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The International Organization for Standardization

ISO Central Secretariat

1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse

CP 56 – CH-1211 Geneva 20



From :

Dr Satyakam Phukan

General Surgeon

Jorpukhuripar, Uzanbazar

Guwahati, Assam (INDIA)

P.I.N : 781001

Phone : +91 99540 46357



  • I. Appeal for introspection, retrospection and reviewing of one ISO Standard Registry and the activities of the Registrar.

  • II. Review the synchronisation of ISO 10646 Standard with the Unicode Standard.

  • III. Need for a Truly Universal Encoding for Scripts of the world.


Dear Madam/Sir,

Please find herewith as attachment the document on the subjects mentioned above. The file is named Appeal_to_ISO_on_Unicode.pdf, the MD5 sum of the file is :



Yours sincerely


Dr Satyakam Phukan


This appeal has been emailed to the ISO on the 14th of June 2013





2 responses »

  1. Thank you Dr.Phukan for tracing and writing your nation’s history. Our histories, even written with care and rationally, by Westerners, you cannot avoid their realities and perspectives.

    Please allow me to comment in two installments. This is about the background

    There are two problems in this entire saga
    1. As South Asians we are still in the colonial mode
    2. People like Mr. Everson, who comes from Ireland, also lives in that same world

    World Bank IMF cater to the interests of US and EU respectively. Having lived in America for 30 years I know this. They appoint CEOs for them from each side.

    Just like Unicode is a business consortium established for American IT businesses, ISO is one for all European businesses. UN and ISO were set up to settle bickering between Europeans and consolidate their efforts and their common good, focusing on whom they should really exploit — the colonies. Don’t forget that UN was set up for unity of Europeans. Who is in the Security Council? Some small countries. and some big ones but…. Post WWI Marshall Plan money lifted backward and ruined Europe up and above us Asians and enslaved us again as migrant workers. Recall that Angela Merkel said, “You came to work, and it is now time to leave”.

    During the WWII, and around that period, general American thinking was colonial system did not help them economically and having emerged from a horrendous Civil War they did understand mass killing is a terrible human trait. However, they did good business with both World Wars. They supplied guns and horses siting on the side. Sitting away from firing guns and supplying the guns was pretty safe and profitable for Americans. Japanese hitting them changed that.

    Remember that war market is seller’s market. US set up ‘War Effort’ to make all war equipment women working in the automobile factories turning out guns planes and tanks. Then again, there was the moral question of people being massacred — A conundrum.

    Americans knew that if the war ended, their business is over too. There are (at war museum Fredericksburg, Texas) pictures of American military people speaking with Indians while the war was in progress. Hmmm…

    Immediately as Allied forces finished the war, something we rarely think of happened. America abruptly asked Britain to pay up. British had already finished money and now leasing the weapons. Where’s the money? They first refused and then agreed to take a 50-year $50 billion loan pardoning all debts since WWI. (The last installment was paid in 2006). More importantly, they agreed to allow America to sell to India without special taxing. Well, if you were British, what would do? Run huge India suppressing the people or give up? Now you know why really the British gave up India. They even trained Ceylonese on how to transition to independence and even offered Singhala speaking Maldives.

    We got better GM cars and Independence!

    NEXT: Unicode and globalizing.

  2. This is sequel to my first comment:

    With the emergence of the PC, the world of the small business changed. At last they had a computer with a spreadsheet program (Visicalc – the first spreadsheet program) to do business calculations and more..

    The IBM PC was actually cobbled together with parts on the open market — from Japan, Korea and Taiwan and then Mexico. The Europeans wanted the computers in their languages. The PC had the English alphabet, numerals, and the other common marks and signs for the user. The computer knows only the byte (8-bits) and that translates into 256 place holders for codes. Out of that 128 was filled with the above. The PC used only 7 out of 8 bits of the byte for codes. The eighth was reserved to calculate accuracy of bytes received from one computer to another.

    When communication improved, everybody set up their individual national letters in the higher 128 slots that were used for error checking. ISO’s 8859 committees standardized these. Then they tried to get the Indians to define theirs in the same area but it is said that the one for Devanagari could not have a consensus and the entire Indic set was abandoned.

    In the meanwhile in America, they were finding ways to globalize their businesses. They needed ISO from Europe who held the reins of the Third World. It was the era of Cold War, Planet of the Apes, ET etc. One guy came up with the idea of giving every letter in every language on the surface on earth its own unique numeric ID. (If we annihilate ourselves the future explorer from outer space would discover that humans had many languages!).

    Well, there you have the seed of Unicode. The Europeans had a different experience in defining multiple languages. Unicode invited ISO people to US to a conference. They could not come to an agreement for a week. Then someone suggested that each side go off for the weekend and come back only with good things to speak about the other side. Next week they decided to adopt Unicode’s proposal. This is where we are at now.

    If you subscribe to the public mailing list like Dr. Phukan, you’ll see daily questions regarding problems with one Indic language or another. Obviously the code sets are not well thought of perhaps not with good input by the users of the languages, but as Dr. Phukan says, by incompetent people.

    Unicode and ISO are not the places to appeal to – not even the governments. It is time that Indian users and linguists come together, avoid governmental authorities and rethink the issue.


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