The American Humanist Association is running its largest ever awareness campaign, and Richard Dawkins is one of the ambassadors. There are videos and some printable ads. Some of the print ads seem more relevant to me, to my immediate social context, than others.
The ones on War and Peace, Intelligence, Fear, Hatred, Genocide, Violence, and Slavery seem to me to have no relevance (I shan’t say ‘no use’) in the Indian context. The rest, though, ring worrisomely true.
We could use an infusion of Humanist views on Punishment in this society. Even Gandhi for example, saw no problem with declaring that natural disasters were punishment for the immorality of the people. Gandhi stuck to that view of the Bengal famine of the 1930s, in the face of criticism from people like Tagore. This is only truer today, and true of many more people, in ways that reveal stupidity, ignorance, and bigotry.
Here’s another: the Supreme Court has decriminalised Homosexuality, but that is a far cry away from this society imbibing Humanist views on homosexuality. With the political Right of India becoming ever more like the rabid fundamentalist Right of the bible-belt in America, the acceptance of homosexuality in society couldn’t happen too soon.
Perhaps what we need even more, and urgently, is for Humanist views on gender-equality to sweep through this society. My views on this, I have made clear in the past. I also hardly need expatiate on this point – I don’t expect many people who are reading this to hold a different view on this matter. No nation or population that relegates half its citizenry to second-class citizenship can ever hope to prosper. I’d even say that no definition of ‘prosperity’ can ignore that half the population is stuck inside four walls with no access to fresh air and sunlight, to say nothing of the arts, literature, music, or science.
[End. Fini. Kaputski. Consider Humanism]