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Why does Linux make sense for India?

right up to a supercomputer. It can peacefully co-exist with other operating


Extensive support for Linux is now available from various sources on the

Internet as well as companies specializing in providing Linux support. There

is also strong industry support for Linux from traditional Unix companies

that have always had their own Unix flavor and looked upon Linux as a

competition. These companies are now realizing if they don't support Linux

they would be out of business. SGI, IBM and Compaq are some of the companies

that are now supporting Linux extensively.

Linux is based on open architecture. It also supports all the open standards

and protocols. This does not force the organization to be tied down with

any proprietary protocols. There is also a lot of scope for further development

as more and more companies are now developing applications for Linux. They are

also contributing to the overall development of the Linux operating system.

Two years ago someone asked me for a good commercial database under Linux and

I couldn't think of any. Today all the major databases such as Oracle, Sybase,

Informix and IBM DB/2 are available for Linux except one: Microsoft SQL server.

It's not available for any other platform anyway.

Another benefit of Linux is that you don't depend on a single organization

for your operating system. When you need to buy a PC you can choose among

- IBM, Compaq, Dell, your local assembler or any other source. Do you have a

similar flexibility with your operating system? You may like Windows but you

may not want to buy it from Microsoft. Do you have a choice? No. Linux gives

this flexibility.

The Indian Linux Project

I have been on a personal crusade to bring Linux to the Indian masses. One of

the problems is that English is not native to most Indians. More than 90

percent of the population cannot read or write English. I had been thinking

about it for long, when I met Venkatech Hariharan. He has been involved with

Indian languages for a long time as he helped develop the bharatbhasha project

where they developed free Indian language fonts for Linux. I discovered that

he had similar goals.

Since he understood the language issues and I had an understanding of Linux,

we started the Indian Linux project. Our goal is to make Linux available in all

Indian Linux. Since then, we have received thousands of responses from people