Posts Tagged ‘rationalist’

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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Hindu Temples of Tamilnadu under systematic destruction!

June 19, 2011

Hindu Temples of Tamilnadu under systematic destruction!

T. S. Subramanian has pointed out the deteriorating condition of murals in temples many times[1]. He should be congratulated to bring out such facts with concerned feelings expressed in his writings. However, the concerned and connected people have not taken any action to annul such vandalizing processes going on in the name of renovation, administration and other actions. The recent article “Targets of destruction” has been provoking, but we have to wait and see the response of the authorities.

Target of destruction: He starts with the appropriate beginning[2]: “Art, in more than 50 temples and three palaces in Tamil Nadu, is being mutilated” and explains the condition as follows: “Temples in Tamil Nadu are repositories of history, with inscriptions, sculptures, murals, bronzes, carvings, architecture and so on. The inscriptions provide valuable insights into the history of the period during which the temples were built, the village administration that prevailed, elections conducted for its assemblies, taxes collected, boards set up for the maintenance of lakes, ponds and canals, donation of land for Brahmin settlements, gifting gold for temple maintenance, etc.  There are more than 50 temples and three palaces in Tamil Nadu with murals. The palaces are Ramalinga Vilasam in Ramanathapuram and those at Bodinayakanur near Madurai and Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district. While just four or five temples have murals dating back to the Pallava period (seventh to ninth century CE) and the Chola period (10th and 11th century CE), the majority of the murals belong to the Vijayanagar and the Nayak periods (14th to 17th century CE). The Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur have murals belonging to the Chola, the Nayak and the Maratha reigns.

Visual archivesThe mural masterpieces are visual archives on the history of the period, coronation rituals, the dress or the jewellery that men and women of those days wore, their hairstyle, musical instruments, the battles that they fought, the weapons used and so on. There are several Jain temples that have wonderful murals based on the Jain traditions, the Tirthankaras and the Yakshis. A favourite subject of many of the artists of those times was episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and some of the artists even took care to write the labels for the episodes (captions) in Tamil or Telugu. Unfortunately in Tamil Nadu, the murals, the inscriptions, the sculptures and carvings have become targets of destruction and vandalism. The officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, who administers the temples, are to be blamed for this state. Most often, these officials fail to appreciate and preserve these splendid works due to lack of knowledge of history.

How Meenakshi Temple was targeted? In the famous Meenakshi temple, Madurai, several historic mandapams have become shopping complexes. The Pudhu mandapam, the Ashta Sakti mandapam, Veera Vasantharayar mandapam and Meenakshi Nayakar mandapam teem with hundreds of shops, obstructing from view pillars with incredibly beautiful sculptures. A scholar on the history of the Meenakshi temple was displeased that its 1,000-pillared mandapam, with superb sculptures, has become ‘a studio’ now, with an incongruously gleaming granite floor, skewed focus lights and a big sculpture of Nataraja painted in black! Several years ago, the earthen bed of the temple’s famous ‘Golden Lotus’ tank (Pottramarai Kulam) was cemented up, with the result that no water stays in the tank now and it looks barren now. The HR and CE officials of the temple also whitewashed hundreds of beautiful murals, painted on the walls of the northern corridor of the Golden Lotus tank, portraying the ‘Tiruvilaiyadal,’ in the first quarter of 1996.

In a state of disrepair: While sculptures and carvings can survive for centuries because they have been chiselled out of granite, murals are vulnerable to nature. Since these murals were painted with natural dyes on mandapam walls or ceiling, they easily lend themselves to vandalism from devotees. Besides, they are exposed to sun or seepage of water from rain. Gaps between the granite slabs that form the roof of the mandapams lead to seepage of water due to rain and the sidewalls begin to ‘sweat.’ The lime plaster which forms the base for the murals has a tendency to absorb the water. When rain water falls on the murals painted on the ceiling or walls, fungus develops and the murals start peeling off. Smoke from the camphor (lit by the devotees) and from the oil lamps damage the paintings. Besides, they suffer from desecration at the hands of the HR and CE officials and devotees. Officials have fixed scores of metres of electric wires on the murals on the walls of the mandapams, installed switch boxes and tube lights on them, as it has happened in several places on the splendid murals in the Devaraja Swamy temple at Kanchipuram, portraying the 108 Divya Desam murals.

Other examples of vandalism: Extremely rare murals painted on wood in the Tirukkutraleeswarar temple at Tirukkutrala Chitra Sabha in Tirunelveli district have been vandalised. At the Siva temple at Patteeswaram, paintings were sandblasted in 1998 in the name of cleaning the surfaces on which they were painted. The paintings portrayed Lord Siva presenting a palanquin studded with pearls to the Saivite saint Tirugnana Sambandar because he could not bear to see his devotee walking in the sun. Temple officials sandblasted another row of paintings narrating the life of a mythical king who had no child but was blessed with a child after praying to Siva at Patteeswaram. Officials of the Lakshminarasimhar temple at Sevilimedu, near Kanchipuram, whitewashed them. They do not exist today.  Tales of destruction and desecration of these invaluable murals in temples in Tamil Nadu do not end with this list. What happened to the paintings at the Meenakshi temple at Madurai, the Trilokyanatha Jaina temple at Tiruparuttikunram near Kanchipuram, another Jaina temple at Karanthai near Kanchipuram and the Ramalinga Vilasam Palace in Ramanathapuram town take the cake.

Why this targested vattcks of vandalism? What the Mohammedan and the Europeans rulers could have done during their reigns is carried on in India, that too, after “independence” by the Indians by themselves. Ironically, “Hindu Religious & Endowment Board” under the control of proclaimed atheist, rationalist and particularly anti-Hindu ideologists for the last 70 years. The staff and officers entering into the department of HR&CE have been ideologists of all sorts of such category and some non-Hindus have also been there. And this vandalism is not done on one day, but carried on systematically. Whenever any official function comes, they carry out such destruction easily under the guise of celebration. The moment the temple comes under the control of HR&CE, any official comes into a temple, an office is constructed inside temple, that office is converted into some sort of lodge and then star-type accommodation, the temples start losing their sanctity. Perhaps, God is leaving the place. Under such circumstances, these modern day vandals, ideologists and rulers start their destruction.


Atheist’s sermon on Ramayana!

May 17, 2007

Atheist’s sermon on Ramayana!

Three years back, I started blogging here, but, I switched over to http://www.indiainteracts.com.

However, as they stopped such facility suddenly, many of my writings, bloggig, comments etc., disappeared.

Therefore, I just want to revive, recollect and repost them, wherever possible.

This response was actually for one Nandivarman of Pondicherry, as he used to attack Hindus with his self-claimed atheism and so on.

My attention is drawn to your posting in WordPress.com.

I offer my comments to your post:

India was an island nation surrounded by seas hence it had the name நாவலந் தீவு.

Is to so? Kindly tell me, where the expression நாவலந் தீவு is found in the ancient Tamil literature or “Sangam” literature?

In such a scenario to claim that a Land Bridge built 1,750.000 years ago when no human being had inhabited the Earth

In haste, you are mentioning as 1,750 years (1,750.000 = 1750).

Paula Richman wrote a book titled “Many Ramayanas” Yes the question before us is to accept which Ramayana as true story?.

You claimed youself as a rationalist / atheist etc. Then, you have to be careful in quoting from secondary sources, because, non-Hindus or anti-Hindus can write anything and quoting such biased ideas make you unbecoming of a “rationalist / atheist”. You should have read H. D. Sankalia also before jumping into the so-called “debate”.

Your mention about Jain / Buddha Ramayanas: As Ramayana has become so popular, even Jains and Buddhists had to imitate Ramayana by changing the story, just like Kulandai. Therefore, there is nothing new in it. As a researcher or scholar or historian, you have to demythologize and find out the truth, instead of relying upon “such myth on myth”, straightaway.

[The biblical Adam and Eve’s story and its resemblance could also be taken note of] Sita becoming a monket after eating a fruit: This shows that either you have not read the story properly or misquoting or rather drawing wrong parallel with the biblical Adam and Eve (don’t try to escape by telling that I am a rationalist and all). I do not know as to whether Eve became monkey to have such forceful comparison!

You furthering the above story: Here, you are perhaps nearing the biblical fables, as Jesus also reportedly married to May Magdelene. Perhaps, you decided to not stretch it.

According to Thais, Hanuman had many affairs and children: Naturally, if the wishes are horses, even blind can fly. Why Thais, even Annba did it. As you are a rationalist and atheist, you quote all these things, so enjoy.Anna’s inconclusive debate on Kamba Ramayanam: “Navalar Somasundara Bharathiar and சொல்லின் செல்வர் R.P.Sethu Pillai debated with Anna and openly admitted they have lost the debate. This debate in Tamil Book “Let Fire Spread” தீ பரவட்டும் wants to illuminate Tamil hearts by symbolically burning Kamba ramayanam. Pulavar Kuzhanthai wrote இராவண காவியம் . Ravana Kavyam  can be considered as Dravidian version of Ramayanam”.No, they were ashamed of the perversity and vulgarity erupted in the name of literary flow and hanged their heads. Any Tamil knowing or reading person would hang his head after reading as it is just like “yellow journalism” circulated under the “Dravidian” banner, that too, coming from Anna, wjo became Chief Minister of Tamilnadu taking oath under the Indian Constitution, that has been written by Ambedkar. Anyway, the facts are as follows:

  • The so called debate was held in the auditorium of Law College, Madras on 09-02-1943 under Ramachandra Chettiyar.
  • Anna started speaking and took more than one and half hours leaving no time to others.
  • Pointing out the falsehood in his speech, R. P. Sethu Pillai openly spoke about his weakness in the argument. In fact, re ridiculed Anna for quoting from “Northern Nehru”, being a “Nakkiran” (one who always finds fault with others). Regretting that he could not speak for long time, he wound up his speech within ten minutes. He dared him that he would even come to Kanchipuram for another debate on the subject matter, if he would invite him.
  • Ezattu Adigal, who followed him, was asked to cut short his speech within five minutes.
  • Then Srinivasan started speaking, but he was prevented from speaking, as the DK activists created a riot-like condition. He had to stop his speech, because of the pandemonium created by them.
  • But, Anna was given a chance to speak again!
  • So that was the debate conducted with “freedom of speech” and respect for speakers!
  • However, winding up, C. M. Ramachandra Chetti concluded that he could not give his opinion, as the debate had been inconclusive.

The main point discussed was as to whether Ravana was an Aryan or Dravidian. Thus, the first debate had been the most undemocratic conducted under controlled conditions with rioters.

The second debate was conducted on 14-03-1943 at Devanga Padasalai, Sevvaipettai,  Salem. Salem College A. Ramasamy presided over Anna and Somasundara Bharathi spoke.

  • Anna spoke as usual taking full time
  • Somasundara Bharathi pointed out that Anna spoke as an orator with brimming emotion not as a debater. He then, however brought out his points refuting Anna;s talk.
  • He left, as his speech was over and moreover, he had to catch his train, as plannede by the organizers.
  • But, after his departure, Anna was given a chance and he stressed upon Ravana’s race and concluded with the demand of burning “scriptures of Aryans”.
  • A. Ramasamy, though did not gave any result about the debate, he pointed out that there was “vulgarity” in Kamba Ramayanam.

In any case, such diverted reference has nothing to do with the “Ramar’s Palam”.

The question before us which of these versions is based on true historical facts. These are not days where everyone will accept anything with blind faith. If you place new facts to reopen a settled issue in history, you should place facts and prove it”.

Yes, yes. Nowadays, everybody can get information easily and they decide about truth behind it.  Even in those days (when Anna debated), the other scholars were not allowed to speak or threatened with dire consequences. In other words, they used their own type of terrorism in those days. Now, let us see, how truth is faced.

Let us examine the falsehoods one by one. We from the Dravidian Movement are atheists but not Ravana; all know that Ravana as per epics is a devotee of Lord Siva. The doubt which arises to me is why should a reincarnation of God perform superhuman deeds to impress demigods? Does it mean that Demigods are more powerful than the Original God on reincarnation?

Interestingly, the answer is there in the so-called above debate, as they debated only about the race of Ravana as to whether he was an Aryan or Dravidian! Rationalist or atheist has to deny such myth. Having believed it as a myth, why one should worry about it as to whether it works or not? Without Ramayana myth, there is no Ravana. If Ramayana is myth, Ravana is also a myth. Then, why debate about his “racist credentials”?

There are many books on Indian Ocean. All these books give us evidences on the continental drift, the submerged lands of the Lemuria, which Tamils prefer to call as the Kumari Kandam”.

Yes, but note again, the western scholars do not believe in such hypotheses. Why them, even Indian eminent historians not only do not accept, but also dub them as myth.

Mr. Nandi Varman, go to Endo-eurasian group and other forums, where Tamil literature is misinterpreted and disrespected. Steve Farmer openly accuses that your friend R. Mathivanan is a foregerer. They go on debate even without knowing the fundamentals of Tamil and Tamil literature. I feel it is better spend your energy there instead of politicizing the issue.

VEDAPRAKASH,

Researcher,

Chennai.

vedamvedaprakash@yahoo.com