Babu Gogineni speaking at a public meeting in India (2016).
|Born||Rajaji Ramanadha Babu Gogineni
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
|Years active||1988-present|
Babu Gogineni (born Rajaji Ramanadha Babu Gogineni; 14 April 1968) is an Indian Humanist, rationalist, and human rights activist, who served as Executive Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).
In his activism, Gogineni campaigns against established privilege and abuse of rights done in the name of religion. During his time with the IHEU, he led IHEU's worldwide campaigns for the protection of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, bringing Pakistani freethinker Younus Shaikh to safety in Europe. In India, he successfully led the campaign for rehabilitation and protecting the rights of Sambhavi, a child who was claimed as a reincarnation of a Buddhist goddess.
Gogineni is also a prolific writer in English, French and Telugu. He was a columnist for Hyderabad-based daily newspaper Postnoon and wrote a column called "The Human Angle". He has also hosted a multi-language TV series called The Big Question with Babu Gogineni offering a Humanist perspective on science and civilization.
Gogineni is a public communicator, and travels domestically and internationally to spread humanism and awareness on social issues,. He is a regular television commentator in India and abroad on topics of superstition, science, Humanism and human rights.
Early life and activism
Gogineni was born on 14 April 1968, in Hyderabad, the son of Aruna Kumari (née Vegunta) of Eluru, West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh and Gurubabu of Tenali, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. At the age of 18, he became the youngest certified French language teacher in Hyderabad. He later graduated from Nizam College and did a Postgraduate Diploma from Bhavan's Institute.
Gogineni has been active in the rationalist and Humanist movement from a young age. He served as Joint secretary of Indian Radical Humanist Association, Bombay between 1988-1996; Vice-President of the Indian Rationalist Association, Hyderabad between 1993-1996; Secretary General of Rationalist Association India, Hyderabad between 1995-1996, and was part of South Asian Humanist Network, Bombay between 1995-1996, before moving to the United Kingdom in 1997, where he continued his activism work with the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
During his long association with IHEU, Gogineni implemented the IHEU's move to the United Kingdom, turned IHEU into a multi-lingual proactive campaigning organization, arranged IHEU’s lobbying efforts at international level by securing Special Consultative status at the United Nations, organized IHEU’s first General Assembly (GA) in Africa, and conceptualized and founded the IHEU Centre for Bioethics at the UN in New York. He also helped organize IHEU’s Congresses in Mumbai (1999), Amsterdam (2002) and Paris (2005), and its first GA in Africa (2004).
Notable Positions held
- Executive Director, IHEU.
- International advisor, Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
- Member of the management council, International Historical Court.
- Trustee, Indian Renaissance Institute.
Key Notes, Lectures and Debates
- World Humanist Congress in Oxford, 2014.
- Mexico National University's Primavera lecture on Globalization at the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City.
- Hinduism and the Myth of Evolution at conference on Darwin, Humanism and Science sponsored by European Humanist Federation, British Humanist Association, and IHEU.
- The Cambridge Union Society's Debate, Cambridge University.
- The Human Angle lecture series (30+ lectures) in the US and the UK at MIT/Harvard University Humanist Hub, University of South Florida, Asian Rationalist Society Birmingham, South Asian Human Conference, North American Telugu Association (NATA) Conference.
- Championing the Light of Reason at TEDx Hyderabad
- What is Religion? a two-episode series of The Big Question radio program broadcast by BBC World Service featured Gogineni.
- Superstition Kills, a documentary about superstition in India, made by Henrik Thomé features Gogineni
- The Big Question with Babu Gogineni, a TV series hosted by Gogineni on science and civilization
- Open Heart With RK, Season 2, ABN Andhra Jyothi
- Secret of Success, INews 
- Smith, Warren Allen (2000). Who's who in hell: a handbook and international directory for humanists, freethinkers, naturalists, rationalists, and non-theists. Barricade Books. ISBN 9781569801581.
- "Misimi - Monthly magazine". Misimi (in Telugu). 1 November 2000.
- "End of an era: Babu Gogineni steps down as IHEU Director". IHEU Admin. 23 March 2015.
- "Learning foreign languages for better job opportunities". The Hindu. 4 May 2009.
- "India's own Carl Sagan: Meet Babu Gogineni, the science populariser from Hyderabad".
- "Schedule - The Human Angle Lecture Series by Babu Gogineni". SAHA. 2016.
- "Indian Humanists". Indian Humanists. 2017.
- "Second World Conference on Untouchability Being Held Until Friday April 18". World Religion News. 15 April 2014.
- "Sambhavi Gudilona, Badilona? Story of a Humanist Campaign Against Religious Exploitation of a Child". Nirmukta. 10 December 2009.
- "'Child Goddess' Sambhavi has to go to School! Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission Orders". South Asia Citizens Web. 15 June 2010.
- "Humanism and Its Aspirations: Notable Signers". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Enthusiastic Brights". The Brights. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Preaching in a Godless world". Postnoon. 22 January 2012.
- "The Human Angle - Babu Gogineni". Postnoon. 2012.
- "The Big Question with Babu Gogineni". Saddahaq. 26 January 2015.
- "TEDx Hyderabad - Babu Gogineni". TEDx. 2015.
- "South Asian Humanist World Tour - The Human Angle Lecture Series by Babu Gogineni" (PDF). SAHA. 2016.
- "Secret of Success Interview - Babu Gogineni". INews. 10 December 2016.
- "Conway Hall - Babu Gogineni". Conway Hall. 29 September 2014.
- "Conference on Darwin, Humanism and Science - Report" (PDF). European Humanist Federation. 5 June 2009.
- "Championing the Light of Reason: Babu Gogineni: TEDxHyderabad". TEDx. 27 June 2016.
- "What is religion - The Big Question". BBC. 17 April 2004.
- "OU on the BBC: The Big Question - About the series". The Open University. 30 March 2004.
- "Superstition Kills: A Must-See Video". Patheos. 12 July 2009.
- "Promo : Open Heart with RK - Babu Gogineni". AP Today. 31 July 2015.
- Babu Gogineni on Twitter
- Superstition kills, a documentary about superstitions in India featuring Babu Gogineni
- Championing the Light of Reason, Babu Gogineni at TEDx Hyderabad
- The Big Question with Babu Gogineni, TV series hosted by Gogineni on Science and Civilization
- Jim Herrick (The Editor of International Humanist News, 1992 - 1999), speaks to Babu Gogineni on his appointment as Executive Director of IHEU in 1997
- A series of articles by Babu Gogineni at IHEU website
- Why Brights are "nice" Guys"