Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Basava Premanand, founder-convener of FIRA

The Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA) is an umbrella body of 83 (as of 2012)[1] rationalist, atheist, skeptic, secularist and scientific organisations in India.

As an apex body of rationalist organisations, it is committed to the development of scientific temper and humanism in India, involved in promoting tolerance, critical thinking, women's rights, secularization, and freedom of expression, and fighting against the Caste system of Hinduism and its violence (especially towards Dalit population), superstition, pseudoscience, and child marriage.


A banner for the 8th National Conference of FIRA held in Nagpur

There are a number of rationalist, atheist, skeptic, and secularist groups active in the states and regions of India. It was to coordinate the activities of these organisations at the national level that as part of 10th Kerala State Conference of Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham, a meeting of activists from around India was convened at Trivandrum, Kerala. The meeting decided to launch a federation of all the rationalist and skeptic associations active in India. As a result, the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations was launched on 7 February 1997 at Palakkad, Kerala.[2] Basava Premanand of Indian CSICOP, Tamil Nadu was the founder-convener of the federation. Since its foundation, the FIRA membership has increased to "nearly 50" organisations in 2005,[3] to "more than 75" in 2011[4] to 83 in 2012.[1]

Dr G Vijayam, Atheist Centre, Vijayawada, was elected as the patron of the association at the 8th National Conference held in Nagpur on 11 and 12 February 2012. The conference reelected Prof Narendra Nayak of Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association, Karnataka as the national president of the association and U.Kalanathan of Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham as its general secretary.[4]

Affiliation to IHEU[edit]

FIRA is affiliated to International Humanist and Ethical Union and supports minimum statement on Humanism (as required by IHEU bylaw 5.1[5]) and the Amsterdam Declaration 2002.

Minimum statement[edit]

Dr Vilas Sapkal, vice chancellor, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, inaugurating the 8th National Conference of FIRA held in Nagpur by cutting a string of seven chilies and a lemon, a charm commonly used by Hindus to ward off evil
Delegates of 8th National Conference of FIRA held in Nagpur

"Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality."

FIRA member organisations[edit]

A delegate exposing a so-called 'miracle' of eating fire at the 8th FIRA conference in Nagpur
Name Based in Founded Notes
Akhil Bhartiya Anddashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti Nagpur, Maharashtra 1982[6][4] National organisation
AMOFOI (Anti-caste Marriage & One-child Family Organization of India) Bhubaneswar, Odisha 1980[4] Founding unit since 1997
Ananthapur Rationalist Association Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh Rationalist Association Khammam, Andhra Pradesh
ARIVU Bellary, Karnataka
Arjak Sangh Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh
Atheist Centre Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh 1940
Atheist Society of India Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 13 February 1972
AT Kovoor Memorial Trust Kozhikode, Kerala
Bihar Buddhiwadi Samaj Patna, Bihar 1985
Bombay-Gujarat Rationalist Association Ankleshwar, Gujarat
Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association Mangalore, Karnataka 1976
Democratic Action Forum of Dalits, Women and Minorities Kolkata, West Bengal
Ekasila Activity and Education Society Itarsi/Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh
Federation of Karnataka Rationalist Associations Karnataka State umbrella
Freethinkers Forum Bangalore, Karnataka
Goa Science Forum Goa
Hyderabad Rationalist Forum Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Indian Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Paranormal Podanur, Tamil Nadu 19??
Jana Vijnana Vedika Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
Karnataka Federation of Rationalist Associations Karnataka State umbrella
Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham Kerala 1935 [7]
Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) Pune, Maharashtra 1989[8] Maharashtra state branch
Manava Vikasa Vedika Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Manavatavadi Vishwa Sansthan Rajghat, Kurukshetra, Haryana
Mandya Science Forum Mandya, Karnataka
Orissa Rationalist Association Odisha
Periyar Rationalists Forum Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Rationalists' Forum Tamil Nadu
Rationalist Society Haryana
Satya Shodhak Sabha Surat, Gujarat
Science and Rationalists' Association of India Kolkata, West Bengal 1985
Science for Society Jharkhand 2010
Science for Society Bihar 2010
Science Trust Kozhikode, Kerala
Soshit Samaj Jharkhand
Tarksheel Society Punjab 1984[9] [10]
TRUST Bhubaneswar
Vicharavadi Sangham Bangalore, Karnataka

National conferences[edit]

FIRA has so far convened eleven national conferences:

  1. Palakkad, Kerala: February 7, 1997
  2. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh: March 21 & 22, 1998
  3. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu: December 7, 8 & 9, 2001
  4. Mangalore, Karnataka: May 10 & 11, 2003
  5. Bhatinda, Punjab: April 2, 3 & 4, 2004
  6. Pune, Maharashtra: April 28 & 29, 2007
  7. Chennai, Tamil Nadu: December 26 & 27, 2009
  8. Nagpur, Maharashtra: February 11 & 12, 2012
  9. Brahmapur, Odisha: December 24 & 25, 2014.
  10. Trivandrum, Kerala: February 24 & 25, 2017.
  11. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh: January 5 & 6, 2018

It has been decided to hold the 12th national conference in 2019 in Mumbai.

See also[edit]

Similar organisations[edit]

Rationalism and science in ancient India[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sankar (8 March 2012). "VIII – FIRA National Conference – V.Kumaresan". The Modern Rationalist. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ Quack, Johannes (2012). Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-19-981260-8. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  3. ^ Varinder Walia (12 May 2005). "FIRA's proposal". India Tribune. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA) - 8th National Conference". Cārvāka 4 India. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  5. ^ http://www.iheu.org/bylaws
  6. ^ "Pvt. Shyam Manav, founder of Ashbhaashraddha Nirmulan Samiti". www.abans.org.in. Akhilbhartiya Andhashradha Nirmulan Samiti. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018. All India Superstition Nirmulan Samiti has been formed in 1982 from all over Maharashtra including Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan etc.
  7. ^ Kerala Yukthivadi website
  8. ^ Priyanka Kakodkar (21 August 2013). "He was not against God but fought exploitation". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  9. ^ Nagar, Munish (8 May 2006), "Man With a Mission: Indian teaches science to locals to overcome superstitions", OhmyNews, retrieved 18 August 2009
  10. ^ Tarksheel website

External links[edit]