Gujarat (INDIA) is the land of Mahatma Gandhi who took to Satyagraha, the non-violence movement, as a weapon against the British to demand Indiaâ€™s freedom.
Anti-Piracy Antagonism Movement! The reseller community of Gujarat declared a one-day General Strike (notoriously known as Bandh in India) to protest against Microsoft for serving an anti-piracy notice to them.
Seems Microsoft served a notice on a reseller for installing a pirated version of Windows. Now I am sure everyone would wonder what is wrong in that. I agree that piracy is common place in India, and with the high price that Microsoft charges on its software, Indians are not left with a lot of options. But how can you justify such an action. All Microsoft was trying to do was protect their interest. And to compare it with Satyagraha, that is a sacrilege. I donâ€™t think Gandhi would have approved of it.
I am sure everyone would disagree with me. Of course we are the underdogs, and we have to stick together. But just because the price is high doesnâ€™t give us the right to wet our hands in piracy.
I had said this before, when the government in India signed a deal with Microsoft to use MS product at educational institutions for computer education. I feel that it would only result in educating a population who are dependent on Microsoft products. A generation tied to the company where the education provided is of no use unless you use the same product.
We do have another option. It has been staring at our faces for a long time, but most of us have been trying to ignore it. The fact that those very people who should be making us aware of the option are tied to the MS syndrome does not help us at all. And those people who make us aware of it are too much into technology, that they donâ€™t have time to spend on spreading awareness.
The alternative that I am suggesting is Linux. With hundreds of different flavors, it is certainly difficult to choose a single one to teach or to use. But the fact that some like Ubundu Linux are very user friendly compared to what was available a few years back should be encouraging.
What I would suggest is for all of us to take an effort to educate ourselves. If 10% of the computer users in India were to switch to Linux, then Microsoft would be forced to rethink their pricing strategy.
But the benefit in switching to Linux is not a lower price for Microsoft product. The benefit is that the computer literate would be able to stand up without any support. The benefit would be, there would be more softwares and better support available with more people ready for change.
And I think that standing up on our own feet would be something Gandhi would have been proud of, and that is something that we should be proud of.
PS: Remember that US didnâ€™t want to share Super computer technology with us, but Rajeev Gandhi led us up the right path by asking our scientists to develop our own. So now we have our own Param Super Computers.