Thanks to Soumyadip Modak in the IndLinux mailing list, I finally learned how to enable proper rendering of Indic fonts in Ubuntu. Now I can read Telugu text on the Web like I used to with Fedora Core 2, 3, and 4.
The problem was that some low quality Indic fonts in the
package were being used by Pango to render Indic text. So, remove the
freefont package and you’re back in business!