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Conversation with Vikas Gora

by Andrea Licata

Vikas Gora is a social worker by profession. His grandparents Gora and Saraswathi are world renowed Secular Gandhian Social Workers, who founded the Atheist Centre in 1940 at Vijayawada, A.P., India. He is presently the Director, Disaster Management of Arthik Samata Mandal, a 28 year old NGO.”


- Gora

Who was Gora for you?
What your grandfather taught you and you are trying to continue?

Gora was a social reformer with a difference. He focused on the root causes of the problems and issues and wanted them to be addressed. He was an example for me who lived what he preached. He taught people to raise questions with no fear. He was a living example of how atheists can make a difference in this world as he used various social experiments such as running an experimental school, science and environmental exhibitions to promote scientific temper and various secular social development programs to address the concerns of the so called untouchables in India who hail from the lowest rung of the social ladder.  

My grandfather Gora taught me that atheism is a positive life stance opposed to all forms of mental slavery. He taught me that the essence of atheism lies in the moral freedom of the individual coupled with social responsibility thus releasing immense potentialities for development. He strongly opined that atheism is not merely a philosophical position; it is a way of life. The spread of atheistic outlook is the hope of the humanity to turn from war to peace, from slavery to freedom, from superstition to a sense of reality and from conflict to cooperation. 

I am a born atheist and an atheist by conviction. Being brought up in an open and free environment wherein we had the freedom to question and challenge any dogma, it has given me avenues towards greater knowledge. I am trying to focus on developing critical thinking among the youth who are the future citizens of the world. On par with this, I am focusing on inculcating social responsibility among the young and spread scientific temper and spirit of inquiry through humanistic and atheistic way of life, which is free from any oppression and hypocrisy. Poverty is the greatest enemy towards constructive social change. Hence, I am trying to continue the efforts of Gora by way of promoting secular social work wherein the target people are irrespective of their belief systems and caste and ethnic backgrounds. Whereas it is the just opposite in the religious social work, wherein there is a hidden agenda of conversion of people rather than alleviating them from poverty situation. I aim to further strengthen the secularism and fight fundamentalism.

- India today

In India there is an old non-religious tradition and tolerance for different views, isn't it?

Yes, India has an ancient tradition of RATIONALISM, FREETHOUGHT, and ATHEISM whose roots extend deeper than recorded history. Materialism is the basic concept that underlies ancient atheism. It is as ancient as Indian philosophy itself, and deeply rooted in speculative philosophy. According to Hindu tradition, an atheist is not just one who denies the existence of god but also one who defies the authority of the Vedas (scriptures). 

Samkhya, an early system of rationalistic philosophy, had its roots in pure philosophic speculation concerning prakruti, a complex primal substance and purusha, a sentient principle that was held to have distributed prakruti thus triggering the evolution of the contemporary universe. This process was described without any reference to Iswara that is God. Kapila, revered as the Founder of Indian Philosophy (c. 800 BCE), is considered the Founder of Samkhya  (sometimes termed Nireswara Samkhya – “Nireswara” meaning “godless.”). Samkhya proceeds from the ideas of swabhava (physical reality, or the laws of nature) and parinama (an active principle best summarized as “evolution”). The Samkhya system was originally atheistic, but over generations theists succeeded in smuggling God into it, presented as a supreme spirit ruling over both prakruti and purusha.

The followers of the Mimamsa school—which had established the authority of the Vedas (classical Hindu scriptures)—set such stock by Vedic ritual that they felt no need for a god. They believed that merely chanting mantras would produce certain effects directly. So for them the devas, or nature spirits described in the Vedas, had only verbal significance and did not actually exist. The Nyaya School, believed founded by Gautama (variously dated between the third century BCE and the first century CE), was also rationalistic, stressing above all rigorous logic in argumentation. The philosopher Kanada (dates unknown), who founded the rationalistic Vaiseshika School, believed in the existence of atoms. But the later advocates of the Nyaya and Vaiseshika systems imported God into them, rendering them theistic. 

The Charvakas and Lokayata schools of philosophy also flatly denied the existence of gods and belittled God’s importance in shaping human affairs. The Lokayata system, which believed only in the four classical elements and the world of experience, is considered the foremost materialistic philosophy of ancient India. Krishna Mishra, a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, summarized Lokayata Darshana (Lokoyata teaching) in these words: “only perceptual evidence is authority. The elements are earth, water, fire and air. Matter can think.  There is no other world. Death is the end of all.” 

The Jaina and Buddhist schools of thought developed around 500 BCE, independently of the Vedic tradition. Their greatest exponents, the Jaina commentator Gunaratna and his Buddhist counterpart Santarakshita (both c. fourteenth century CE), put forward convincing arguments against the existence of any god. 

Thus ancient India is not only a cradle land of religion, but also atheism. History demonstrates there unbelievers were numerous in ancient India, even in the times during which the Upanishads, were compiled. Long before the advent of the Buddha, there were atheists known as Nasthiks (no-sayers) or sangaya  (nihilists or agnostics). Revered philosophers including Purana Kashyapa, Maskarin Gosala and Ajia Kasakamblin were unbelievers. Even the central Hindu Epic, the Ramayana depicts Satyakama Jabali – a teacher of humble birth who was openly skeptical about the existence of God. The later Upanishads and the oldest Buddhist books alike name numerous heretics who denied the existence of God; the Hindu sage Brihaspathi was an icon of this school of thought. The previously mentioned Charvakas and Lokayatas condemned superstitions and Hindu orthodoxy. They challenge the concept of rebirth, the idea of the soul and diverse religious practices. These ancient atheists challenged the authority of Vedas and the Upanishads. They spread the Nasthika movement far and wide, challenging the supremacy of the Brahmins whose prestige rested in part of those scriptures.  

The Jain teacher Mahavira and the Buddha also advocated unbelief, though in a refined manner. Buddha’s teachings essentially made god unnecessary; he claimed “enlightenment” but never inspiration, and never pretended that a god was speaking through him. He founded Buddhism without making any reference to God. The Positive materialistic content of Buddhism was very popular in India for nearly a thousand years. Unlike Jainism and Buddhism the Nireswara Samkhya, Charvakas, and Lokayata schools never enjoyed royal patronage. They were simply rationalistic, materialistic, and atheistic. Their followers were vilified, excommunicated, and hounded out. The legendary Indian lawgiver Manu is said to have given an injunction (c. 1500 BCE) that a nasthika (atheist) should be driven out of good society. Over the centuries, this dictate was frequently obeyed. The manuscripts of the early atheistic thinkers were destroyed. For example, the Charvakas School died out shortly after 1400 CE; its principal works survive only as fragments cited in the works of Hindu and Buddhist opponents. But even those fragments reveal that the early atheists were bold freethinkers. Theists could not ignore them, as atheistic free thought enjoyed strong support, and its ideas had to be taken seriously and faced rigorously.  

Atheism had strong roots in traditional Indian wisdom. According to Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, the leading researcher on ancient Indian atheism, the overwhelming majority of the accredited exponents of major philosophical views were committed atheists. 

He reiterates: “They were not simply indifferent to the question of God, as some of the early Greek philosophers perhaps were. The Indian philosophers, on the contrary, faced the problem of God with all the seriousness they were capable of and they reached the reasoned conviction that His existence could be admitted only at the cost of clear logic. Such a situation is really unique. It has hardly any parallel in the history of world-philosophy.” 

Traditional Indian atheism is, then, truly ancient. It represented an extensive area of clear agreement among the traditional Indian philosophers. In spite of their commitment to atheism, these philosophers represented diverse worldviews; thus atheism in India had to develop with a peculiar self-sufficiency all its own. Philosophers had to defend atheism as atheism as such, without allowing its admixture with their other preoccupations. 

For Lokayatas, atheism formed part of a clear and consistent materialistic outlook. They denied god in order to make room for the doctrine of the exclusive reality of the material elements. It was more or less true, as well as, in the case of Sankhya philosophers. 

Ancient Indian Philosopher did their best to prove that logically speaking, God was only an illusion; and they were greatly successful in their efforts. Theism and atheism represented for them clear-cut and diametrically opposed philosophical positions. They concluded firmly that God is a simple superstition, an empty assumption, and an object of misdirected reverence. 

As in the words of Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya who summing up the status of God in Indian Philosophy, declared, “Of all our major philosophies, only the Vedanta (with some reservation) and specifically the later version of the Nyaya-vaisesika were theistic. By contrast, Buddhism, Jainism, Purva-mimamsa, Samkhya, Lokayata and Nyaya-vaisesika in its original form were philosophies of committed atheism. Thus, the stupendous importance of atheism in Indian wisdom can be questioned only by disallowing the largest majority of the significant Indian philosophers representing it.”

- Gora for India

Could you explain to Italians why Gora was and is so important in India and abroad?

GORA (1902–1975), Indian atheist activist and social reformer was the Founder of the Atheist Centre in Vijayawada, India, the first institution of its type in the world, Gora championed atheism as a positive way of life. He was imprisoned in 1942 during India’s struggle for freedom; he went on following Indian independence to lead numerous nonviolent campaigns for social change. In 1972 he organized the First World Atheist Conference at Vijayawada. In 2002, on the centenary of his birth, the government of India honored Gora with a commemorative postage stamp. 

Consistent in Thought and Action. Born into an orthodox family, Gora lectured at the college level for fifteen years, once heading a department of botany. The rebel in him came to fore in 1926 when the American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu offered to send him to Yale University, USA for research, provided he become a Christian. He refused. 

After extensive study, he announced himself an atheist. At Madurai he stayed in a “haunted house,” challenging popular belief in ghosts. In 1928 he encouraged his wife, Saraswathi, to view a solar eclipse, taboo for pregnant women. Dispelling superstitions, he walked on fire; challenged local god-men, or babas; popularized and even to marry untouchables. He attended only weddings to which the local untouchables were also invited, including even the weddings of his close relatives. Gora’s zeal and tenacity of purpose attracted Mahatma Gandhi, who invited Gora and his coworkers to his Sevagram Ashram. An Atheist with Gandhi (1951) recounts their discussions. 

On the political front, Gora opposed the rise of political parties, which he regarded as an obstacle to social progress. He campaigned for decentralized government and party-less democracy. From 1961 and 1962, he organized an eleven-hundred-mile, hundred-day foot march from Gandhi’s Sevagram to New Delhi with the theme “Government Ministers are Servants, People are Masters.”

Gora wielded an indefatigable pen, created an extensive atheist literature, and edited the journals Sangham (Society) and Atheist for three decades. His advocacy of secular art and culture, his calls for atheists and humanists to cleanse theistic terminology from their language, and his continual pressure to move India toward a post religious society guaranteed that he was never far from controversy. In 1970 and 1974. Gora toured the world, including the Soviet Union, to strengthen the worldwide atheist and humanist movement. When Gora died in 1975, a so-called untouchable lit his funeral pyre in the presence of hundreds of admirers.

Then–Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi said, “Gora was a man who felt deeply about the evils in society and was dedicated to reform. The movement for the abolition of untouchability, in particular, owes much to him.” 

Gora’s Positive Atheism was the main attraction in India. Infact Atheism was given a negative connotation by the religions. Gora proved that atheism is a positive way of life wherein one moves away from god centric world to human centric world, wherein on takes the responsibility for his or her own actions and deeds. Gora’s views have international significance and have Indian roots too as he always believed in addressing the roots of the problems. His inquisitiveness and spirit of inquiry as well as his practicality of action attracted all classes of Indians alike. His international perspective and thinking globally and acting locally have friends across borders.

His quote on scientists reveals his openness in thought. Whatever maybe the personal reasons for scientists and statement to invoke god, the practice is definitely harmful for the spread of a sense of reality among the people. Because scientists and statesmen are respected in their special fields of research and office, common people are prone to follow them in the religious practices too. Certainly religious faith prevents wide common understanding and breeds conflicts in human relations. Scientists and statesmen are guilty of this disharmony on account of their superstitious practices and demagogic pretensions. The remedy to this unfairness is to reject scientists and statesmen in this aspect of behaviour, though their services in their special aspects are appreciated. We wish scientists and statesmen to be honest throughout; if they are not, we have to distinguish between their personal dispositions and public attainments. 

Truth Seeker: Gora and Gandhi 

Gora agreed that he and Gandhi shared the view that social institutions are the expression of values that mould the minds of individuals and that by changing the values one changes the institutions. They both saw truth as an objective, impersonal reality. For Gandhi truth was ultimately God -- the divine reality identified with all that is. Because every man embodies divine truth, he carries within himself a portion of that truth and engages in selfless search for it. Gandhi also sought to augment it in individuals, groups and institutions. For Gora there was no identifiable divine absolute; he denied it. He saw the total of all existence as a set of relative truths constantly changing as scientifically verifiable knowledge increased. Truth for both of them was an objective, impersonal reality, but for Gandhi it had an ultimate explanation and for Gora it did not. For Gora, man was his own legislator, giving a meaning to his own life by committing himself to principles that had no significance (other than aesthetic) apart from such committal. 

Gora admired Gandhi for his open conduct and active living. Gandhi's openness fostered non-violence and in active living Gandhi experimentally tested his truth. For Gora individuals were only responsible to themselves and their fellow men for their deeds, and were free to choose and to act not act. Men were self-made, molded by environment and to a much lesser degree by their genes. Men had no Karmic inheritance and were responsible for their lives and actions. God, government, property, mores and conventions were man-made and could be changed by men. 

Gora continued to reject Gandhi's view that the universe emanates from sat or absolute truth. For Gandhi morality and dharma could not be ultimately divorced from rta or cosmic order. For Gora both were man-made. At the level of relative truth they were in agreement that what at one time might be true might cease to be so as new insights were discovered. For Gora there was no God or absolute, personal or impersonal. Such ideas were false, or hypotheses. This last concession made it possible for Gandhi and Gandhians to work with him and accept him as a fellow seeker after truth. Gora, like Gandhi, was never dogmatic and always admitted the possibility of being wrong. 

Gandhi replied 'Atheism is a denial of self. No one has succeeded in its propagation. Such success as you have attained is due to your sincere work among the people around you. I am sorry I cannot invite you to come here. I have no time to spare for talks'. 

Gora said to him, God is a falsehood conceived by man. Like many falsehoods it was, in the past, useful to some extent, but like all falsehoods, it polluted human life in the long run. So belief in god can go, and it must go to wash off corruption and to increase morality in mankind.  

I want atheism to make man self-confident and to establish social and economic equality, non-violently. Tell me, Bapu, where I am wrong.  

Gandhi replied “Yes, I see an ideal in your talk. I can neither say my theism is right nor your atheism wrong. We are seekers after truth. We change whenever we find ourselves in the wrong. I changed like that many times in my life. I see you are a worker. You are not a fanatic. You will change whenever you find yourself in the wrong. Whether you are in the right or I am in the right, results will prove. Then I may go your way or you may come my way; or both of us may go a third way. So go ahead with your work. I will help you though your method is against mine.”  

On another occasion Gandhi said to Gora: 

Truth means existence: the existence of that we know and of that we do not know. The sum total of all existence is absolute truth or the truth.... the concepts of truth may differ. But we all admit and respect truth. That truth I call God. This notion of truth as an objective, impersonal reality is historically prior to the atomistic, epistemological and scientific view of truth.

Both Gandhi and Gora had found that the Constructive Work Programs that they had been carrying on among the people -- covering adult education, sanitation, untouchability, and women's liberation -- brought short-lived improvements on a small scale. Both men decided that non-political methods do not succeed in solving the problems of people living in a complex society. For any real change, there must be political struggle culminating in legislation.
Gora did not find himself differing greatly in the early years from Gandhi and the Congress Movement as far as objectives were concerned. Their differences concerned the method of achieving these objectives. They agreed, however, that "practice was the test for truthfulness," or, as we say, that politicians must practice what they preach.

Both Gandhi and Gora had made a practice of living in the untouchable quarters wherever they traveled or worked. This not only indicated that the ideas of untouchability was unacceptable to them, but also, since they were clever, educated leaders and of high birth, it impressed on people and on other politicians the well-known Gandhian principle that the leaders must stay close to the people if they are truly to serve them. 

If Gandhi had lived longer he would have presided at the marriage of Gora's eldest daughter to a Harijan at Gandhi's ashram. They had a long discussion as to the form of words to be used at the marriage ceremony, as Gora would not allow the word God to be used. Gandhi agreed to substitute the word 'Satya', where he would have used God, saying 'For me God is truth although for you truth is not God. I am willing to substitute "Satya" where I would have used God at the ceremony'.

Gora said 'Gandhi was bored by those who always agreed with him. He always enjoyed discussion and argument when there was a basis of agreement which made the exchange of differing ideas meaningful'.

Positive Atheism:

The core of Gora’s personal philosophy is the notion that the very nature of the atheistic position implies a proactive ethic. Since no gods exist, if anything is to be accomplished we must do it ourselves. “Hallucinations and illusions are not facts useful for scientific investigation,” he says. True morality, Gora says, is based entirely in the real world. “Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man’s gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality. 

First, to right the wrongs in our world and the wrongs committed against us requires effort; no gods will do this work for us. In addition, no effort toward changing our environment will come up entirely fruitless. Human cultural and economic systems “have never arranged themselves by themselves,” says Gora. “It is men who do the ordering according to their attitudes, desires and understanding of things. Changes take place, not independent of man’s will, but on account of man’s wills. Civilization has progressed by man’s interference with material conditions.”  Or as Colonel Ingersoll said, “Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers; it is the only prayer that deserves an answer — good, honest, noble work.”  

Secondly, we are free as long as we submit to the integrity of truthfulness. “The insistence on truthfulness does not disturb the freedom of the individual. The social obligation implied in Satyagraha turns the freedom of the individual into moral freedom. An atheist is free to say or to do what he likes, provided he does what he says and says what he does. So, in the context of social relations, the freedom of the individual is moral freedom.”   

If atheists in the West and elsewhere are to gain widespread social acceptance, we must at least be able to point out that atheism is not inferior, morally, to theism. We would do well to be able to show atheism to be superior to theism, but this is not likely, and not necessary. No sect or group or ideology has shown itself to be superior in making people moral, and very few outlooks have shown themselves to make people patently immoral. Most wars have been waged in the name of loyalty to a creed, but strip this aside and the people of the various creeds are pretty much the same.

But atheists have been maligned from every side throughout the centuries. Religious sects and groups that would otherwise have nothing to do with each other have been known to join forces in denouncing or even persecuting the atheist. If they call us evil or wicked, we do well to act so that these accusations are false. If they say that atheists cannot be moral people, we do well, at minimum, not only to show that we can be moral people, but to be able to describe precisely how our atheism works toward making us honest, upright, dignified people. We can go further by insisting on truthfulness, but this only works if one is exceedingly careful to be honest from the start. “A man will pass better through the world with a thousand open errors upon his back than in being detected in one sly falsehood. When one is detected, a thousand are suspected.” 

Dictionaries give "wickedness" as a meaning of "atheism," besides godlessness and impiety. Conscious of the prejudice against atheism, advised Gora to take another name instead of atheism, as however noble the work we do, the name of atheism brings with it disrespect and ignominy, and good work falls into disrepute.   

In spite of these warnings and hard experiences, Gora preferred to stick to the label of atheism, because atheism alone renders changes, radical and lasting in human affairs. Those who fear the changes steadily give atheism a bad name in order to stem its growth. Everyone whom succeeding generations respected as a prophet of an era of freedom and progress was persecuted by contemporaries for heresy and blasphemy, if not wholly for atheism. Obviously, atheism is a progressive force. Atheists should not mind the slander and prejudices that vested interests spread against atheism. 

Though atheism is negative in form, it is positive in content. Positively it means the expression of man’s free will. It is usual in etymology to connote the meaning of a concept as the opposite of its opposite, especially when the latter is more popular. Such are the words like the ‘fearless’ and ‘non-violence’ for ‘boldness’ and ‘love.’ Atheism is a word of that kind. Atheism means free will. By and large theism is the manifestation of the slave mind of man. The feeling of subordination is the same, whether it is to a god, to a government, to a custom, to an institution or system or to a dogma. Atheism releases the freewill and renders oppression and inequality impossible any longer. Then equality in every aspect of life becomes order of the atheistic way of life.  

Gora: A man of all seasons:

"One-adult-one-vote is the out-standing character of democracy. The quality of voting franchise ought to lead through appropriate legislation to equality of opportunity and equality of social respect among people. But democracies have not so far succeeded in establishing this equality despite their voting rules. What is the reason?" These kind of open defiance of societal rigidity makes him international in his perspective and helps the global citizens to question and find alternatives and implement the philosophical base in their practical programs.  

The Atheist Centre continues in the forefront of atheism and social reform in India. Mrs. Saraswathi Gora, its cofounder, has won national and international recognition as an outstanding social reformer. Under her guidance, the organization continues a broad agenda of secular social work and has hosted four additional world atheist conferences in 1980, 1996, 2005. After her demise on August 19, 2006, Atheist Centre continues under the leadership of Gora’s Family members who are consistent in their thought and action towards a post religious society wherein there is equality and end of oppression of untouchability, fundamentalism and other considerations. Infact the Sixth World Atheist Conference is going to be held at Atheist Centre, India from January 5-7, 2007 on the theme, The Necessity of Atheism.

 -Your ideas

You are a very opened minded person. Religious and not religious ... dialogue is possible?

I am brought up in an atmosphere of free will, wherein questioning is the order of the day. The more one questions, one learns. This helped me to inquisitive and open my vistas and dialogue with friends from across the faiths. Infact I had my complete schooling in a Jesuit institution wherein I did get an opportunity to further strengthen my atheistic views. I believe that the dialogue between the religious and the non-religious is very much possible as what is important is human being first and then the isms. We need to work towards how we can stay safer and cooperate and collaborate with each other and solve the problems such as hunger and exploitation which are the root causes in the present day.  Infact historically the dialogue was considered as a threat especially from the religious side. But still the dialogue continued inspite of persecutions, because the ultimate aim of the human being is to support the truth and work towards it rather than fight that one has the truth to oneself and other truths are wrong or inferior. Dialogue is also important as the younger generation are caught up in the crossroads of witness the wars in the name of fundamentalism. But for them, peace is what they want. The political oppression and religious agenda of conversion are being challenged all over. This requires a dialogue for constructive action rather than destruction. Dialogue is required to promote scientific temper and secularism. As the old tenets of religion are loosing ground, newer avenues are sought through fundamentalism to protect the old rut, which is a dangerous sign. Hence to bring in greater tolerance and social responsibility dialogue helps.


V.G., u participated at IUPIP convention ... how was this experience? What do u think about future of IUPIP? Rovereto must continue to be a town for peace? 

IUPIP has been a great experience for me. I visited IUPIP in 1999 to attend the International Course on Peoples Diplomacy, Non violence, Economic Rights and Ecological Struggles. The course was very aptly titled as it covered the essence of development, which is a social justice issue. Roping in developmental activists from across the continents and bringing them under one roof has helped in constellation of ideas and sharing of best practices and collaboration. To me it was an experience wherein I could share my learnings from the field and take back others learnings to incorporate at the field level. I strongly believe that IUPIP is one of the greatest institutions with practical relevance and commitment as the people of Rovereto are behind this peace movement, which has spread its tentacles across the globe. Maybe the people do not know how much IUPIP has influenced on the participants, but the participants know how much they learnt and how much their countries are benefiting from the IUPIP learnings. This is one institution wherein people from conflict torn countries come and it is of great symbolism that the Peace Bell Foundation was formed in the post World War that is an apt organization to further strengthen IUPIP. The town Rovereto can be termed as a Peace Town for their commitment to bring fore peace and create ripple effect all over the world.


- Education


Which books you, would suggest to young students? Are you thinking to come to Italy soon? How do you see the situation in Italy about religious tolerance?

To me the writings of Bertrand Russell, Charles Bradlaugh, Robert Green Ingersoll, Carl Sagan, Paul Kurtz, Mark Twain, Thomas Paine, from the West and Gora, Abraham T. Kovoor, Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, M.N. Roy and many more have influenced my thinking and I suggest youth to read more on critical thinking and develop their spirit of inquiry. 

Italy has always been a country, which I cherish because I did get opportunity for a constructive debate including my visit to the Vatican City in 1999. My recent visit to attend the IUPIP Alumni Convention has helped to make new Italian Friends and I am sure that in future there would be more visits. Religious tolerance is there everywhere, but fundamentalism is the one that overshadows this.  Infact in 1999 I was initially denied a Visa to Italy because I was an Atheist, but later on the Embassy had to comply with the secular ramparts in India and had to issue me a visa. Islands of blind protectionism of religion are always present around the world and Italy is no exception. But the younger generation who are exposed to the world and realities of the atrocities committed in the name of religion are moving towards questioning the hypocrisy of religion. This is an important force to reckon with and need to be tapped to make the younger generations constructive thinkers.