here are some of the key findings of the safety and infrastructure audits in the resettlement…

Similar Story

Empowering resettled communities through women-led safety audits in Chennai

With more than two lakh people living in resettlement sites in Chennai and beyond, there are concerns about their safety and access to facilities.

Safety is a fundamental necessity for all, particularly for women, children, young people, elders, persons with disabilities, gender-diverse groups, and other vulnerable sections of society. This basic need fosters a sense of inclusion and enables active participation in family, community, and societal activities. Enhanced safety promotes mobility, physical and mental wellness, employability and financial independence. It supports autonomy in decision-making, including decisions related to reproductive health. It also encourages increased social engagement and participation in governance. Improved safety in personal, professional, and community spaces works as a catalyst for empowerment and reduces systemic gender disparities. In Part 1 of a…