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An Open Letter To Kerala CM

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Draft

We need to Finalise this draft within 15th Jan 2009

IntroductionEdit

We, from the Free Software community, would like to bring the issue of procuring proprietary softwares by government departments of Kerala into your attention. Kerala state has an IT policy to use Free software in e-governance. But recently it has been noticed that the policy implementation was ineffective.

Issues of concernEdit

Arguments and suggestionsEdit

  • The IT Policy 2007 should not be confined as a mere public document for display, it ought to be a guideline for implementation and action by the bureaucracy, which owes its creation and existence to the people of the State.
  • A policy document on Free Software, no doubt, foresees a great amount of vision and admiration on issues over and above technological aspects. Foremost amongst these, is the concept of right to use, share, modify and publish software, extended to users as their 'freedoms'.
  • The dangerous perils that await a society which is forced to use or promote proprietary software include tendencies to exclude, spy, cheat and create selfish and uncaring individuals within a community.
  • Adoption of Free Software in academic curriculum had been mandated by many academic communities at varying levels, not merely because of the capabilities offered by Free Software to peek into the underlying technological issues with minutest detail possible, but also to inculcate a shared experience of collaborating, discussing and developing software that meet public needs and even explore for future needs.
  • Its only natural then, that the State's bureaucracy, take charge of this political will of the Government and start implementing the Policy initiatives in letter and spirit.
  • Rough estimates with statistics would reveal that there could well be over 3 million households in Kerala, where at least one person is or has been 'educated' in Free Software, at public expense - an expense that every Keralite is proud of incurring.
  • With this figure likely to wield huge political say over election fortunes of a democratic representative seeking authority to legislate and govern, the non-implementation of such an IT Policy amounts to open violation of established civilised norms, subversion of political will and also a likely invitation for destructive social life - all of which are highly undesirable in a tiny 'non-violence loving' State of Kerala.
  • To assist the bureaucracy with implementation of this Policy initiative of the incumbent Government, there's a community ready to offer assistance - be it on measures to be taken to conduct audit on existing instances of deployment of proprietary software, or for technical suggestions on having these violations converted or migrated to Free Software platforms.

AppealEdit

We appeal to the Chief Minister

(a) to look into the conduct of non-compliance by the bureaucracy of the IT Policy 2007,

(b) order a judicial inquiry to ascertain facts on the concerns raised here,

(c) fix responsibility on officials concerned and apportion blame, if required, and

(d) renew the promise that Government is committed to opening up its public software services before its three-million strong capable native Keralites, who have been trained to using Free Software in a socially responsible and non-violent manner.

SignatoriesEdit

Name, Place, hyperlink (if any)

Petition is still on Draft Stage . Please dont sign Now. Wait till petition is getting Finalised. Moved the existing signatures to Talk Page

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