The world still has its handful of superstitions and mystical, pre-Enlightenment religious beliefs do still hold sway in society. In some Asian cultures the vast number and the disturbing depth of superstitions that dominate can often paralyze the lives of locals and lead to severe anxiety. In Bangladesh, for instance, tabeej (or voodoo Continue reading
Professor Richard Dawkins has questioned whether telling children fairy tales could be harmful because they “inculcate a view of the world which includes supernaturalism”.
The evolutionary biologist, a leading atheist and author of books including The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, told an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival that Continue reading
Pune: Despite spending lakhs of rupees on pujas and medicines for the last five years, when a Pimpri-based woman could not conceive, she approached the cops against the self-styled godman, on Monday. The police have arrested the ‘baba’ under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code. The complaint was registered by the victim Continue reading
Despite living in twentieth century, we still fall pray to superstitions. Here is an example, where parents of a 16-year-old-girl wanted to surrender their girl to a temple, after she developed numerous tangles in her hair after accidentally rubbing the dough against it. However, thanks to volunteers of Maharashtra Andhrashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), Continue reading
Interview with G. Vijayam of Atheist Centre, Vijayawada.
The foundations of the rationalist movement in Andhra Pradesh were laid by Kumaragiri Vema Reddy, popularly known as Vemana, through his verses in popular, everyday Telugu. The Atheist Centre is a social change institution founded by Goparaju Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as Gora, Continue reading
I received today a communication on FB, shrieking that it was unjust for the authorities to consider suspension of a teacher who made students shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ or ‘Hail Lord Rama’ in school. Was it Shri Ram or Jesus Christ that was born in India, it demands angrily. Can I not praise Continue reading
We have been inviting all those who claim supernatural powers of prediction to come forward and show their efficiency but forecasting the results for the elections from many decades. The elections of 2014 are the most interesting ones and most important from the point of view of the nation. We would like to Continue reading
Prior to actual voting of Parliamentary Election 2014, Shri Nandkishor Jakatdar, President Brihan-Maharashtra Jotish Mandal held a press conference on 5 Apr 2014. During the press conference he boasted that he and experts in his organization had studied 4000 horoscopes of candidates of various parties contesting the election and arrived at a few Continue reading
Imagine that you are ensconced comfortably in a luxury car, stuck in traffic, when your car begins to slide forward ever so gently, without your realising it. The movement is so smooth that you are convinced your car is still stationary. In this state, as your car moves past the adjacent car, you Continue reading
Asaram Bapu is no longer on Aastha channel, his sermons on which had become something of a morning ritual for many Indians over the past few years. He is now in jail, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The term ‘bapu’ is an honorific. It means Continue reading
At one level, the arrest of Asaram is a rather humdrum, same-old story. One more godman has fallen from grace. So, what is new under the sun? Aren’t we used to discovering the clay feet of our sadhu sants? Perhaps George Orwell was on to something when he said that “saints should always Continue reading
Living with values is the autobiography of Indian humanist philosopher and human rights activist Narisetti Innaiah (b. 1937). Historian of ideas Bill Cooke writes in his book A Wealth of Insights. Humanist thought since the Enlightenment (2011) a long chapter on the rich tradition of humanism and related –isms in India, despite the Continue reading