BJP supports free software, campaigners upbeat


Bangalore : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its vision document has come out in favour of free software and open source programmes. While politicians are known to be lavish with pre-poll promises, open source campaigners are upbeat over the move.

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The BJP Saturday said that if voted to power it will support the use of software based on open – or free – sources in all government-related matters.

The country’s small but active Free Open Source Software (FOSS) campaigners are upbeat on the move.

“The Left, specially the Communist Party of India-Marxists, have also been supportive in taking stand against software patents in India, and are in favour of open standards,” Venkatesh Hariharan of Red Hat India and a FOSS lobbyist told IANS.

“Of the major parties, only the Congress is left to take a stand,” he argued.

“As a long time supporter of free and open source software, I am delighted to see a major Indian political party, the BJP, endorse our stance. However, I am even more delighted to see that this endorsement is rooted in a comprehensive vision for India’s development.”

At a site called, campaigners argue: “FOSS is software which grants right to users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of source code. The open, inclusive and participatory nature of FOSS is a natural fit for the vibrant traditions of Indian democracy and its emphasis on sharing knowledge.”