Science and Rationalists' Association of India
|Founded||1985, Kolkata, India|
|Key people||Prabir Ghosh, General Secretary
Sumitra Padmanabhan, President
The Science and Rationalists' Association of India (Bengali: Bharatiya Bigyan O Yuktibadi Samiti) is predominantly a rationalist group based in Kolkata, India. It was established on March 1, 1985 by rationalist Prabir Ghosh, which happens to be the international rationalists' day. The association has prominent philosophers like Khushwant Singh and Paul Kurtz as its members, and preaches against irrational blind faith and superstition.
This group critiques not only pseudoscientific claims, but mystical and religious claims as well. Nobel Prize-winner Mother Teresa came under criticism from the group. According to one leader, "Mother Teresa has a clean image, and there is no doubt that she has helped the poor…. But in the end we believe that Mother Teresa is not at all any better than all the other godmen and godwomen, because she helps to place a more kindly mask on the overall exploitation in our society." After Mother Teresa's death, the group cast doubt on an alleged miracle healing upon which the beatification of the nun depended.
Challenge to miracle and astrology
The group offers a prize of Rs. 2,500,000 to anyone who can demonstrate "supernatural power of any kind" or make accurate astrological predictions/calculations under proper observing conditions. Many godmen and astrologers have accepted this renowned challenge and have been defeated. One such event, in which a traditional healer attempted - and failed - to save a dog that had been bitten by a venomous cobra, was filmed for the documentary Gurubusters. which featured several confrontations between Rationalist campaigners and practitioners whose activities they set out to expose as superstitious or fraudulent.
- Mohapatra, Satyen. "Feeling ill? It could be the planets: Govt study." Hindustan Times. 2008-09-06.
- Mukherjee, Amit. "Celestial Lucre; It's economics for most. For others, the future of commodities is written in the stars." Business Today. New Dehli. 2008-09-06.
- Burns, John F. India's 'Guru Busters' Debunk All That's Mystical." New York Times. 1995-10-10.
- Rohde, David. "Her Legacy: Acceptance and Doubts of a Miracle." New York Times. 1995-10-10.
- [dead link]
- "Eagle & Eagle". Eagletv.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Official website
- Founder Prabir Ghosh's website
- The Freethinker; the online magazine of Science and Rationalists' Association off India
- Yuktibadi, the Bengali online mouthpiece of the association
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