'Rationalism doesn't mean being iconoclastic'

Anatomy Professor at Kanachur Medical College  Dr Arunachalam Kumar said, both worship of cattle and sacrifice happens in the same religion in different countries which is unfortunate.

He was speaking during an interaction programme organised by the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA) and Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association (of which Dr Arunachalam Kumar has been a founder member) at Besant College in M’luru on Saturday.

Giving a reference to the rituals practiced in Pasupatinatha Temple during certain festivities, a large number of cattle is slaughtered at the temple premises, which is very saddening. But why the Hindu organisations have maintained silence over the issue,” he questioned.

Children are taught that the “ the fear for the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” which is vague, as fear will not generate real respect for God, he lamented.

Responding to a query he rued that one need not have to be religious to be disciplined. One can be normal without being orthodox as well. He meanwhile said he was not against prayer but was against meaningless rituals. Rationalism should not be iconoclastic but should be based on reasonable facts. It is the spirit of inquiry one needs to have. Rationalism need not necessarily be atheism. One must do prayers if they find solace in it, he said adding that for him Gods are those who have good will, kindness and generosity of heart. He believes in the law of equilibrium which says ‘as you sow; so you reap’. People tend to be hypocritical when it comes to the preachings of holy scriptures, he stated. People pick and chose to read those which are palatable for them and they skip the parts which are not, he added.

Earlier FIRA president Dr Narendra Nayak spoke about Arunachalam’s association with the rationalist movement and the first meeting of Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association at the Don Bosco hall at Mangaluru in 1976. Dr C R Ballal and others were present.

The meeting was organised as per the wish of Dr Arunachalam as he has been diagnosed with cancer of the lung with a not very favorable prognosis details of which can be had at http://creative.sulekha.com/a-candid-conversation_623924_blog.

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