Using Open Source and Open Standards as a political platform

While I am not keen to see open source and open standards being set up as a plank in politics, I am nonetheless reluctantly happy to see that two of the world’s leading democracies pushing for it. I much rather that people, companies, government adopt FOSS because it just does a better job, consistently than anything proprietary.

President Obama stated his interest in open source and now the Indian political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s candidate for Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani is advocating the adoption of both open source and open standards (page 3, point 6) for India. India was the only Asian country to vote no to OOXML becoming an ISO standard last year (the US voted in favour). India has also launched the Public Software for the Public Sector project and has a set of very clear and straightforward statements in it’s FOSS Manifesto detailing what is expected out of the political parties in pushing for FOSS. India goes to the polls in April 2009 for it’s General Elections and I am hoping that the winning party will be one that backs FOSS all the way.


  1. Politics and FOSS
    Post the announcement from the BJP, there was a whole lot of Social Media activity. What is important is a realization that FOSS is a necessary and relevant component in the larger and long term strategic vision for a country. And, since the genesis of FOSS was a political nail (in the classical theory of politics), it was waiting to happen anyway. And, in the political spectrum that is India, this is an important milestone in coming together of the ‘intellectuals’ and, those who would be consumers.

    • Re: Politics and FOSS
      My hope is that discussions on FOSS should not be reduced to it being one of many choices from a political point of view. The adoption of FOSS and open standards should be something that is clearly the right thing to do and that there should not be any debates nor political sparing and oneupmanship.

      • Re: Politics and FOSS
        While I’d like to hope that FOSS would not be used in a political chess plays, I am pretty much sure that it will be. However, that in no way should take away the importance of FOSS as part of the strategic vision for a nation to think about and adopt.

Leave a Reply