(Express News Service, Pune, April 26, 2007)


Indian spirituality, yoga and Art of Living have been accepted worldwide. But the Federation of Indian Rationalist Association (FIRA) has questioned the new age “pseudo science” which bank on spirituality, yoga and Art of Living that are “manipulating the masses.” The FIRA will undertake a campaign to question the beliefs of these gurus and ask them to present their evidence before the common man.


FIRA patron B Premananda, who is in the city, said that a lot of people are taken for a ride under the name of spirituality and yoga. “This is nothing but superstition,” he said. The FIRA will be training people to question such gurus and ask them to provide evidence for their actions.


The first training camp will be held in Karnataka wherein 30 activists will be given advanced training on the “antics and acts” of “godmen”. “Anyone can produce a ring, vibhuti and vermillion from air. It is nothing but manipulation,” said FIRA president Narendra Naik, Secretary of Orissa Rationalist Association.  Sudhanshu Dhada, claimed he too, like the other yoga experts can stop the heart beat and breathe through only one nostril. “These are not acts of God. Anyone who has studied anatomy can do such things,” he said. The training camps will be funded by ‘Network for Science, Technology and Communication’ at the cost of Rs 3.5 lakh.


Meanwhile the Vivekwadi Mahasangh will organize its sixth national conference at Wagholi from April 27. The conference will be held at BJS College and will have attendance of activists from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Bihar, Goa and Punjab. Addressing a press conference, MaharashtraAndhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti executive chairman Dr Narendra Dabholkar said that the national conference will focus on a four-point agenda:


“Confront modern spiritual godmen, propagate secularism, bring educational institutes, media and political parties together and discuss on the anti-superstition bill for Maharashtra and formulate a bill for separation of religion from politics.” The activists said there was a need for a common nationwide anti-superstition bill which can be adopted by states according to the black-magic and superstition practices followed there.


“Maharashtra’s law for anti-superstition is a model and appropriate. Now the law should be sanctioned immediately and implemented,” Naik said. 

Top - Home