KOCHI: The ‘Freethinkers’ Facebook group and Kerala Freethinkers Forum (KFTF) are jointly organising their two-day annual event, ‘Freethinkers Meet-2018’ at the Town Hall, Kochi on August 11 and 12. At a time of rampant fundamentalism, say the organisers, ‘Freethinkers’ say they are relevant due to their dedication to open discussions surrounding religion, atheism, science and politics. The group was recently in the news regarding the events related to ‘#IamGauri’ and Dinkoism.
This year’s Freethinkers Meet will feature a diverse array of seasoned speakers as well as newcomers discussing a wide range of topics.Sunny Kappikkad is a scholar of philosophy, who will deliver a talk on ‘Constitutional Morality’. He is a social thinker and writer known for his speeches about Ambedkarian politics. He is also involved in movements for the rights of the subaltern communities.
C Viswanathan, active in the freethinking community from 2010, is presenting a session titled ‘Anatomy of Misogyny’. He has been critical of pseudosciences, ranging from Yoga through Dialectical Materialism to Meditation. Maya Pramod, chosen as ‘The Woman of the Year 2017’ by the Women’s Health Magazine, will speak about the ‘Sixty Years of Dalit Lives in Kerala’. The topic goes in depth about Dalit-Adivasi communities being deprived of their rightful share of resources due to the current political system; reduced to the stature of refugees in their own homeland, subsisting on meagre support from the system.
Aniwar Aravind will talk about the infringement of basic human rights and privacy due to the implementation of Aadhaar. The shortage of our framework to accommodate such systems will be discussed. He is one of the founder directors of the Indic project and has also been instrumental in the release of open source software projects like Mozilla, LibreOffice and Wikipedia.Other sessions include discussions by intersectional feminist Beena Kayaloor, transgender activist Faizal Faisu, Veena J S, Ashish Jose Ambat, Jayasree Sreenivasan, Kannan Keecherill, Arathy S A and Prasanth Chithran.
Other subjects which will be discussed include LGBT rights, science and technology, healthcare, literature, feminism and social justice.An open forum on ‘Caste Reservation and Social Justice’, led by Arun N M with panelists Prasanth Appul, Arundhathi T S and Shyam Nath S will also take place. The event is open to all with a registration fee of Rs 200. Students can participate for free if an ID is produced.