CFI India at World Congress 2009
Center for Inquiry, India participated in the World Congress of CFI, held in the USA from 9 April to 12 April, 2009.
A special session was devoted to Humanist movements in India on 10 April 2009. Prof Paul Kurtz presided over the session and said that India has a prominent role in the planetary humanist movement. He narrated his recent tour experiences in India during 2008. Mr Sam Ilangovan presented powerpoint screening of rationalist movements in Tamilnadu, tracing the history of dravida khazagam's role. He started the history with Kural (ancient writing) and showed the great impact of Periyar E V Ramasami Naikar movement. Then he screened the presentation of honorary degree to Prof Paul Kurtz during his visit to Chennai and also the award presentation to the chief minister Mr Karunanidhi through Prof Paul Kurtz in Chennai.
Dr Innaiah, chairman of CFI India, presented a detailed report on the contemporary humanist, rationalist and skeptic movements, their origin, growth and function. He explained how different groups are functioning in various states with regional language magazines, publications, and books. The active movements are sustained through magic performances, exposing the fradulent nataure of cult gurus like Satya Sai Baba, Matha Amritananda Mayi in Kerala etc.
Dr Narisetti Innaiah briefly touched the history of the Humanist movement as developed under the leadership of the late M. N. Roy. Several illustrious personalities sustained the movements in various states under the inspiring guidance of M N Roy. Some of the persons are : A B Shah, V B Karnik, Indumati Parekh, V M Tarkunde, Abraham Solomon, G D Parekh, A G K Murthy, M V Ramamurthy, Justice Jahagirdar, V K Sinha, Prof Sibnarayan Ray, K K Sinha, Premnath Bazaz, R M Pal, Lakshman Sastri Joshi, Jayanti Patel, C T Daru, Abburi Ramakrishna rao and galaxy of personalities. The journals are in regional languages, also there are various books in Indian languages and also translations from English.
At present the CFI is functioning in India at three centers: Hyderabad, Pune, and New Delhi. Several national and international seminars were conducted on alterntive medicines, population programs, child abuse by religions, and humanism.
The famed writer and activist Taslima Nasrin was attacked at a CFI meeting in Hyderabad during her function on 9 August 2007. The world media condemned the fundamentalist muslims and stood by her and CFI.
Prof Triggal, Prof Amaradev Sarma, Austin Dacey, Hugo Estrela, and Prof Paul Kurtz have participated in various programs of CFI India. A special seminar was conducted on equal rights of women. Ms Santa Sinha, Ms Purandreswari ( Uniion minister for human resources), dr Aruna Subhash, Ms Sangeeta Mall, Dr Santi Sri, Ms Sandhya, Ms Volga, Ms Venigalla Komala, Ms Chandana Chakravarthy have participated in CFI programs.
CFI India brought out several publications in Indian languages and also several translations. Some of them are: writings of Paul Kurtz, Richard Dawkins's God Delusion ; Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great ; Taslima Nasrin's Shodh , Aayan Hirshi Ali's Caged Virgin and Infidel ; Sam Harris's Letter to a Christain Nation ; Ibn Warraq's Why I Am Not a Muslim, etc.
A Question & Answer session followed.
Dr Narisetti Innaiah's latest book
Forced into Faith
(prometheus books) was exhibited in the conference book stall. Master Rohit Joshua (9 class in Winston Churchill school in Maryland USA) prepared a chart on Evolution which was exhibited in the hall at the conference from 9 April and 300 delagates visited the chart.