Atheism making headway in India
Posted: 29 September 2006 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1808691,0008.htm

[quote:da68041afb]Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asked citizens to follow the ideals of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who immortalised himself by laying down his life for liberating the country from foreign rule.

"The way he (Bhagat Singh) condemned meaningless rituals associated with organised religion and his brilliant exposition of his stand on atheism in his article ‘Why I am an atheist?’ testified to his abiding humanism," the Prime Minister said in his message on the occasion of the birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.[/quote:da68041afb]

At least their PM is endorcing an historical atheist!

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Posted: 30 September 2006 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting. It would be good if we could have the CFI’s Austin Dacey comment on this. He was recently traveling in India for the Center.

I am aware that the conservative Hindu BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is quite strong in that country; they are overtly religious. But I imagine that atheism has a different general connotation in a place like India than in a country like the US.

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Posted: 03 October 2006 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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atheism in India

Yes, atheism does have a different significance in India. In my estimation, there are actually three distinct movements in India that we would call secularist: the rationalist movement, historically linked to British rationalism, the radical humanist movement, associated with the India thinker M.N. Roy, and the atheist movement, which owes mostly to the social activist Gora, who founded an Atheist Centre in the southern city of Vijayawada in 1940. The Centre is well known throughout the country for its philanthropic work, from HIV-AIDS awareness to inter-caste marriages. My friend Vikas Gora, the grandson of Gora, says that for them the philosophy of humanism takes a backseat to the practice of humanism.

In February the Center for Inquiry launched a branch office in Hyderabad, a center of high-tech development. http://www.centerforinquiryindia.org/index.html

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