Diaspora Yatra

05 February 2015

Diaspora Yatra is a campaign in India, which started last week and is scheduled to continue until March 6, to promote diaspora* and to attain self-reliance in communication technology.

An historic perspective on liberty and power

“Yatra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “journey.” Diaspora Yatra, launched by the Indian Pirates with eight partner organizations, has already covered four districts in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Pirate Praveen, who recently created a one-step installer for diaspora* on Debian, is a key player in this campaign, engaging in constructive discussions about diaspora* with people from all walks of life.

A talk to a women's group in Kollam

In its first week, Diaspora Yatra has started becoming an investigation into what the concepts of freedom, decentralization, and privacy mean to different sections of society:

  • While the techie adults in Technopark, Trivandrum, where the campaign kicked off, had strong opinions about security in decentralized networks and its trade-off with privacy, the young students of Anchal West School, Kollam were more worried about keeping unwanted eyes away from their private affairs.
  • After being forced to think about how “free” services provided by other social networks are economically feasible for their providers, the teachers at Badhiriya Bachelor of Education Training Centre, Kannanallore were unsure whom to trust. But the kids of Mar Baselias school, Kaithakode were receptive and eager.
  • The working class who assembled at Government SNDP Higher Secondary School, were quicker to explore diaspora*, encryption, and related applications. So were the students of Mar Thoma college, Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, who also were interested in the legal issues involved in using diaspora*. The lawyers of the Bar Association, Alappuzha went a step further and talked about whether podmins should scrutinize the content published on their pods and about the jurisdiction of pods.

A session at a middle school in Kaithakode

It cannot be mere coincidence that every kind of person has an opinion about what diaspora* should be, moments after they discover it for the first time. It is exactly the hunger for freedom and individuality which these minds seem to have that the Diaspora Yatra team intends to sate.

To keep up to date with the yatra’s progress, check the Diaspora Yatra site and follow the #diasporayatra tag within diaspora*. We’ll post again on this blog once the yatra has completed.