[enableit] odf award insults freedom

  • From: Vimal Joseph <vimaljoseph@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "schoolgnu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <schoolgnu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 11:15:05 +0530


From: Anivar Aravind <anivar.aravind@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Marino Marcich <mmarcich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
 Cc:: Arun M <arun@xxxxxxxxxx>, Anvar Sadath <anvar.k@xxxxxxxxx>, V.
Sasi Kumar <sasi.fsf@xxxxxxxxx>, Venkatesh Hariharan <venky@xxxxxxxxxx>,
bipasha.chakrabarti@xxxxxxx, ...

Dear Marino,

I just want to point  time line of IT@school Project & Its ODF Adoption
for your clarity .

2004: Free Software Implementation in 8th Standard IT@school Project.
Document Standard is sxw  . Text books mentions Both Windows &
GNU/Linux. IT@school Project Director is Biju Prabhakar . SCERT Started
Developing Free Software Only Text Books under the leadership of
Satyapalan sir. Software FREE Software Foundation is Training Teachers
with the support of Kerala School Teachers Association . IT@school uses
a Debian Based Custom Distribution made by Vimal Joseph 

2005: 9th Standard syllabus Completly moves to Free Software. Text books
Only Covers Free Software. Document Standard SXW  IT@school Director:
Biju Prabhakar  IT@School decided to move to new Debian sarge based
Distribution. IT@school Initates EDUSAT under the leadership of Biju

2006:  10th stanadrd also migrates to Free Software. New IT@school
Distribution based on Debian Sarge included Open Office 2.0  (Which
support ODF because of the peer pressure from Teachers) .  Texts books
were developed by SCERT covers this Change in Curriculam. IT@school
Director : Biju Prabhakar ( he is left in 2006 August)  SCERT 's  Team
head : Satyapalan Sir (retired in May 2006 after the Text book  based on
new Distribution & ODF i ready) .  Next IT@School Director was
Sankaranarayanan (short term) and then it was under DPI's control

Anwar Sadath Comes as IT@school director after this..   After all the
ODF adoption is happened. Also it is worth to mention that ODF adoption
is a Logical Followup of Open Office adoption happened in 2004

Also it is worth to note that Kerala State Issued IT Policy in 2007
which clearly adopted ODF . Kerala Become first state in India adopted
this change. Policy discussion  were started in 2006 itself. Also Kerala
was the only state which wrote to BIS to vote against OOXML in ISO
Standardisation Process

Based on the above facts  you can clealy identify that Anvar does not
have any role in ODF adoption too.  I consider this as a clear example
of how award committees were misleaded by getting partial information.
I just want to ask ODF alliance that what ODF related activity you have
seen to award Mr. Anvar sadath. 

I consider the campaign for IT@schools Free Software Adoption (ODF also
Comes as a part of that) is something similar to the fight against OOXML
in ISO . Alot of people amoung us were part of both of these campaigns .
Both vere bottom Up collective eforts by a lot of people without central
Coordination Force. Biju Prabhakar & Satyapalan sir understood that
spirit in IT@School and facilitated the change.  What will be the
reponse if someone decided to award Sun's CEO  for fight againt OOXML . 

ODF Alliance says  you awarded  person X for the act  A  . But Above
facts proves that Act 'A' was done by another persons Y&Z . X was not on
picture for that change.  You can provide technical reasons of
absence/mistake in Nomination by an ODF alliance member as a face saving
reason. But It again points to the credibility of award and the
verification of Facts by award commitee.  We were trying to raise the
issue in front of ODF Alliance because we value the contributions of
your Organisation.  we consider you act as a responsible organisation,
which will take corrective measures, if the nomination sent by one of
its member is misleading by providing only partial information. I really
appreatiate the positive steps you suggested. I hope arun & Others must
have a say on it.

Anivar Aravind

        There was considerable discussion regarding open source in the
        emails that followed. Please note as well that the award is for
        work done on ODF, not open source. ODF is not the “OpenOffice
        format” (while recognizing its origins), nor is it open source
        or even software for that matter. It is an open standard for
        document formats that can be implemented in both open source and
        proprietary software. It is “free” in the sense that it is
        freely available for implementation and use. Importantly, it
        comes with the “freedom” to choose from among many
        implementations, including but not limited to open source, and
        the freedom to migrate to a different brand of software if
        We recognize that any significant change of the kind witnessed
        in Kerala involves a team effort and the actions of hundreds of
        individuals. This award  is a global recognition of the teaching
        community in Kerala and its many achievements. In the write-up
        of the project we would be happy to acknowledge the many people
        involved in this effort. We hope that you and others in this
        community can share in the award in the spirit in which it was
        intended. Sincerely,
        Marino Marcich
        ODF Alliance  
        From: colonel.m@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:colonel.m@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
        Of Arun M
        Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:54 AM
        To: Anivar Aravind; Anvar Sadath; V. Sasi Kumar; Venkatesh
        Hariharan; Marino Marcich; bipasha.chakrabarti@xxxxxxx
        Cc: Vimal Joseph; Praveen A; Santhosh Thottingal; Sasidharan vk;
        Joseph Mathew; Biju Prabhakar; Satish Babu; Nagarjuna G; Sajith
        Subject: ODF award an insult to community
        Dear Friends,
        It was really shocking to see the press release from ODF
        alliance which has attributed the entire credit for promotion of
        ODF in the schools of Kerala wrongly to Mr. Anvar Sadath. Giving
        credits wrongly can be discouraging and painful to those who had
        done the real work. There are several hundreds of people in
        Kerala whose painstaking effort and dedication lead to the
        integration of Free Software and ODF in the schools of Kerala.
        It has a long history starting from year 2001.
        Today we find that ODF alliance has credited the entire work to
        one person who had no role to play in the process. ODF alliance
        should have recognised the real individuals who worked for what
        we see as IT@school today. 
        You should have recognised Sri V. S Achuthandan, Chief Minister
        of Kerala ( Opposition leader then), whose
        political endorsement lead to the introduction of
        free software and ODF in the schools of Kerala.
        You should have recognised hundreds of teachers who took the
        pain to learn and promote Free Software and ODF. Without their
        political courage nothing would have happend.
        You should have recognised Mr. Biju Prabhakar, the former
        director of IT @school who initiated the introduction of FS and
        ODF in Schools of Kerala.
        You should have recognised Mr. V K Sasidharan, who was the
        leading master trainer whose leadership brought together the
        entire change.
        You should have recognised volunteers of Free Software community
        who communicated the importance of digital freedom in the
        schools of Kerala.
        It's a shame that a community organisation like ODF alliance
        could not to recognise the real heroes of this project. This
        press release can be seen only as a black humor. 
                “Anvar Sadath has bridged the digital divide in Kerala,”
                commented the ODF Alliance's Marcich. “He
                was among the first to recognize that an open format
                like ODF means giving students, teachers, and
                parents alike the flexibility to use a wide range of
                software than they currently have, including free
                solutions. Just as importantly, Sadath translated ideas
                into actions for the benefit of educational
                development in Kerala.”
        I would like to know how this statement can be substantiated.
        May be I'm missing something here! I would like to hear from you
        Warm regards
        Arun M
        PS: I'm sorry that I my not be able to check and reply to your
        mails quickly as I'm not computers due to RSI.

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