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Atheist Centre 50+, December 1990
"Atheist Centre 50+" International Conference on "Future of Atheism - Humanism" was held at Atheist Centre, Vijayawada on December 29-31. Former Indian Home Minister Mr. Buta Singh was the Chief Guest. He urged people to shake off the barriers of denominational religion and train the new generation devoid of fundamentalism and communalism. He appealed to people to shed all barriers of caste, creed and religion, so that atheism and humanism reign supreme.’ He said that atheism is a higher ideal and its importance would grow in the years to come. He described caste system was a bane to nation’s progress.
Mr. N. Ram, the then Associate Editor of The Hindu, expressed his solidarity with Atheist Centre and atheism. He said that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, stood firm on the principles of secularism. He regretted that the succeeding generation of politicians did not live up to the high ideals of secularism. He criticized the stand of Hindu fundamentalists for whipping p the emotions of the people in the name of Ram Janma Bhoomi for political gains. Mr. N. Ram released a 100 page Souvenir of the Conference, "Atheist Centre 50+’ with national and International articles.
The International Conference was inaugurated by the Norwegian Humanist leader Mr. Levi Fragell. He said that Atheist Centre is well known all over the world for its dedicated work for promotion of atheism and humanism. He said that Indian was an inspiration for many all over the world. In his welcome address, Dr. Raja Ramamohan Rao, former Vice-Chancellor of Nagarjuna University, paid rich tributes to Gora and Saraswathi Gora, the founders of Atheist Centre. He said that pioneering role of Gora was a source of inspiration to the younger generation. Prof. Fan Elders of the University of Holland released the Punjabi translation of Gora’s "We Become Atheists" which was published by Tarksheel Society, Punjab.
A five member delegation specially came from the Soviet Union to participate in the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Prof. Victor Timofev, Deputy Director, the Institute of the Study of the Problems of Religion and Atheism, Moscow and Dr. Yuri Puschik, Editor, ‘Dispute’ (Dialogue) spoke on religion and atheism in USSR. Dr. Samaram spoke on ‘Science and Religion’ and Dr Ramasubba Reddy spoke on ‘Psychiatry and Social Change’.
Participants of the Celebrations hailed from Europe, Asia and America. Dr. Indumathi Parikh, a well known medical doctor and President of the Indian Radical Humanist Association, delivered the Valedictory address. Mr Lavanam summed up the proceedings of the conference.
Mrs. Saraswathi Gora felicitated the distinguished foreign guests. Mrs. Ch. Vidya, M.P. welcomed hundreds of participants. The Golden Jubilee of Atheist Centre received wide attention in the national and International press and the media.