Hello! It’s great to be here and our sincere thanks to Ed and the FTB team for having us on board.
A quick introduction to Nirmukta: Nirmukta is an organization which promotes science, freethought and secular humanism in India. It was founded as a website by Ajita Kamal in 2008, and since then its online presence has grown into three websites: the main parent site at nirmukta.com, the community forum at nirmukta.net and Nirmukta’s atheist activism arm, indianatheists.org. We have formed regional groups in several Indian cities as well; the objective of these groups is to mobilise local on-ground activism (like Hug an Atheist Day just the other day). Nirmukta also operates numerous social media groups on Facebook. This includes the popular Indian Atheists page, one of the largest gatherings of atheists in India. For more about our goals and values, please see What is Nirmukta and What Do We Plan to Do? or watch this short Introduction to Nirmukta on Youtube.
Nirmukta on FTB is going to be a group blog – we’re going to have a number of regular contributors and guest posts from the Nirmukta community. The nirmukta.com website will continue to operate as it does today; we aim for Nirmukta on FTB to be more “bloggy” and more frequently updated. We’ve received feedback in the past that the “feel” of nirmukta.com is too “serious” and this makes prospective writers hesitate to contribute. We hope that Nirmukta on FTB will allay any such fears! We also hope to migrate the contents of indianatheists.org over to FTB. Initially, indianatheists.org was going to be our blog, but after Ajita’s death, we lost access to the original site and what you see there today is an older archive we managed to restore. We hope that Nirmukta on FTB will take over the role that indianatheists.org was meant to play. We also look forward to forming international ties with others who share our values and goals, as it’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to build communities beyond borders. Some people’s concerns are different, but the more closely one looks, the more similarities one finds and the more one realises that we’re in this together.
To wrap up this introductory post, here are a few points about commenting guidelines. Nirmukta’s moderation is based on the two “pragmatist’s guides”:
The first describes the various kinds of trolls we encounter and clarifies some misconceptions about freedom of speech. The second is more recent. Secular humanism was a rather late addition to our platform, and this document explains the history of how that came to be, and our position on trolling and moderation with respect to Humanism. While the comment trails of Nirmukta on FTB aren’t strictly part of the community, we consider them an extension of the same and we will apply some of those same principles here. All comments will need approval to start with; we might revisit this once we settle in.
We’re looking forward to this venture!
The Nirmukta Team.