Some tuberculous thoughts

Doctor , how long I have to take these medicines ? Should I continue it even if I am completely all right?

I hear this question very frequently, mostly from patients diagnosed with tuberculosis. TB medicines usually make most patients all right in 4-6 weeks. But science has estimated that at least 6 months of treatment is needed for complete eradication of the pathogen from the body. The sad fact is most people stop therapy early and there by help in development and propagation of drug resistant TB

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The most famous Indian atheist

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I ask why your Omnipotent God does not hold a man back when he is about to commit a sin or offence. It is child’s play for God. Why did He not kill war lords? Why did He not obliterate the fury of war from their minds? In this way He could have saved humanity of many a great calamity and horror. Why does He not infuse humanistic sentiments into the minds of the Britishers so that they may willingly leave India?

 

 

This was written by Indian revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh 85 years ago , while in prison facing death penalty. He along with 2 other freedom fighters were hanged in Lahore jail on March 23 , 1931.

 

The essay from which the above quote is taken is titled ‘Why I am an atheist ‘. It is being shared widely in media, both online and offline, on this day of his martyrdom. Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighter in both India and Pakistan.

Bhagat Singh and his friends belonged to a more radical movement than that led by Mahatma Gandhi. They were inspired by Marxian and anarchist ideologies. Singh did not believe in the Gandhian ideology—which advocated Satyagraha and other forms of non-violent resistance, and felt that such politics would replace one set of exploiters with another.

Some critics have said that the tactics and politics chose by Bhagat Singh, if had become mainstream , might have led to much more bloodletting than that actually happened in India’s freedom struggle. That may be true, but no one can belittle his courage, sincerity and efforts for the cause of freedom from colonialism.

Today he is considered by many as an atheist icon.  He ends his essay like this.

Society must fight against this belief in God as it fought against idol worship and other narrow conceptions of religion. In this way man will try to stand on his feet. Being realistic, he will have to throw his faith aside and face all adversaries with courage and valour. That is exactly my state of mind. My friends, it is not my vanity; it is my mode of thinking that has made me an atheist. I don’t think that by strengthening my belief in God and by offering prayers to Him every day, (this I consider to be the most degraded act on the part of man) I can bring improvement in my situation, nor can I further deteriorate it. I have read of many atheists facing all troubles boldly, so I am trying to stand like a man with the head high and erect to the last; even on the gallows. Let us see how steadfast I am. One of my friends asked me to pray. When informed of my atheism, he said, “When your last days come, you will begin to believe.” I said, “No, dear sir, Never shall it happen. I consider it to be an act of degradation and demoralisation. For such petty selfish motives, I shall never pray.” Reader and friends, is it vanity? If it is, I stand for it.

FAQ Terror attacks

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Why are you bothered only about terror attacks in the West and not about those taking place more near to you in Asia or Africa?

 

I am bothered when innocent people are killed anywhere in the World. I may be more bothered when it happens in places where such things never happen because it means violence is spreading. When it happens in liberal Western Europe with a secular democratic polity which opened its gates to thousands of refugees from war and terror torn countries, it bothers me more. I fear that it may result in closing of gates and hardening of attitudes towards Muslims. I fear it may result in strengthening of racist right wing political parties there. That in turn will strengthen the Islamists.

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Battle for reason in Punjab

India has umpteen numbers of gods and religions. But it also has several rationalists’ movements working actively among public in different parts of the country. Though three prominent rationalist intellectuals were murdered in cold blood in recent years and the murderers are yet to be caught, Indian rationalists are continuing their efforts to spread scientific temper courageously and relentlessly.

The NDTV recently broadcast a documentary film on rationalist movement in Punjab lead by Tarksheel Society.

 

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Please watch it here.

Pseudo scientific threat to health care

All diseases, their causes and treatment are one. Except for traumatic and environmental conditions, the cause of all diseases is one i.e. accumulation of morbid matter in the body. The treatment of all diseases is elimination of morbid matter from the body.

Acute diseases are self-healing efforts of the body. Hence, they are our friends, not the enemy. Chronic diseases are outcome of wrong treatment and suppression of the acute diseases.
Nature is the greatest healer. The human body itself has the healing power to prevent itself from disease and regain health if unhealthy.
In Nature Cure it is not the disease but the entire body of the patient which is caused and is renewed.

In Nature Cure the suppressed diseases are brought to surface and are removed permanently.
Naturopathy treats all the aspects like physical, mental, social and spiritual at the same time.
Naturopathy treats the body as a whole.
According to Naturopathy, “Food is only the Medicine”, no external medications are used.
Performing prayer according to one’s spiritual faith is an important part of treatment (According to Gandhiji “Rama Nama is the best Natural Treatment.)

 

The above quote is not from a woo woo pseudo science  website. It is from a website of Indian government department for alternative medicine called Ayush. Ayush includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha , Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

 

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Killed for trading in cattle

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Two men who went to a nearby market to sell their cattle for slaughter were found hanging on a tree on early hours of this Friday. This happened in the Indian state of Jharkhand, about 60 miles from the state capital of Ranchi.

See the Times of India report:

In an incident reminiscent of the Dadri lynching, two Muslim men herding eight buffaloes on their way to a Friday market were beaten up and hanged to death from a tree by suspected cattle-protection vigilantes in Balumath forests in Latehar district, 100km from the state capital, early on Friday.

The deceased, Muhammad Majloom, 35, and Azad Khan alias Ibrahim, 15, were cattle traders and related to each other. Their bodies were strung up with their hands tied behind their backs and their mouths stuffed with cloth.

“The manner of their hanging showed that the assailants were led by extreme hatred,” said Latehar Superintendent of Police  Anoop Birthary.

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Isolation or assimilation ?

 

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A man, accused by credible witnesses of killing a 5 month old child, has not been arrested yet in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The delay in arrest is not because of corruption related lethargy of law enforcement agency as many may suspect. The fact is police is waiting for direction from the government.

Why a direction from top bureaucrats necessary in a simple case of murder?

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He found death through his love

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 Let me narrate a real life incident that happened few days ago at a place in India, few miles from my town.

A 22 year old student, Shankar, studying in final year for an Engineering course fell in love with Kausalya, a junior girl student of the same college. They got themselves married about 8 months ago. She took some time off from studies to take a job so that she can support her husband in his last year.

One day they went out shopping and were attacked by a group of unknown assailants with lethal weapons.  He was brutally murdered in broad day light while she escaped with serious injuries.

Why were they attacked and why was he killed?

In India it was a rare, almost blasphemous marriage. He was a Dalit, formerly called untouchable, from a family in the lowermost rung of caste or social hierarchy. She came from a family much above in the caste ladder. As per the custom in Indian society from time immemorial, a person should marry from his or her own caste. Dalits are considered as “sinned” souls and a marital relationship with such a family is unimaginable.

Her family vociferously opposed the marriage. They went to get legal help, but as she was above 18 years, a major as per Indian law,  she was allowed to do as per her wishes.

Though the legal system, under the 65 year old liberal modern looking Indian constitution allowed love to rule, the society, still ruled by thousands of years of Hindu traditions, refused to accept it.

Her father it seems has asked some of his friends to kill his son in law and daughter, so that he can escape the ignominy of having a Dalit son in law and a grandchild with Dalit blood.   The legal system may punish the culprits, but the sad fact is that the casteist Indian society at large will condone their crime.

India might be the most populous democracy in the world , but it still deny basic human rights , not by law but by custom, to large sections of its own population.

Picture courtesy The Indian Express

 

 

Hello there

Hi everyone ,

I am a little overwhelmed at being selected to blog here. Trying to get used to it -:

Let me introduce myself. I am from India. When not blogging  or trying to propagate a rational world view in the Indian society both online and offline , I work as a doctor practicing medicine 8-10 hours a day , 6 days a week in a small town in the south of the country.

My posts here will be mostly about issues faced by freethinkers in India , about its religions, politics, threats to scientific temper and secularism , gender , caste  etc. I may also write about world politics , science , clinical medicine , pseudo science and anything that I find interesting.

Opinions I express here are just drafts , which can be edited and altered if there are strong evidence to back such a change. So I welcome discussions in a civil manner so that all of us can reach a logical , rational , evidence based view points on most issues.

A word about blog title. Many would be wondering what is this Nastik in the title. Nastik means atheist in many of the Indian languages.

So bye for now and HAPPY READING !