Academic and co-founder of the atheist collective EsSENSE Global, C Ravichandran opens up to The New Indian Express.
Excerpts from an interview
What do Litmus meetings aim for?
Fact-based politics is one. Politics now is completely based on lies, claims, and counterclaims. Nothing to do with facts. One leader recently said in court: “We didn’t resort to violence in the assembly, sir.” All of us have seen the video, haven’t we? So, was it not a white lie, an insult to the public? Similarly, if some government brings a positive project, opposing parties raise a ruckus. Say, for example, the K-Rail project or the Farm Bills. No one looks at the merit... just blind opposition is what is happening now. Another focal point is evidence-based medicine. Third point, of course, is the call for a humanism-based society.
You recently stated that communism had turned into a religion...
I call it the fourth religion. Communism through the vote is negligent; in most countries, they come to power using violence. It is based on absolutism. In my point of view, no single class should have power over others. Then it becomes fascism. The followers, or communists, behave like devotees. The ‘religion’ has a prophet and a book written by him. If one questions anything, he becomes a ‘varga vanchakan (traitor)’. They hold on to economical superstition, too. The difference is that economic superstition will affect the entire society, not just one community like other religions!
Why do you support CAA-NRC?
Yes. The Citizenship Amendment Act only gives citizenship [to persecuted minorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh], and doesn’t take it away. However, in 1976, we added secularism to our Constitution. So, you cannot discriminate against any religion. But as a country, we require a citizenship registry. So, we need a CAA-NRC, implemented without filtering based on religion.
You have been against reservation....
Caste is a collectivist idea. Reservation never benefits people who are genuinely backwards or marginalised. It’s a myth. It helps the cream, caste ‘lords’ and ‘lord’ castes.
Of late, you have been called a ‘Sanghi’...
I have been criticising the Sangh and Hindutva for a long time. I am against all religions and belief systems. There was a time when I was called a communist. But as I started criticising Islam and reservation, I have a got a new title. Because, in Kerala, you cannot criticise Islam. For some people, that’s when the hand starts trembling.