Open letter to Mammootty - Press release

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Press Release

Free Software communities demand Mammootty to withdraw from Microsoft deal

Thiruvanathapuram: Free Software Communities in Kerala released an Open letter to Mammootty today demanding him to withdraw from ambassadorship for Microsofts e-literacy programme. The Open letter asks mamootty to understand the implications and ramifications of his support for Microsoft which seriously undermines his role as a socially committed artist, progressive media leader and sympathizer of leftist politics.

The Open letter is issued by various swathanthra software user groups & developer groups in Kerala and endorsed by various organizations including FOSS Communities in India, Free Software Foundation of India, GNU Linux Users Group Trivandrum, ViBGYOR Film Collective, Swathanthra Malayalam Computing,
SPACE-Kerala, South Asian Citizens Web etc and prominent personalities like K.Satchidanandan (poet), Dr. TT Sreekumar, Dr.G. Nagarjuna, K.P Sasi(Film maker), Shabnam Hashmi,
G.P Ramachandran, P.K Pokker, Dr.V.Sasikumar, Rakesh Sharma (film maker), John Samuel(National Social watch coalition) etc.

“Kerala's civil society had in the past been delighted by your decision to dissociate with the Coca-Cola advertisement project as a response to the resource exploitation and pollution caused by the corporate body. However, people of Kerala will be bewildered to see that you are lending your name and fame to
support a devastatingly nefarious techno-monopolistic campaign unleashed by Microsoft in our state. We feel your move is both ill-advised and harmful.” Open letter said.

Antitrust Charges

Microsoft, the company with which Mammootty plans to sign the contract, has a track record of being fined $1.35 billion for Antitrust Charges in European Union for not complying with EU standards and trying to avoid giving essential information required for interoperability to others by asking for a huge

“Being the Director of a major media initiative (Kairali TV, Malayalam Communications Limited) that claims to be people-oriented both in terms of its initial resource mobilization tactics as well as its professed commitment to people's causes, it is embarrassing to see that such concerns are completely
sidelined in favor of a hideous agenda of a major US based multi-national IT giant, despised even in US for its monopolistic tendencies. In fact there are records of this company using underhanded tactics to enforce its views on an organization like ISO which maintains international standards for public benefit.” said the Open Letter

E-literacy Platform

“In the IANS Report, Mammootty said that he wants to launch the project "to help make all sections of the society IT literate". We understand and appreciate his genuine spirit. But selecting Microsoft as an accomplice would be the wrong choice. Making people literate benefits the society as a whole.Proprietary software rejects their thirst for knowledge: it says, “The knowledge you want is a secret — learning is forbidden!” Free software encourages everyone to learn. The free software community rejects the 'priesthood of technology', which keeps the general public ignorant of how technology works. The people and Government of Kerala understood it and has already introduced it in our schools and government institutions. We request Mammootty to stand for free software and essential freedoms in computing to fulfil his mission.” Open Letter demands .

“The Swathanthra software users community of Kerala believes that this is a deceptive strategy from Microsoft to counter the admirable achievements made by the people of Kerala including IT@school and Oruma in KSEB ” said Ashik Salahudeen of GNU/Linux users Group, Thiruvananthapuram

The complete text of the open letter is at

Submitted by rajiv.nair on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 14:59. categories [ ]