Science Trust, an affiliate of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA) has launched a rationalist monthly magazine in Malayalam.
‘Yukthiyugam’, the rationalist magazine was launched in a function, organised on 13th January 2013 at Prof. Joseph Mundaserry Hall in Thrissur, Kerala. Many affiliates of FIRA and progressive organisations , serving for the cause of developing scientific temper, including the Rationalists’ Forum,Tamil Nadu participated in the function.
The magazine launching was presided over by E.A.Jaffer, Chairman of Science Trust. Dr.C.Viswanathan, Chief Editor whose painstaking effort was instrumental for the release of the magazine , welcomed the dignitaries and the audience. Yukthivicharam Jose, a senior rationalist released the magazine and the first copy was received by Dr. G.Vijayam, Director, Atheist Centre, Vijayawada.
V.Kumaresan, General Secretary , The Rationalists’ Forum, Tamil Nadu delivered felicitation address as follows:
Recently, the Government of India has released Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013. The Policy states that India has hitherto not accorded due importance to innovation as an instrument of policy. Besides India has declared 2010-20 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’.
The 2013 policy formulation is a significant step initiated by the Government of India. Besides, the nature of scientific findings, the innovations involved and the value of its application have been very aptly pronounced by the Prime Minister of India at the inauguration of 100th Indian Science Congress held on January 3 , 2013 at Kolkata as under:
“Complex issues, be they genetically modified food or nuclear energy or the exploration of outer space, cannot be settled by faith, emotion and fear but by structured debate, analysis and enlightenment”.
At present, from the level of food sufficiency the country aims at the food security and nutritional security. When the extent of arable land has been coming down, the only way for growth to increase the agricultural productivity, is innovating some new agricultural production technologies. As such, the innovative technology that is available to meet the requirements is adopting the cultivation of GM crops-Genetically Modified crops. One of the types of GM crops is Bt. type.
But due to certain commercial and political clash of interests, the Bt. technology that was experimented in brinjal crop is put under stake. No experimental proof has been established so far on the deleterious effects of Bt. brinjal both in the consumers and in the respective cultivated field. In the name of organized protests of the vested interests, the innovative agricultural technology which did not exhibit any negative effects during the experimental trial stages has been made redundant. Without the weapon of suitable technology, another breakthrough in agricultural development may not be possible. Analytical mind, and possession of scientific temper are the need of the hour both to ruler and the ruled to solve many of the problems and challenges that prevail in social and economic sectors.
The superstitious beliefs and practices adopted in this holy land are in multitudes. Despite the scientific proof founded by Copernicus nearly 400 years back about the position of planets and later reproved by Bruno, Galileo and others, still the performances of religious rituals and practices and prohibiting outings at the time of solar and lunar eclipses, continue.
Still the educated people believe strongly in the mythical story of Rahu and Kedhu serpents swallowing the planets and thereby avoid the commencement of many positive things during such so called un-auspicious times. The momentum of doing positive endeavours is put under static gear due to such superstitious beliefs.
The movement founded by Periyar E.V.Ramasamy revolutionized the entire fabric of the society in Tamil Nadu. The rationalist ideals are propagated and today they have been globalised under the able leadership of Asiriyar Dr. K.Veeramani, the ideological and organizational disciple of Periyar. A few years back, in order to propagate scientific temper with demonstrations, open air mass feastings were organized at various places while solar eclipse endured. The demonstration captured the attention of the public enthusiastically with positivity.
Father of Evolution Theory and natural scientist, Charles Darwin’s 200th Birth Anniversary fell due in 2009. The theory was popular in the platforms of schools and colleges and the academic forums. Periyar Movement celebrated the 200th Birth Anniversary in public platforms to enlighten and to break the myth of human origin as the creation of god.
Many renowned scientists were invited for the Celebration. It was conducted through out Tamil Nadu under the aegis of the Rationalists’ Forum, a humanist movement founded by Periyar and patronised by Dr.K.Veeramani. First time Charles Darwin and his profound Theory of Evolution was propagated in open air meetings at public platforms with huge participation of people.
Thus, by carrying out periodical propaganda on these lines and with due demonstrations scientific temper could be inculcated in the minds of the masses. The full coverage of the people with scientific temper in them is the dawn of new era in human civilization, the effect of which would naturally benefit humans with peace and prosperity.
K.Venu, senior rationalist , Prof.Narendra Nayak, President – FIRA, Dr.Kavumbayi Balakrishnan, Kerala Sashtra Sahithya Parishat, Sreeni Pattathanam, President- Bharathiya Yukthivathi Sangam, Prof. C.Ravichandran, Adhitya and Jijo, Film Actors, Parvathi Pavanan, Prof. N.A.Hameed felicitated the launch of the magazine.