Events – Saturday 27 October 2018, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Atheism, Humanism and Skepticism in India
Venue: Unitarian Hall, 110 Grey St, East Melbourne
Speaker: Babu Gogineni
The secular nation of India has a long tradition of atheism, humanism, rationalism and skepticism. Nonetheless, India continues to struggle against religious superstition and persecution as social intolerance is rapidly growing. Meanwhile, the legal framework of blasphemy laws remains in place. Incitement to violence against Rationalists has become common place, and in the last few years four leading Rationalists have been gunned down. Police have recently unravelled a spectacular plot to eliminate four others, all on the same day, in different cities.
Babu Gogineni has worked tirelessly for many decades to challenge superstition. He keeps alive the debate on television and has exposed many charlatans, some of them with great drama on Indian television. Some episodes receive millions of views on Youtube. Recently, Babu appeared in the Indian reality television show, Bigg Boss. In this Indian version of Big Brother, for 63 days he appeared as ‘Bigger Boss’ and as a Humanist.
Babu successfully led the fight against the Dalai Lama’s practice of recruiting little children for his monastic activities. He has also frequently intervened in cases of murders of witchcraft accused and has worked on the subject of caste. Babu launched the DNA challenge to the perpetrators of the caste system and is also advisor to the Global Coalition on Untouchability. He has also actively campaigned, both in the Indian sub-continent and elsewhere, for the protection of various atheists, freethinkers, secularists and Humanists.
Bio: Babu earned a BSc in Microbiology and a Masters in both Human Rights and Sociology. He is the founder of the South Asian Humanist Association and Science for Society. He is past-Secretary of the Rationalist Association of India and the Indian Humanist Association, as well as a Trustee of the Indian Renaissance Institute. In 1997, he was appointed Executive Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Babu is also a Board Member and Spokesperson for the Paris-based International Association of Freethought. He started his career as a French language teacher and currently is the owner of Skillguru, a business in Soft Skills training.