Let me come back to the present. I was damn lucky to meet him in person at Mandya, Karnataka, India. The event was organized by FSMK(Free software movement, Karnataka). I did not know that such a group existed and am indebted to their efforts in organizing this event. Now, how did I know about it. I am not on any proprietary social networks. I got the information on Mastodon. This makes my decision to stay on Non-proprietary online information sharing tools more interesting. This place, Mandya, is around 100Kms from my place. It was a 2 hour journey. I was present in the auditorium an hour before the stipulated time. There were announcements made to the attendees regarding the mentioning of Linux and GNU/Linux. He was on time and he walked in to a rousing standing reception. And the first one liner was shot. "Dont stand for me, stand for free software" He removed his shoes and started his presentation almost immediately. He did not want to waste a minute. He wanted to get right to the point almost immediately. The organizers were shocked at his speed. It took some time to get their bearings. After 10 minutes or so into his talk, The Indian way of welcoming the guest with a Mysore peta(Traditional cap of Mysore made with silk thread and a sandal wood garland) was done.
His homework regarding the local issues were excellent. He asked for "Mandya Gowdara Tea". Since there was a delay he was given tea made from Tea bags he had brought all along. He spelt the name of the language spoken in our parts perfectly i,e, Kannada(Majority of the Indians who dont stay in our parts spell it Kannad, which is wrong). The most striking was the parallel he drew of our freedom struggle with the present software freedom struggle. His say was that to gain freedom we have to embrace things which we are not comfortable. Freedom is not free. We have to work for it. In the Indian freedom struggle though the British flooded the Indian market with ready to wear clothes from Great Britain(Of course the raw material was from India). We as Indians fought against it by announcing swaraj, wherein we starting spinning our own textile raw material and stitching our own clothes from raw cotton. This was definitely not comfortable at all. But that is a cost we paid for gaining the freedom we cherish(or taken for granted) today. Excellent point. He used the word "Svatantra", the kannada word for "libre" instead of "Uchita" for "Free". RMS, I love you.
The talk and the content was standard. The freedoms associated with the software licensed with GNU GPL v3 and above and why all the developers should use this version particularly and also mention "GNU GPL v3 and higher" which would make the job of the FSF easy when faced with issues regarding copyright.
As usual, the Q&A is where he succeeds or fails miserably
There were questions regarding privacy, china government's mode of working etc which received long and boring answers. Let us cut back to the little interesting ones.
Q. I wanted to contribute to the FSF. When I opened the contribution page I saw that the amount of information I have to give before even entering the payment details was more than that required for opening an amazon account. The contribution process should be simple and as easy as clicking a button
A. Oh. I dont know about this. e-mail me the web page you are talking about. The payment cannot be as simple as a single click(It is for the reader to decide what is right or wrong about his answer)
Q. Wil the development of GNU os continue
A. No. It will not be developed. We had all the userland utilities and were lacking a kernel. Now we have the Linux kernel.
Q. What are the future projects of fsf
A. Oh, you can see our website regarding where the money comes and goes. librejs is being developed to remove the proprietary JS being used.
Q. What about building social networks. Like GNU social
A. Muffled answer.(I dont remember much)
Q. Free software conservancy hosted few videos on its website requiring proprietary JS implementation which if not enabled is not allowing to be viewed and fsf is one of the sponsor of the event of the video. Isnt it ethically wrong
A. I cannot keep track off each and every activity of the FSF.(summary I dont know and I am not going to anything about it)
Q. As a first time developer I am very interested in making money. How am I going to make money by giving my code away
A. (Unclear points) followed by You can work as a waiter for a living and then you can code in your spare time for the public good. If I did not have this job then I would have been a waiter to support what I am doing now.
Thank you,RMS, for everything you have done and will do in your endeavor towards pushing freedom software. Yes there will be fallacies, there will be pitfalls. But walking the talk is what matters. In a world where ethics are washed out at the drop of a hat, we have you, as a benchmark for the philosophic side of freedom software. I wish you would live for eternity, negating all the naysayers.