Pune: Fourth edition of atheists meet or Nastik Melava was held here on Sunday. Over 400 people participated in the event. The aim of the meet organised by Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch was to discuss atheism and logical reasoning; and religious freedom expected in the constitution on India.
“We do not believe in any kind of supernatural power. The declaration is not under influence of hatred towards any religion. My atheism is based on reason and not on ego. The constitution also says that person can have freedom not to choose any religion,” the meet declared.
Organisers of the event also said, “We are atheists but many choose to call themselves as agnostics, open atheists and so on. We want to express solidarity with all these atheists.”
Samyak Ballal, one of the organizers, said, “Dr Narendra Dabholkar who founded Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmulan Samiti to eradicate superstition, was killed on August 2013. After his death, activists associated with progressive movements wanted to take his forward. Thus the idea to hold conference for people who do not believe in god originated.”
Many people in the society are atheists or agnostics but do not reveal it in public. As there are many misconceptions about atheists among believers and society. Bhagat Singh, a socialist revolutionary and freedom fighter, was an atheist and his letter ‘Why I Am An Atheist’ is relevant even today. He still has lakhs of followers. That is why 23rd March, Martyrs Day on which Bhagat Singh was martyred was decided as Atheists’ Day.”