Secular Fest at Ernakulam: A Celebration of Free Thought and Secular Values

Ernakulam, May 12, 2024 – In an era marked by the rise of religious fundamentalism, the urgency to protect secularism, democracy, and constitutional values has never been greater. Nastik Nation, an organization devoted to atheism, free thought, and secularism, proudly presented “Secular Fest 2024” at C. Achyutamenon Hall, Ernakulam. The event, held from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, served as a stronghold for advocating these essential principles.

Event Highlights:

  • Mridul Sivadas kicked off the festival with a captivating talk titled “Oracle’s Aunt (Velichapadinte Kunjamma).” He humorously critiqued certain secularists and atheists in Kerala who abandon their ideologies and embrace religious practices during significant life events, like marriages.
  • Pratheesh delivered an enlightening speech on “Addressing Reservation Superstitions,” dispelling myths that reservation policies harm the talent pool. Using comprehensive data, he demonstrated that these policies enhance productivity, foster talent development, ensure social justice, and contribute to societal stability.
  • Dr. Sabu Jose, a renowned science speaker from Kerala, presented “Planet vs Plastics,” exploring the molecular impact of plastic pollution. He highlighted how plastic contaminants infiltrate human bodies and discussed his efforts to correct scientific inaccuracies in Kerala’s school textbooks.
  • Safia PM, a freethinker, addressed the issue of discriminatory Muslim succession laws. She emphasized the need for equal property rights for women and shared her legal battle in the Supreme Court to challenge these unjust laws.
  • Raju Vatanapalli, an atheist and science writer, shared his journey of self-education in science. He emphasized that promoting scientific literacy is crucial for advancing secularism and atheism, as it provides a strong foundation for denying the existence of God.
  • A C George and Mini, an inter-religious couple, shared their three-decade experience of maintaining a secular family life. They described the challenges they faced and brought their children to the event, showcasing their commitment to secularism.
  • Varghese A C and Lillikutty, another secular couple, recounted their happy life free from religious constraints. They encouraged the audience to challenge conventional religious views and embrace a life free of religion.
  • K Raveendran, State President of the Mixed Marriage Union, highlighted the importance of secular couples in combating religious fundamentalism. He advocated for more such unions to promote a more inclusive society.
  • Babu G S shed light on the noble act of donating one’s body to medical colleges for study purposes, emphasizing how such a gesture contributes significantly to medical science and healthcare. By choosing to donate their remains, individuals play a crucial role in advancing medical knowledge and training future healthcare professionals, leaving a lasting impact on the betterment of society. Babu GS is currently the secretary of AT Kovoor Charitable Society.
  • Hareendran Mesmerizes Audience with Mind-Bending Mentalism Tricks In a mesmerizing display of mentalism mastery, Hareendran enthralled audiences with his captivating performance at the local auditorium last night. The renowned mentalist not only delved deep into the intricacies of the mind but also actively engaged the audience, inviting them to participate in mind-boggling tricks. With an aura of mystery and intrigue, Hareendran took the stage, effortlessly commanding attention with his enigmatic presence. As he delved into his topic on mentalism, spectators were transported into a realm where the boundaries between reality and illusion blurred. What set Hareendran’s performance apart was his interactive approach. Audience members became active participants in the spectacle, joining him onstage to experience the wonder of mentalism firsthand. From predicting thoughts to seemingly reading minds, Hareendran left no doubt in anyone’s mind about the power of the human psyche. The atmosphere was electric as gasps of amazement and applause filled the auditorium with each mind-bending revelation. Hareendran’s seamless blend of entertainment and enlightenment left a lasting impression on all who witnessed his extraordinary talent. As the curtains fell on the evening’s performance, audience members departed with a newfound appreciation for the mysteries of the mind, thanks to Hareendran’s unforgettable showcase of mentalism mastery.

The event was expertly coordinated by Nagesh Charvakam, who introduced each speaker and subject. The entire event was video recorded by Ajesh Kumar, with poster design by Shine Kumar. The organizers thanked the audience for their support and donations, which made the event possible.

Secular Fest 2024 proved to be an inspiring platform for advocating a rational, secular way of life, confronting religious dogmas, and promoting social justice through education and legal reform.


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