Phone Call to Lavanam
November 10, 1996

I have put a lot of work into the Atheism in India section of the Critical Thinker Internet Page. Tim Sullivan scanned the "Souvenir" booklet, and I will begin editing it as soon as I have the original. Also, I typed the entire book, "An Atheist With Gandhi," by Gora, and am in the midst of editing it and researching a typographical error in the original.

Last night, I made a long-distance telephone call to the Atheist Centre in Vijayawada, India. The director, Lavanam, has promised to send me copies of as much printed material as he can get his hands on, with unconditional permission to use the material on the Internet as I see fit. As I receive this material, I will type it up and put it on line.

Everybody I spoke with at the Centre seemed very excited that the writings of Gora and Lavanam now have a home on the Internet, and thus, will be available to many more readers than ever before.

It is my opinion that Atheists in America (avoiding the phrase "American Atheists") do well to look to Lavanam and the movement in Vijayawada for part of our example. Lavanam's father, Gora, was instrumental in helping Mahatma Gandhi further complete his search for a secular reality by being able to accept -- and even respect -- atheism as a most valid, healthy, and positive viewpoint. Atheism is a clearly positive force among people who have felt the the full impact of the devastating effects of superstition and religious classism.

Meanwhile, a hurricane just killed 1,000 people about 50 miles from Vijayawada, and all hands will be involved in leading the relief effort there. As soon as the communities there have begun to heal from this latest catastrophe, we will begin receiving many published and unpublished documents and books from India. The Atheism in India section will be a jewel in the Critical Thinker's crown and, hopefully, an important source of inspiration for Atheists and others in the West.

I hope you will check out, support, and promote the Atheism in India page. The URL is:

Cliff Walker, editor
"The Critical Thinker"

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