Freethought Activism

Pune Freethinkers’ Meet – Dec 1st 2013

Report by Utkarsh

As it happens Pune Freethinkers was revived on the 1st Day of December after a long chill and that too with a warm blend of young and experienced hearts.

The meet was a result of an initiation by few of us and backing up by admins and fellow members of “Pune Freethinkers” Facebook group,to whom we owe our heartiest gratitude, as it’s because of them that the meet happened and was a success.

As stated earlier the meet was truly a blend of young and experienced hearts, including youngsters as Aby Hydros, Neeraj Kale, Pushkar Nalawade, Rahul Bachate, Sandip Marathe, Sanjeev Kumar, Utkarsh Gupta, Yogesh Thube(alphabetically) and experienced individuals as Arvind Pakhle & Madhukar Kulkarni, which in itself was remarkable because the meet addressed the energy and the direction together.

The meet started with the acknowledgement of lack of rational thinking and scientific temperament in general populace (surprisingly the introductions came later) and from the very beginning we started setting up agendas and our future course of action. Madhukar Kulkarni shared with us his views about the necessity of an organisational setup required for the promotion of freethought and rational thinking and carrying out various tasks to tackle the discussed agendas such as:

  • Promotion of scientific thinking & countering Pseudo Sciences.
  • Helping Fence Sitters to realise their non-theistic thoughts.
  • Helping Atheists to open up to their family.
  • Spreading awareness about Atheism and its benefits.
  • Equipping Atheists with counter theistic arguments for introspectutory and social debates.

To realise this course of action, a core committee was setup consisting of voluntary members namely Neeraj, Pushkar, Rahul, Sandip, Sanjeev ,Utkarsh & Yogesh with Neeraj Kale as a head and Utkarsh Gupta as a secretary subjected to rotation every quarter, under whom the core will undertake and perform various tasks to benefit the agenda. Also it was decided that a Freethinker meet will be held on the first Sunday of every alternate month, whereas a Core members meet will be held once every month.

Some tasks were also proposed such as:

  • Setting up of general & religion specific questionnaire for theists & fence sitters.
  • Setting up of a confessions forum for closet atheists.
  • Organising workshops for tackling superstitions and religious fundamentalism.
  • Video recording sessions of future meets and making it publicly available.
  • . . . and many more.

We also had the privilege of meeting Arvind Pakhle who works with Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti for more than a decade and also worked with Narendra Dabholkar. He shared with us his rich experience along with a letter from his acquaintance about a video game version of Cosmological and First Cause Argument and his brilliant counter.

The meet concluded with promises of truthfully fulfilling the responsibilities bestowed upon us and to start a wave of freethought and radical temperament amongst us and the people around us and to meet again in the new year with our fellow Freethinkers.

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