|| नास्ति दतम् नास्ति हूतम् नास्ति परलोकम् ||
(Tagline of NastikoN Ka Blog’* ie ‘Blog of Atheists’ and possibly an excerpt from some Hindu Old Book.)
This is the first time I am reading this line (Dunno what does it mean..). When I got an atheist I had not even heard of Charwak or Marx. India has any such or other tradition; I have had not the slightest slat of it. And there is any Marxist party, this too I came to know much later. But yes, this thinking of mine has got an impetus through the (Hindi) magazines like Sarita, Mukta and thereafter Hans. I am of the opinion that atheism is innate, inherent; it is something natural. Every child is atheist when it is born. He is familiarized with religion, God and theism after his arrival in this world through some people of this world. Imagine that there is a place somewhere on this earth where there is no God at all. Nobody has even heard of God at that place. Since they don’t know themselves about God ; parents, kins, neighbors, society are not able to give any information about god to the growing children there. Stories and books have no mention at all of God. Is there any possibility of the existence or birth of God there?
Secondly, does atheism need any tradition? To my sense whereas it makes sense to me… where there is reason, logic, discretion, thought, originality and science, atheism will be there some or the other way whether there is any tradition or not. Atheism is itself a thought against tradition. It is a blend of progressivism, reasoning/ rationality/gumption, science and humanity. I don’t think if tradition gets destroyed, atheism will also. Might be that there had been more atheists with tradition remaining there but such atheists would have been conservative and fanatic. As we see that people becoming atheists after coming into contact with political parties start, behaving like fundamentalists as a result of reaction to a particular incident. They feel that since we are behaving in such a way as an opposition to fundamentalism, this is not fundamentalism but is our ‘Ideological commitment’.
My friend-folk believes that atheism is anyhow alive by dragging itself. I think all this they conclude on the basis of the number of atheists and materialistic/worldly successes/achievements. These are the very people who call themselves spiritualists! If strength of number and material success is a standard to judge this then humanity has also become a thing of the past and it too must be buried deep.
And in case you are with theism because of those so-called successes/achievements, then it makes one other sense that you are more for theism because it serves your ends and less for what it really is and how much right and wrong it is. If this is your way of seeing things then it is very much possible that if in future you see materialistic benefits in atheism, you’ll put your hands around its waist in a friendly manner. If atheism is going on draggingly and is irrelevant due to this, then my dear, all revolutions and freedom movements also drag some or the other time. Why to get so scared or look down upon it??? The movements of dalits/downtrodden/black and women had also been dragging since hundreds of years if you remember. Today these seem to reach at least some positive/logical direction/end.
(originally written in Hindi around april 24 2010 ; first posted on NastikoN Ka Blog* then on SamvadGhar)
(Translated by Anjana Grover)