Posts Tagged ‘vijayawada’

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (1)

January 11, 2018

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (1)

WAC-3, Viduthalai front page

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted with tall claims: The World Atheist Conference 2018 (hereinafter mentioned as WAC) was conducted with tall claims made on January 5th to 7th 2016 at Trichy. It was commenced here with an emphasis on setting right in equalities in the society, quelling superstitions, and propagating rationalistic thinking. Titled ‘Atheism – Hope of Humanity’ and what not, the three-day program organised jointly by the Dravidar Kazhagam, Atheist Centre, Vijayawada and The Rationalists’ Forum witnessed delegates representing rationalist organisations in different parts of India and other countries, taking part in the inaugural and plenary sessions, and presenting their views on an array of topics that included atheism, religious fundamentalism, and medicine and atheism[1]. Presiding over, K. Veeramani, president, Dravidar Kazhagam, said atheism in India means much beyond non-belief in supernatural and religious rituals, and that the prime focus was on rectifying untouchability in the society perpetuated in the name of religion, and denial of education on the basis of birth[2].

WAC, Trichy - foreign delegates, Nadaswaram

Features of the Conference (as claimed by the organizers): As claimed by the organizers, Atheist – Humanists around the world participate in the conference, besides the leaders of various atheist, rationalist and humanist organizations from all the States of the country, Paper presentations by atheist scholars and activists followed by deep deliberations on the different perspectives of atheist philosophy, form the major part of the conference proceedings, Sharing of religion-free living culture in various countries / societies and churning up the substance on living free from the fear of god, enabling humanity to progress and peace, Revealing the success, in establishing the egalitarian society free from the belief of non existing ‘god’ through the services of organizations and movements by atheist philosophers and Documenting the pioneering role rendered by atheist movements in the East during the early historical period.

Garry McLelland-WAC, Trichy

The Rationalists’ Forum: The Rationalists’ Forum claims that it, “is a Humanist Movement founded by Periyar in 1971 and presently patronised by Dr. K. Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam. It is a unique movement, because of the composition of membership and the activities. People who are committed to Periyar ideology and employed in various organisations – government, public private co-operative have shouldered the responsibility of preaching and practicing rationalistic ideals”. The activities include organising meetings, seminars, science exhibition, superstition exposure show to develop scientific temper and humanism among the public. Many State and Central Ministers, Vice Chancellors of Universities, educationalists, officials who are at helm of affairs to-day were the earlier functionaries of The Rationalists’ Forum.

Elizebeth WAC trichy

The Organizers of the Atheist Conference[3]: The organizers have been:

  1. Dravidar Kazhagam (Tamil Nadu), Atheist Centre (Vijayawada) and
  2. The Rationalists’ Forum (Tamil Nadu) jointly organise World Atheist Conference 2018.

WAC is the ideological confluence of atheist, rationalist and humanist fraternity from the countries – England, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United States etc. and from all the States of India. WAC proceedings cover seminar and sittings with lecture delivery and paper presentation on the various dimensions of atheism , rationalism and humanism. Film show, video presentations, science exhibition, book fair are planned. A massive public procession with demonstrations exposing superstition is scheduled. A Souvenir containing essays, real stories, personal experiences of eminent persons on atheism and allied ideologies gets released on the occasion. Many leaders and persons of eminence from State and Central Governments, educationalists intellectuals participate in the proceedings.

WAC, Trichy - stage-1

Were foreign delegates conscious of the Dravidian atheism?: The foreign delegates attended the conference, but, what they spoke was not revealed by the organizers, the media and the participants:

  1. Gary McLelland[4], Chief Executive, International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), London[5], and
  2. Avinash Patil, Executive President, Maharashtra Andhrashraddha Nirmoolan Samithi, Pune, Maharashtra, were the other guest speakers.
  3. Elizabeth O’ Cassey[6], Director of Advocasy – IHEU, Brussels, Belgium, inaugurated an exhibition of books at the Atheist Book Centre. Rustam Singh, Atheist Alliance International, USA;
  4. Suba Veerapandian, General Secretary, Dravidian Tamil Federation; and
  5. Rajaratnam, Pro-Chancellor, Periyar Institute of Science and Technology (Deemed to be University), Vallam, Thanjavur also spoke.

Five books were released on the occasion: ‘Bhagavad Gita – Myth or Mirage,’ and ‘March of Atheism’ authored by Veeramani, Compilation of ‘Old Testament of Indian Atheism’ by Surendra Anjat, ‘Essays on Matters which Matter’ (A Rationalist’s Perception) by S. Rajaratnam, and Compilation of ‘Revolt’ published by Periyar in 1928 and 1929. It is evident that Compilation of ‘Old Testament of Indian Atheism’ by Surendra Anjat, and conspicuously, there was no book released about the position of atheism in Islam or existence of “Islamic atheists”. As happened in 2011, this year also, most of the foreign delegates came and attended did not know about DK, EVR, Dravidian atheism etc., as they talk about Humanism, human rights, etc.

WAC-3, women delegates from north

Inaugural session: During the inagural session, A. Raja, Sp. Suba Veerapandian, Gary McLelland, Elezabet O’Cassey, Avinash Patil and others spoke and thereafter, papers were presented. Ironically, A. Raja, former Union Minister of Telecommunication (who was in jail for 2G scam, came out on bail and acquitted by the Court recently), said he has been deriving inner strength from atheism. Ironically, the DK-ideologists talked as usual rhetoric with verbose without any new points. As usual, they made “stage-type” talk in Tamil and using few words and sentences in English to show off that it was an international conference. Ironically, the delegates came from Pujab, Maharastra, Andhrapradesh and Kartataka were talking in their mother tongue and Hindi when they conversed with each other. The same thing happened during the All India Atheist Conference held  at Periyar Tidal in May 2010, where, one invitee spoke in Hindi and it was translated by the DK ideologist. Now also, K. Veeramani during his speech accepted that the language bearer exists among the delegates coming from those states. Incidentally, their anti-Hindi stand gets exposed here, as with Tamil alone or any particular regional language alone, they cannot do anything.

© Vedaprakash

10-01-2018

WAC-3, Balwindern Barnala, before EVR statue

[1] The Hindu, Atheit conference gets under way, The Special Correspondent, TIRUCHI, JANUARY 06, 2018 00:00 IST; UPDATED: JANUARY 06, 2018 03:49 IST.

[2] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/world-atheist-conference-gets-under-way/article22380406.ece

[3] http://www.worldatheistconference.com/

[4] Gary joined IHEU in February 2017. Before this he worked for the Humanist Society Scotland since 2013 as Head of Communications and Public Affairs. He has also previously served as a director of the European Humanist Federation based in Brussels, as well as a board member of the Scottish Joint Committee on Religious and Moral Education. Before working in Humanist campaigning, Gary worked for a global citizenship project at the Mercy Corps European headquarters in Edinburgh, and also in policy and service delivery in education and social work. He has a BSc (hons) in psychology, a diploma in childhood and youth studies and master’s in human rights law, in which he researched the approach of the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations’ approach to so-called ‘blasphemy laws’.

http://iheu.org/about/staff-and-representatives/

[5] International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), 39 Moreland Street
London EC1V 8BB, United Kingdom, Office telephone: +44 20 7490 8468; From within the UK: 020 7490 8468

[6] Elizabeth started as director of advocacy in January 2016, after two years heading the IHEU’s delegation to the UN in Geneva. She focuses her work on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, LGBT rights and the rights of women, particularly in relation to religious, traditional and cultural practices. Elizabeth manages IHEU advocacy work at a number of institutions, including at the UN in Geneva, New York and Paris, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. She is also a Vice Chair of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (in Geneva), an International Patron for the Pink Triangle Trust and an International Advisor at the Raif Badawi Foundation. Elizabeth has a PhD in International Political Theory from the London School of Economics, where she was a Michael Leifer Scholar. She has spent time as a Global Justice fellow at Yale University, worked in various policy and advocacy positions in the UK and EU, and has also worked as a consultant on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is based in Brussels.

http://iheu.org/about/staff-and-representatives/

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“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

October 16, 2017

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

Location of Hyndavi, Vijayawada

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti[1](hereinafter mentioned as BISS), Andhra Pradesh conducted two National Seminars on Ramayanam – Historicity and Maha Bharatam – Historicity in 2013 and 2015 in Ongole and Rajamundhry respectively.  In 2017, the BISS conducted a national seminar at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th on “Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam”. Now that “Historicity” was dropped might be noted. The venue was “Haindavi” Bhavan, Street besides Lotus Land Mark[2], Ramalingeswara Peta, Vijayawada-3. Actually, it is in Sector-5, and the location is known as “near Ice Factory”. Hyndavi building, Vijayawada - photo Rajesh PadmarOutstation delegates had some difficulty to reach the venue. Incidentally, the multi-storied building was built, completed and inaugurated last year[3]. Sri Siddheswarananda Bharati Swamy of Sri Siddheswari Peetham (Tamil Nadu) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) All India Organising Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale inaugurated the RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ at Ayodhya Nagar here on August 5th, 2016 (Thursday)[4]. RSS office inaugrated 05-08-2016 Vijayawada

The seminar hall has been equipped with Power point and other provisions. The organizers had made good arrangements – food, accommodation etc., for the delegates. Sri Koti Lakshmana Rao, secretary, BISS has been instrumental in bringing different researchers, scholars and others together.

Haindavi Bhawan -L-R view

Theme of the Seminar: Research Papers were received from scholars, Research Students and people who were interested in History of ancient India / Bharat and its culture, tradition, heritage and civilization. The organizers expressed in their circular specifically that the Samiti desired that the main focus of the presentations in the seminar should be on historical, geographical, political, social, and cultural as well as Dharmic and ethical perspectives. They suggested the following topics in the context:

1.       Viswa srushti

2.      Propositions on Dharma

3.      Astronomical perspectives

4.      Geographical references

5.      Rivers, Mountains, Forests

6.      Piligrimages

7.      Life style of forest dwellers, common people & kings (rulers)

8.     Status & significance of Women.

9.      Systems of Education

10.  Customs & Rituals

11.   Sculpture, Architecture & Fine Arts

12.  Kings, kingdoms, Royal dynasties,

13.  State craft & politics, Systems of State And Governance

14.  Sages, establishments and their influence

15.   Upakhyanas and their influence etc.,

16.  Other related topic also may be considered.

Bhagawata seminar banner on the gate

About 40 papers were presented on the topics suggested, but overlapping. Most of the papers delved upon the devotional, descriptive, narrative, legendary aspects and discourses of Bhagawatham. Perhaps, only one paper delved upon the historical perspective, which touched upon the “Archaeological Evidences for the existence of “Historical Krishna”. In the present-day context, as ideology has been working at the Universities, schools and all other academic institutions and forums, it could be answered and countered only by ideology and not by devotional discourses. Of course, it is required and may be mandatory also at earlier stages of curriculum, hitherto followed as “Moral period / class” provided till 1970s. The “Moral period” was removed and of course, the degradation of sacademics could be noted thereafter in different aspects.

Bhagawata seminar - breafast

Critical edition of Bhagawatam has to be brought out: Critical editions of Ramayana and Mahabharat have been prepared and published by the Baroda Oriental Rearch Institute and Bhandarkar Oriental Rearch Institute respectively[5]. Similarly, critical edition of Bhagawatapurana should be published, so that researchers, scholars and students could conduct their research in the historical perspective. Approaching Bhagawatam in Sanskrit and other regional languages show how the work had been so popular and common among the common people for 2000 years. Though, the narrative, legendary and mythical details vary, the core of the subject matter remains intact and specific. The study / process of manuscripts to determine the original or most authoritative form of a text, especially of a piece of literature and thus arriving at an acceptable version and publication of it is known as “critical edition”. In Literary criticism it is stressing close reading and detailed analysis of a particular text. In such determination of determining the original or most authoritative form of a text, all the available manuscripts are subjected to study. Notably, in “India”(pre-colonial, pre-Mohammedan) thousands and millions of manuscripts had been available, as they were nothing but just like present-day printed books. In spite of the taking away, looting and burning libraries of temples, mutts and Universities, still millions of manuscript are available in thousands of archives, libraries – prove the fact. Perhaps, no other literature of any nation, language or society has been existing in this manner. Therefore, the variance found in Indian literature has been unique, interpolations incidental (other than internal nature of Jains, Buddhists etc) and differences inadvertent. Thus, a critical edition can be prepared.

Bhagawata seminar - hall where held

The hall where seminar was held.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience

Limited audience – LHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience.RHS

Limited audience – RHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Mohana, Balamukund, Koti, TVR

Inaguration of the seminar by lighting a lamp.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters

Scholars presenting papers.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters.more

Researchers presenting papers.

Demythologization in Indian context: In Indian historiographical context, much of “demythologization” is also required. Demythologization as a hermeneutic approach to religious texts seeks to separate cosmological and historic claims from philosophical, ethical and theological teachings. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) introduced the term demythologization (in German: Entmythologisierung) in this context[6]. It is to provide an explanation of something, or to present something, in a way that removes any mystery surrounding it. Here, actually, history has been mythologized to reach all and common people with easy understanding. The following have been generally noted as feature of mythologization of different aspects and subjects of humanity:

  1. Deification of personalities raising them to Godhead and God.
  2. Attributing miracles, grand feats, great exploitation, controlling nature etc.
  3. Recording Natural disasters (floods, volcanic eruptions, earth-quakes, submergence of land mass and other land disturbances) in their own fashion of divine scourge, punishment of God and so on.
  4. Good would always prevail over Bad, evil, injustice etc.
  5. “Cakravarti-kshetra” i.e, a king ruling vast area with unlimited or traditional boundaries (Himalsyas in the north, Kanyakumari / ocean in the south, Eastern Ocean in the east and the western ocean in the west)[7].
  6. Concept of dwelling land, continent changing from island (Jambudwipam, Navalanthivu) to the above boundaries.
  7. Movement of asterisms, planets etc., and their attribution to great personalities and gods.
  8. Synchronization of rites, festivals and celebrations with days, weeks, 15-days, 30-days, year and so on (Lunar calendar).
  9. Attribution of cyclic periods, growth of plants and trees, flowers and fruits top a particular god or Goddess.
  10. Existence of personalities for many years – 100, 1,000 etc., denoting existence of such ashrams, mutt etc.

Bhagawata seminar - second day started with prayer

Second day seminar – starting with a prayer.

Bhagawata seminar - second day -audience

Methodology adopted and adapted by the Puranic writers – a way of historiography: They are nothing but Puranas and they were updated during the course of time many times. The updating is nothing but adding details upto the date of updating, thus, if one Purana was uptated in 1500 CE, it would contain details upto 1500 CE from the beginning. Revising, renewing and modernizing Puranas was considered as imortant in those days. All the above topics would havealso been updated depending upon the acumen of the updating experts. However, reading such revised editions of Puranas (in manuscript forms), the wesern researchers and European colonial history writers presumed that such and such Purana was written in 1500 CE instead of 300 BCE, 500 BCE or even 1000 BCE. The Jaina[8] and Buddhists[9] had resorted to update in their own fashion by including their affairs and thus, they could bee seen in the manuscripts of Ramayana and Mahabharat also. But, no historian would accept that the dates of Jainism and Buddhism could go back to those periods. Though, the date of Ramayana has been entangled with “Yuga” calculations, the date of Mahabharat has been fixed to c.3102 BCE[10].

© Vedaprakash

16-10-2017

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-1

The paper presenters were given certificates.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-2

This lady-researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati presented paper in Sanskrit.Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-3

This researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati also presented paper in Sanskrit.  His way of presentaion, expression and body language had been so articulative conveying mesage to the listeners.

[1] A society for collection of data for history writing for Bharat, that is India.

[2] This created confusion for auto drivers and they took the coming delegates in opposite direction and the reaching the venue.

[3] The Hindu, RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ inaugurated, Vijayawada, August, 05, 2016 00:00 IST; Updated. August, 05, 2016 06:06 IST

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/RSS%E2%80%99s-regional-office-%E2%80%98Hyndavi%E2%80%99-inaugurated/article14552939.ece

[5] Critical edition is an authorized sort of version of Itihasa, after going through available thousands of manuscripts by hundreds of Pundits, scholars, historians etc., separating interpolated verses and arriving at acceptable version.

[6] Though, he used in the biblical context, in India, we can use in Indian context. For us, the Puranic writers have themselves have shown the methodology of mythologization and demythologization of history for the different groups of audience.

[7] D. C. Sircar pointed out in his book on epigraphy.

[8] Jains created 24-tirtankaras and made them existing in Ramayana and Mahabharat periods.

[9] Buddhists had created the concept of “Adi Buddha” existing in every yuga.

[10] This has traditional date but recorded in inscriptions and now proven by atronomical and planetary pisition software. Incidentally, this date has been associated with – starting of Kaliyuga, subnergence of Dwaraka, Niryana of Krishna, and other events.