Platinum Jubilee of Atheist Centre

Dr.K.Veeramani felicitates Dr.P.M.Bhargava. Mr.Levi Fragell, Ms.Kristin Mele, Mr.Roar Johnsen, Dr.G.Vijayam and Dr.G.Samaram join.

Atheist Centre, Vijayawada, founded by Gora in Andhra Pradesh, celebrated its Platinum Jubilee (75 Years) on 5-6, January 2014.

The two day event was inaugurated by Dr.P.M.Bhargava, Founder and Former  Director of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and Former Vice Chairman, National Knowledge Commission on 5th January. Mr.Levi Fragell, Norwegian Humanist Leader and Former President of International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) presided over the occasion.

Dr.K.Veeramani, Premier of Periyar Movement and Chancellor of Periyar Maniammai University participated in the second day event and delivered the valedictory address. Dr.G.Vijayam, Executive Director, Atheist Centre welcomed the guest- dignitaries and conducted  the proceedings.

Mr.Babu Gogineni, International Director, IHEU, Mr.Roar Johnsen, Vice President, IHEU, Ms.Kristin Mele , Oslo (Norway), Dr.Volker Mueller (Germany), Prof. Narendra Nayak, National President, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA), U.Kalanathan, National Secretary, FIRA, V.Kumaresan, General Secretary, The Rationalists’ Forum, Tamil Nadu, Prof.Dhaneswar Sahu, President, Odisha Rationalist Society  and others addressed.

The two day celebration comprised of  special lectures delivered by the leaders and functionaries coupled with cultural programmes depicting the atheist ideals.

Felicitation to Dr.P.M.Bhargava, the renowned scientist

On behalf of the atheist fraternity, Dr.K.Veeramani felicitated Dr.P.M.Bhargava, the renowned atheist – scientist , mentioning the contributions made by him for developing scientific temper in the society. While felicitating Dr.K.Veeramani spoke thus :

“Dr.P.M.Bhargava is the prime pride of atheist – scientist fraternity of India. His contributions to the progress of science  and the related development in the country are remarkable. He founded the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and served as its first Director. Later  he assumed the role as Vice Chairman of National Knowledge Commission.

He has been associating himself with  the cause of developing scientific temper as  early as from the period of  the First Prime Minister  of India , Jawaharlal Nehru. Still his commitment  of contributing to the cause continues  without any cessation at the age of 85. Science is  not based on faith as that of religion but it is subjected to proofs through experiments.

Basically, Science negates the existence of god and naturally, all  scientists have to be atheists. But in reality , many scientists are believers of god and practise religious rituals which are superstitious and meaningless. Such deeds are against the subjects which the scientists studied and the profession they  practise . Dr.P.M.Bhargava remains as the role model to the scientist fraternity. Yes; many Bhargavas must emerge to propagate, developing scientific temper in the minds  and deeds of the people.”

Release of the Book, ‘Promote Scientific Attitude’

As part of Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, a book  in English, titled ‘Promote Scientific Attitude’ written and compiled by Basala Beemanna was released by Dr.K.Veeramani. The first copy of the book was received by Mr.Levi Fragell.

Greetings and Felicitations to the Prime Functionaries of Atheist Centre

75 years of effective existence and active functioning  is a milestone in the history of any organisation. It is of much more so in respect of an organisation  that propagates atheist ideals.  Atheist Centre, Vijayawada was founded by Gora in the year 1940. It became a mass organisation. After the demise of the founder his wife, Saraswathi Gora (1912 – 2006)  assumed the responsibility.

Subsequently his children and family members  who  are groomed  and made, committed to the cause, envisaged by Gora lead the Centre. Dr.K.Veeramani felicitated the prime functionaries  responsible for the effective and successful functioning of Atheist Centre viz. Dr.G.Vijayam, Executive Director, G.Lavanam, Dr.G.Samaram, G.Mythri and  Maru.

Valediction – Dr.K.Veeramani

Dr.K.Veeramani, Premier of Periyar Movement delivers valedictory address

The valedictory of the Platinum Jubilee of Atheist Centre was delivered by Dr.K.Veeramani. The excerpts of the address :

“Leaders who lead their life for the common cause are of varied categories  based on their ideals and activities. Many of such leaders are of the agenda of expecting the immediate support  from the public. Based on such support  oriented popularity, the leaders may assume political authority to command and rule the people. 

Unminding of  the ordinary expectations ,  leaders like  Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (1879 – 1973)  and Gora ( 1902 – 1975 ) fought for the common cause which witnessed stiff opposition  from the public to whose welfare and well being they toiled. 

They did not design their destination towards political power and  authority but struggled  to bring transformation through enlightenment in the life   of the common masses. They sacrificed their lives to eliminate the discrimination  prevailing in the society , nurtured  in the name of god and religion.

The two leaders humanised the human beings through the means of propagating the atheist ideals. In that way, their missions are  different from the  majority. In the 20th century, Periyar and Gora continued to function as the two sides of the same coin of propagating atheism in this part of the country. After their demise, the organisations founded by them and their followers are taking forward the mission , commenced by them.

Atheist fraternity from both India and abroad have confluenced  here for the Platinum Jubilee of Atheist Centre. All of them  have got appreciation  and respect for the contributions made by the atheist leaders of this country. Mr.Levi Fragell usesd to utter thus:

“In Chennai, an important metropolitan city of India, two public roads in the heart of the city have been named  after two atheist leaders. One is Periyar E.V.R. Road (named after Periyar E.V.Ramasamy) ; another  is Anna Salai (named after C.N.Annadurai – former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, affectionately called  ‘ Anna’). No where in the world, one could notice such honour conferred on  atheist leaders.”

No ideal would prevail in society without reckoning the well being of human beings . The atheist ideals , propagated by Periyar and Gora  centre around humans. To propagate precisely, Periyar professed, ‘Forget God; Think of Humans’. Atheism is not a negative concept, but a positive concept; it is a constructive concept to emphasise humanism. That is the propaganda envisaged by Gora.

Education and Reasoning

Today, many of the educated people are qualified only academically. They are not applying their mind to the surroundings and happenings and are not acting  on reason. The education has become irrelevant to the practical life to the act of the educated. The education does not kindle the rationalist fervour of the educated. Richard Dawkins vividly depicts the social situation in the United States of America in his article, compiled in the book, ‘This will make you smarter’ thus:

“Why do half of the Americans believe in ghosts, three-quarters believe in angels, a third believe in astrology, three-quarters in hell?”

The educated are not effective in using their reasoning faculty. In fact, all the educated are not really educated. Whatever that is  contrary to the reasoning, gets deposited as sediment in the minds of the educated . It creates some sort of contradiction in their life style and substance. They learn many things contrary to reasoning.

Atheist Centre , Vijayawada felicitates Dr.K.Veeramani

The main task that lies before the rationalist fraternity is ‘Educate the educated’. A fully educated person will necessarily possess scientific temper. With that mindset, if anyone approaches the outcome would be positive and the probability of success would be more. Rationalist organizations must possess such strategic propaganda in their activities. Atheist propaganda must be carried out in full swing to nullify the effect of religious fundamentalism.

Periyar World

V.Kumaresan, General Secretary of The Rationalists’ Forum, Tamil Nadu briefed in his speech about ‘Periyar World’, the mega propaganda project, progressing in Tamil Nadu.

‘Periyar World’ in an extent of 27 acres of land is  situated at Siruganur, 15 Kms away from Trichy on the Chennai-Trichy National Highway. The main focus is the installation of 95 ft bronze statue of Periyar to mark the 95 year mortal life of Periyar. To create the immortal effect of Periyar, wax museum, planetarium, science exhibition, library, research centre, book shop, children’s park etc., would be established at ‘Periyar World’. Any visitor who comes to Tamil Nadu from other countries and other states of the country cannot miss the opportunity of the ‘Periyar World’.

It is a strategic propaganda made to spread the Rationalist ideals. Public, both from India and abroad may contribute financially for the cause of ‘Periyar World’.  The rationalist and humanist fraternity can contribute through their ideas.

The two day Platinum Jubilee of the Atheist Centre has energised the atheist fraternity and created a new wisdom in tackling the challenges ahead.

Compiled by : nietzsche

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