Hindi PC DOS announced

Tobias Grote-Beverborg grotebev at UNI-KOELN.DE
Sun Sep 28 16:45:03 UTC 1997

At 09:58 26.09.97 -0400, you wrote:
>Tobias Grote-Beverborg wrote:
>> Dear Mr. Russell,
>> I received your mail (press release, article) from H-Asia list, a List
>> dedicated to Asian Studies. I allowed myself to forward that article to
>> Indology-List, a list dedicated to Indological studies, as I thought it
>> would be interesting for the members.
>Hello Tobias
>Yes, I thought it was interesting as well, which is why I forwarded it
>to the Asian Internet Marketing (AIM)list. Alas, my comments were edited
>out by the moderator, making it appear as though I had written it. I
>didn't realise how widely quoted the AIM list is!
>> At 08:57 25.09.1997 -0400, rrussell at ibm.net wrote:
>> >What was presented were not my words.
>> Whose words were it then?
>I'm not aware of the precise author, but my position within IBM allows
>me to receive press clippings, and that is what it was. I do believe
>that the source lies within TATA IBM, an Indian joint venture company in
>the IT field, and I have a contact point for further information.
>I have pasted the full text of what I received at the bottom of this
>email, and the contact point is at the bottom of that.
>> I still have a copy which bears your name on it.
>Only because email software puts a sig on the bottom of sent messages :)
>I wrote a message at the top that suggested this may be of interest to
>listmembers, that it was a press release from TATA IBM. That was removed
>by the moderator, hence the confusion since.
>> If the message isn't yours or if it has been quoted wrongly, please send the
>> original to me.
>The original is quoted at the bottom of this note, just as I received
>it, for your reference. I'm employed by IBM in Australia and have no
>direct connection with TATA IBM, although my bias is to support IBM's
>efforts to bring computing skills and resources to all areas in
>Asia-Pacific (and to make a profit doing it, of course). All comments
>are mine personally and do not necessarily represent the views of IBM,
>of course.
>I was impressed that an effort had been made to rewite PC DOS in a
>language other than English, although I did note that Hindi, the
>"official language" was chosen, despite its minority use. Although not
>spelled out, the full text gives figures for the use of Hindi that makes
>it clear the bulk of the population are speaking other languages. The
>release also tries to justify the choice of Hindi when it notes the
>history of the "official language". I'm encouraged that IBM has a stated
>policy of encouraging diversity, and also that joint ventures are made
>with local companies in the countries where they operate, so at least
>some of the wealth that is created gets to stay in the country of
>origin. I can't speak for how that is implemented, other than in
>Australia, where we have a multicultural workforce and a strong
>identification with our partners in Asia. I hope the implementation in
>India is not limited by outside interests.
>> I'm sorry if I have caused any inconvinience to you but I believe that the
>> net is a platform where mails could be forwarded to others as long as it
>> doesn't hurt their or the sender's privacy.
>That's fine, I understand. The fault, if there is any, is that the
>moderator left my short words of explanation out, making the full text
>seem to be mine. In his defence, though, it really does read like a
>press release and would seem very stilted if it were comment! In
>hindsite I would have done more to make the nature and source of the
>text apparent. Too late now ;-)
>> I think the topic is an interesting one and it deserves discussion.
>> Please, allow me to send you some of the mails I received via INDOLOGY,
>> I also forwarded your reply to Mr. Palaniappa and me to Indology.
>> If the discussion doesn't get too big we can continue that way otherwise
>> let me know about a better solution if you are interested to hang on.
>Please send me any comments directly attributable to that posting. I'm
>interested in the discussion, although I'm not a specialist in this
>area. I'm interested in using the Internet to connect people,
>particularly people who are otherwise separated by distance from their
>original homelands. That is a big issue in Australia, where close to
>half the population was born elsewhere. The promotion of free press and
>the free flow of information is important to me, although it is clearly
>easy to distort reality without intention, even when simply quoting a
>posting from a mailing list.
>Journalists (as a rule) are trained to check their sources. One area of
>difficulty with the Internet is that sources are rarely checked, and I
>am guilty of that as well in this case, as I didn't seek permission from
>the author. My excuse is that I believed it to be in the public domain,
>that it was press release promoting a new product. Upon reflection, I
>can understand that it seems more like cultural imperialism, but there
>are always many sides to a story.
>By the way, the moderator of the Asian Internet Marketing List is a Mr
>Bala Pillai, a Malaysian Tamil living in Australia, and he is certainly
>very pro-diversity and pro-Tamil language and culture. I sent the
>clipping to his mailing list knowing that he would understand the
>Thanks for your comments, and best wishes.
>Robert Russell
>IBM Global Services Internet and Managed Networks
>rrussell at ibm.net
>Tata IBM Announces Availability of Hindi PC DOS On Official Language Day
> New Delhi, September 15, 1997
> To commemorate the Official Language Day, TATA IBM today announced the
> availability of the Hindi PC DOS in India.  PC DOS  is the  first and
> operating system in Hindi. This landmark effort by IBM is in response
> the commitment of the Government of India to promote the Hindi
> In a country where only 5% of the population speaks English, language
> the biggest barrier to computer literacy. The Tata IBM initiative will
> enable the Hindi speaking population of 360 million to have access to
> computers in their language. This will create a critical mass of
> literate people who will contribute to the growth of India's software
> developer population.
> The computer programming profession, today a career choice only of an
> English speaking minority is now available to the immense Hindi
> population. IBM's Education Services in India and IIS Infotech today
> announced that they would provide programming training in Hindi as a
> course through their various training centers across the country.
> Mr. Ravi Marwaha, Managing Director & CEO, TATA IBM says, "IBM is
> to India's information technolgoy development where local language
> is the key issue. We are working closely with third party developers
> comprehensive application software development and with hardware
> for bundling the Hindi PC DOS with new and existing machines.  We want
> see the benefits of computerization trickle down to the masses."
> Mr. Pawan Kumar, President , IBM Global Services India says, "Today,
> penetration of computers in India is just one per 1000 population.
>There is
> a definite need to increase this ratio. The availability of Hindi PC
> will increase the usage of computers, both in the office and at home.
> will contribute significantly towards meeting the Government's
>objective of
> increasing the penetration ten times."
> According to Mr. Mike Colleary, Director, IBM Emerging Markets
> Asia Pacific, "India is a major strategic market and one of IBM
> fastest growing opportunities. The Hindi PC DOS launch shows IBM's
> growing opportunity. The Hindi PC DOS launch shows IBM's commitment to
> to this important emerging country. This tremendous area of opportunity
> fueled by the second largest software developer population in the
> IBM has made a conscious decision to port Hindi PC DOS on hardware
> from a PC 386.  By doing so, Hindi PC DOS reduces the cost of computing
> considerably and allows our customers to use their existing machines.
> will also ensure the availability of a computer at a low cost to our
> literate population. This gives the Hindi PC DOS enabled machines
> marketing potential and usefulness in the country. Work on application
> software by individual developers is going on at full steam with IBM's
> support and encouragement. Office productive packages, database
> spreadsheets and customised user packages will be the first to be
> It supports all internal and external commands, data and messages in
> September 14th is India's " Official Language Day."  It was initiated
> Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first  President of India in 1950, as a
> of the Government of India to promote Hindi as the Official Language.
> Official Language Act of 1949, which makes the use of Hindi in Central
> Government Offices mandatory all across the country also resulted from
> commitment.
> For more information contact:
> Tata IBM Limited
> Ph: 080 526 2355
> Tata Information Systems Ltd
>         TISL Tower
>         Golden Enclave Airport Road
>         Bangalore 560017
>         India
>         Tel: 91 80 526 2355
>         Fax: 91 80 526 8344

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