Sacred water of Railway station

Instead of autobiographical writings like this that encourage superstitious beliefs, I wish Indian schools taught this article by Dr Abraham Kovoor.

Abraham Thomas Kovoor, a renowned  rationalist of South Asia, was born and educated in India. After his studies he worked as a teacher in various colleges in Sri Lanka. He was instrumental in forming Rationalist association of Sri Lanka. He campaigned widely in both India and Sri Lanka, exposing as frauds many god men and para normal phenomena.



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Teaching superstitions

This Sunday evening I was helping my son with his lessons. In his Malayalam language textbook there was a portion from the autobiography of the former Indian President, Late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Dr Kalam, before assuming the rather ceremonial post of Indian President, was a scientist and a science administrator at Defense Research and Development Organisation and Indian Space Research Organisation. He was closely involved in India’s space programme, development of missile technology and nuclear weapons.


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Atheism, Racism and Casteism

Just happened to see a disgusting video frothing with racism by a popular atheist You Tuber. It was deservedly decimated by Martin Hughes and P Z Myers wrote a post about it too (of course that’s how I came to know about the video).

While watching that video, I had a déjà vu feeling.  So I tried substituting in parts of the transcript the word Dalit for black.

The video is in the format of a group of blacks questioning the You tuber.

Admit it, you hate blacksDalits !

If I hate anything about Black Dalit culture, it’s that it’s such a victim culture. Almost a victim cult — “Our Lady of Perpetual Victimization.” Every unfairness that exists in your life is the fault of white upper caste people or society stacked against you. You might as well tattoo, “It’s because I’m black Dalit, isn’t it?” to your fucking forehead.

When asked about pushing out blacksDalits out of slums to make city beautiful

What would I rather have — a slum Ambedkar colony filled with thugs who would probably shoot rob me as soon as look at me, or shops, cafe’s, restaurants, and apartments?

“What are you going to do about systematic racism casteism ?”

[Racism Casteism against black Dalit people] is not my problem in the first place. What are [the people in the video I’m responding to (Dalits)] going to do to end discrimination against atheists? Right, you ain’t gonna do shit, because it’s not your problem and you don’t give a shit

Yes, I have heard these sentiments from some upper caste “Hindu atheists” in India. Have also heard somewhat similar things from some ex Christians and ex Muslims too.  I also know atheists who believe Dalits and black Africans are less “brainy” and it is due to their “genes”.


Yes, atheists can be racist and casteist too, and when they are like that,  they are much more toxic.

Atheists taking pot shots at feminism ?

Many a time I had seen this, both online and offline, in the West and in the East. I never understood the logic and reason behind it. It seems some atheists just hate feminism, though they claim themselves to be feminists.

I just happened to see this tweet this morning.


What did he mean ?  His tweet is addressing feminists. He is implying that ALL feminists will criticise patriarchal religious values only if it is from Christianity. He is of the firm opinion that feminists do not and will not criticise patriarchal values seen in other religions, especially Islam.

He is supposed to be a rationalist, so before forming an opinion people will expect him to have solid evidence for his claim that feminists as a class do not criticise misogyny of Islam. But it seems he is selectively blind.  I can’t believe that he has not seen this picture.

I can’t also believe that he has not heard and read atheist feminists Ophelia Benson, Maryam Namazie , Taslima Nasreen and countless others who are vocally critical of misogyny in Islam.

So why he is generalising and branding all feminists with the same brush?  May be he wants people to think bad about feminism. May be he want people to think ALL feminists are hypocrites and are afraid of criticising Islam. What ever the motive, for me it is in very bad taste.

‘Pure’ atheist groups inevitably disintegrate

If in a particular society atheists are very less, the few who do not believe in god may stick together in a group.

But the moment the number increases beyond a critical number they tend to split into various interest groups.


Thus we will have atheist groups which primarily stand for social justice like humanist groups, feminist groups, LGBTQ groups etc. There may be politically Left and Right atheist groups. There may be post modernist or regressive Left atheist groups. There may nationalist or sub nationalist atheist groups. There will also be minority phobic, ableist, racist/casteist atheist groups, anti-feminists atheist groups and anti-gay atheist groups.

When atheism becomes a commonly accepted philosophy why one should stay in the same group as another with very intolerable views ?

Hindu outfit leader arrested for Indian rationalist’s murder

In India many ‘well meaning’ followers of Hinduism believe that Hindus will never involve in religion inspired terrorism. Even today a friend talking about Orlando massacre mentioned such a naive belief. He repeated the Hindutva propaganda saying “though all Muslims are not terrorists all terrorists are Muslims”.

“Aren’t you aware of the arrest of a Hindu outfit leader for the cold-blooded murder of the famous rationalist Dabholkar two days ago ? And did you forget the most infamous of all terrorist action in India, the Mahatma Gandhi assassination? “I had to ask.

The question got the expected excuses as reply. Usually such excuses ranges from “that is a fringe group” to “it has nothing to do with ‘real’ Hinduism” and “why should they hurt religious sentiments and provoke believers”.

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Freethinkers in India threatened with violence

The Freethinkers is a vibrant Facebook group run by atheists catering to users speaking malayalam language in India’s Kerala state. It’s open to all and is a space for vigorous debates on varying topics like religion, politics and atheism. It has a huge membership and was mass reported and closed several times but came back with a vengeance.

Now an anonymous Jihadi malayalam blogger has directly threatened the admins of the group with violence.

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Religion and phobias

“Why are you so anti Hindu ?” or “why are you so anti Muslim?” or “why are you so anti Christian ?

Questions like these are asked of me quite frequently in social media. My reply is this.

I am not against Hindus or Muslims or Christians. I usually debate and criticise ideas, not persons following them. So when I criticise a Hindu custom of not allowing equal rights to women devotees or a Muslim custom of forcing veil or burqa on women, I will not become anti Hindu or anti Muslim. When a Dalit is killed for marrying an upper caste girl I will call it a religious killing because casteism is part and parcel of Hinduism. Similarly when an atheist is hacked to death as per Quranic verses, I will call it again a religious killing.

Theists and some apologists for religion feel that only those who actually kill or cause harm, or order it, should be criticised, but not the idea, the religion concerned. This is like saying Hitler should be criticised but not Nazism. This is  giving free pass to dangerous inhuman irrational ideas. I do not want to give such a free pass.

Does that make me Hinduphobic or Muslimphobic ?

What is a phobia ? As per Oxford Dictionary it is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”.

No, I do not have such a fear or aversion of Hindus or Muslims or of any theists as an individual.

Does that make me Hinduism-phobic or Islamophobic ?

It is true that I have an aversion to most religions. I also have a fear, may be not extreme due to my location,  that I can be harassed or harmed  by people inspired by love and devotion for religions, because I debate and criticise them. I consider it as a rational fear. So I can be justly called Hinduism-phobic or Islamophobic or Christianity-phobic if a person who is allergic to peanuts can be called peanut-o-phobic, an aversion and fear, but not an irrational one.