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The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (2)

January 12, 2018

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (2)

WAC, Trichy - second day, paper presenters

The First Day paper reading session (05-01-2018): The WAC organizers kept the paper reading session inside and the public meetings open. The first day (05-01-2018) paper reading proceedings were held at Periyar Maniammai University campus, Vallam. On the theme, “Atheism – Hope for Humanity”, Three parallel sessions were held, where, 38 delegates participated and presented 28 papers. Of which 13 were taken for discussion.

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-bald, looks north Indian

In first session, was conducted with Balwinder Barnala, Tarkkaasila Sangha, as chair-person and , Dr Samarasam, Vijyawada Atheist Centre, as moderator.

Kadesh Godherao, Maharastra Antastrata Nirmulam Samiti, read a paper on the topic, “Atheism is for the Progress of Humanity”.

Kumanarajan, editor of “Tamil Lemuria”, Mumbai presented a paper on “Threats of religious fundamentalism, Problems and Solutions.”

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-gold-spec-nald-white

In the second session was chaired by Prof Ilakkuvan, Director, Periyar Centre, USA and P. Sabasiva Rao, Treasurer, Telengana-Hyderabad Manava Vikasha Vedika, moderated.

Prof Sam George, American College, spoke on, “Atheism – Way of Life.” M. Govindasamy, Malaysia Dravidar Sangam, Kulalampur spoke on, “Dravidian Movement in Malaysia”.

Dr R. Gauthaman, Periyar Medical Mission, spoke on “Medicine and Atheism.”

However, most of the papers were of generalized, rehashing the already known details and targeting Hindu religion for superstition and so on. Emphasis was given for in between Peiyar and Dravidian movement. The atheist arguments had been against ontological, teleological, cosmological points, but, they could not put forward any new points. The age-old theist-atheist arguments on these lines have been too well-known to be repeated here.

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- looks Tamilian, with coat

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- looks Tamilian, with white coat.

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, bald, white

Vijayan

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, bald

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, grey hair

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- Sikh

Balwinder Barnala

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-spec, shirt-half-coat

paper presenter

DK opposing Rajini-

Atheism versus Spirituality – debate started: Speakers propagating atheist philosophy slammed religious beliefs, especially in Hinduism, at the World Atheist Conference here on Friday (05-01-2018). The concept of spiritual politics espoused by superstar Rajinikanth also came in for sharp criticism. It is not known as to why Rajni’s politics should be attacked and criticized in the “World Atheist Conference”. Evidently, as Trichy has been strong base of Rajini’s fans and his political ambitions would erode the Dravidian polity and as well as the prospects of DMK, the WAC has been exploited to attack Rajini politics.  Though Rajini’s concept was much debated over the past few days, some speakers found it nascent and lacking clarity. However, Dravida Kazhagam leader K. Veeramani aid that people propagating ideology of spiritual politics would be exposed sooner than later. Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, he said spiritual politics was nothing but a tool that might be used to deceive people. Politics was in no way related to spirituality. Spiritual politics stressed on the existence of spirit which was called ‘Atma’. The aim of the conference was to counter the very existence of spirit through philosophical arguments. Those trying to mislead people in the name of spirit would be exposed soon, he said. Ironically, even the atheist religions like Jainism and Buddhism believed “Atma”, rebirth, etc.

WAC, Trichy, Kanimozhi

During public session, Rajinikantha’s “Spiritual Politics” attacked: Lakshman Tamil from Periyar International, USA said that those thinking about starting a political party in the state could not ignore Periyar or Dravidian movement for their brand value. He said that one could become popular in the state by invoking the name of Periyar. Lakshman recalled how his father had told him to be honest also when he expressed his wish to become an atheist like Thanthai periyar. Periyar had set high standards to be an atheist, he said. aking a jibe at Rajini, Dravidian Tamil Federation general secretary Suba Veerapandian said that a person had recently visited Gopalapuram (the residence of DMK leader M Karunanidhi) to seek his blessings[1]. But little did he know that he could only get rationalist lessons from the leader and not his blessings[2]. Rationalists and atheists had been criticising the actor for giving his political move a religious colour. Though Rajinikanth had come out in the open with a statement clarifying his stand, not many seemed to be convinced.

WAC-3, Times of India

“Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva”: Untouchability is the worst tyranny any part of the world has ever seen. So is the caste system. And these are practiced in the name of God, said Dravida Kazhagam leader K Veeramani here on Friday (05-01-2018). Speaking at the World Atheism Conference 2018 in Trichy, Veeramani said India is land of atheism, not temples. Atheism is not just the denial of religion, but denial of all superstitions associated with it too. He said atheism dated back to 1500 CE in our country. Lakshman Tamil, Periyar International, USA, said caste system is the bane of India and society cannot progress as long as this Vedic system exists. Hinduism cannot claim that it is all-encompassing until it disowns the Vedas, he said. Buddhism and Jainism moved away from people and lost their relevance[3]. The Dravidar Kazhagam has created a populous atheist movement and it is the true Shramana movement of the modern time in terms of the core philosophy of atheism, he said. Terming Periyar’s atheism the most relevant, Lakshman Tamil said it is also a populous movement. Its multifaceted nature has also contributed to its popularity. “Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva. People have to choose between Hindutva, which is a Vedic tradition that is based on hate and segregates people in the name of caste, and Dravidian philosophy, which preaches self-respect,” said Lakshman Tamil[4].

WAC-3, Times of India- attacking Rajini

2G-Raja spoke on his atheism in Tihar and outside: Former Union telecom minister A Raja started off by thanking the CBI and the CAG for making him popular worldwide in the 2G spectrum case. “Being an atheist since teenage, his belief in atheism strengthened further during his imprisonment in the Tihar jail when he saw prisoners, who included rapists and murderers, making a beeline to offer oil to a figure of Saturn (Shani). Hinduism was used as a tool by upper caste people to keep a majority section poor by denying them education. This is a country where people are divided in terms caste. And this notion is created by religion”, he said. As many as 500 papers on atheism are going to be presented in the conference that is going to last for 3 days.

WAC-3, The Hindu, 06-01-2016

The Second Day paper reading session (06-01-2018): The seconday paper reading session was held in Einstein Auditorium, for which K. Veeramani chaired and  Narendra Naik, President, Indian Federation of Rationalist Associations acted as moderator. Devadoss welcomed the speakers and delegates. Elizabeth O’ Cassey delivered a special lecture.

Thaneswar Sahu, Philosopher professor and President of Odhisha Rationalist Association spoke on “Science, Scientific thinking – A Perspective.”

  1. Raja Kennedy, Rationalist Teachers Forum, spoke on, “Encouraging Scientific temper amomg the children”.
  2. Ramasamy, Professor and Rationalist from Madurai, spoke on “Atheist-Humanist Fighters Periyar and Gora”.

Suvinnila, Vice-President, Rationalist Association gave vote of thanks. Here, also, the speakers had repeated the points. They always tried to take “Science” as weapon against religious beliefs and dub them as “Superstition,” but, they could not tackle the issue of “Scientific superstition,” prevalent exploiting the public under forced propaganda, dubious advertisements and aggressive marketing.

WAc,Kanimozhi speaks

Rationalists attacked, women treated badly by all religions- Kanimozhi: The evening seession was held at Puthur Periyar auditorium, Trichy as a public meeting, in which Kanimozhi, Tirumavalavan, C. Vijayan (Director, Vijayawada Rationalist Centre) spoke. Atheist and rationalists all around the world are under threat, said Rajya Sabha MP K Kanimozhi on the second day of the World Atheist Conference, organised by Dravidar Kazhagam in Trichy on Saturday (06-01-2018)[5]. She hoped the believers or religious minded attending the conference see the “………….true light of Periyar. The people who have congregated here are already atheist. Even then why we have gathered? Why do we have to preach ourselves when we have already converted? But we have to come together to show that we are together and what humanity means to the world ……. said no religion treats women equal to a man in every aspect, be it Hinduism, Christianity or Islam……………All religion says a woman has to obey a man. Women have been denied their rights in every religion. That was the reason Periyar denied all religion…………..There are reformers and feminist around the world who are fighting for women’s rights. I respect all of them, but there is one true feminist in this world and that is Periyar……………Religion is nothing but fear. How much blood has been shed, how many wars have been fought in this world because of religion?…………..God has never killed anyone for their wrongdoing and has remained a spectator. He would never act or react………….There is a threat for all atheists and rationalists around the world. To show our strength, we all should stand united and fight against hatred. Atheism and humanism are the only truths,” she said[6]. The Scroll.in just reproduced that TOI reported[7]. Irony that their correspondents, colunists or reporters could not add more than that TOI published[8].

© Vedaprakash

10-01-2018

WAC-3, Veeramani, Raja, Elizabeth

[1] Times of India, Atheists slam Rajinikanth’s spiritual politics, K Sambath Kumar| TNN | Jan 6, 2018, 08:37 IST

[2] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/atheists-slam-rajinikanths-spiritual-politics/articleshow/62385950.cms

[3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/dravidian-philosophy-is-the-only-alternative-to-hindutva/articleshow/62386831.cms

[4] Times of India, ‘Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva’, TNN | Updated: Jan 6, 2018, 00:18 IST.

[5] Times of India, Rationalists under threat all over the world: Kanimozhi, TNN | Jan 7, 2018, 08:25 IST.

[6] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/rationalists-under-threat-all-over-the-world-kanimozhi/articleshow/62397776.cms

[7] Scroll.in, Atheists and rationalists all over the world are under threat: DMK MP Kanimozhi, by  Scroll Staff, Published 07-01-2018, · 10:49 am

[8] https://scroll.in/latest/864115/atheists-and-rationalists-all-over-the-world-are-under-threat-dmk-mp-kanimozhi

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