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Premanand will not recant
September 28, 2009 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying.

Premanand has been dispelling miracles and exposing charlatans for over fifty years, often facing persecution from the entrenched political and popular power of godmen in India.

Now, his 79 year old body is shutting down. To counter already spreading rumours that he has recanted and accepted spirituality, he has issued a statement that despite being on his deathbed, he has no intention of finding God.
posted by vanar sena (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm doubtful.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:41 AM on September 28, 2009


.
posted by DU at 5:45 AM on September 28, 2009


I'm also disrespectful. Sorry for the lolz and thank you for bringing Premanand's work to my attention. Sorry to here he is not doing well.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:47 AM on September 28, 2009


Would this be the same guy I have seen in a clip from Indian T.V. letting someone do some kind of supposed "death spell" on him; if that is the case, I wonder if he will now have charlatans standing up and saying they are killing him / have killed him with their supernatural abilities.
posted by idiopath at 5:59 AM on September 28, 2009


Pollomacho I'm doubtful.

Tag added.

idiopath Would this be the same guy I have seen in a clip from Indian T.V.

I assume you mean the Great Tantra Challenge (tube). That was Sanal Edamaruku.
posted by vanar sena at 6:18 AM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw him and the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations on TV many years ago debunking various fraudulent gurus and fakirs and their faux miracles. I'm glad he lived as long as he did and did so much good.
posted by Kattullus at 6:53 AM on September 28, 2009


More from the Indian atheist tradition: Gora.
posted by eccnineten at 6:58 AM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


he has issued a statement that despite being on his deathbed, he has no intention of finding God

I love the fierceness of this. He will be missed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:23 AM on September 28, 2009


From wiki:

In [1986] he sued Sathya Sai Baba for violation of the Gold Control Act for Sathya Sai Baba's materializations of gold objects. The case was dismissed, but Premanand appealed on the ground that spiritual power is not a defence recognised in law.

Wow, what a showman...
posted by voltairemodern at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:16 PM on September 28, 2009


.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:03 PM on September 29, 2009


In [1986] he sued Sathya Sai Baba for violation of the Gold Control Act for Sathya Sai Baba's materializations of gold objects. The case was dismissed, but Premanand appealed on the ground that spiritual power is not a defence recognised in law.

As someone who was dragged to weekly Sai Baba prayer meetings for years as a child, this tickles me to no end.

Thanks for bringing him to our attention. I had never heard of him before. What a cool guy. I'm sad for his bad health, but as I always think in these type of threads, it's so wonderful that there are people out there that are really living -- really putting their lives where their ideology is instead of sitting back.

(IAlso it's interesting that Satya Sai Baba is also slated to die pretty soon. His health is said to be slowly going down. It's almost as if it was fate that they would end their lives around the same time . . . but I'm too rational for that :). (Although reading about his skepticism of Baba has reminded me of the prophesied 3rd Baba to be born soon -- it's a crazy story in itself, maybe I'll work on a post about it).)
posted by bluefly at 1:28 PM on September 29, 2009


Also, one more thing, I love that the Wikipedia lists his occupation as "Guru-Buster." The Mythbusters should have had him on!
posted by bluefly at 1:31 PM on September 29, 2009


I assume you mean the Great Tantra Challenge (tube). That was Sanal Edamaruku.

Ahem.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on September 29, 2009


Sorry Burhanistan, I should have checked.
posted by vanar sena at 12:07 AM on September 30, 2009


I hear you, bluefly. I have very mixed feelings about the "richness" of Indian culture. On one hand, so much colour, celebration, good philosophy and positive tradition. On the other, so much of it stems from, and is tied up in, the worst kind of superstition and soft-brained credulity that it continues to hobble a country that is trying so hard to pull itself up by the bootstraps.

For example, the fact that a soundly moronic thing like homeopathy was imported and so quickly accepted across the country is of unending annoyance to me.
posted by vanar sena at 1:09 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


vanar sena: "I have very mixed feelings about the "richness" of Indian culture"

I, like bluefly, was dragged to a few Satya Sai Baba meetings as a child.

What is most striking to me, as an American, is the relative lack of self-righteously-ignorant dismissal of speculation. That the speculation is often on shaky logical or epistemological ground may sometimes be a problem, but the friendliness to speculation is admirable.
posted by idiopath at 5:27 AM on September 30, 2009


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