Pharyngula

Basava Premanand is dying

Premanand is a notable rationalist and publisher of Indian Skeptic magazine, and he is in a hospital dying of cancer as I write this. He is alert and fully aware of his condition, and he knows his death is imminent. He also knows that when he is dead, the contemptible ghouls of spiritualism and faith and desperate dogma will descend on his corpse to try and steal some of his dignity and integrity for their superstitions, and he has responded accordingly by composing a deathbed testimonial.

I, B. Premanand s/o late Sri Basava Prabhu, 80 years of age resident Chettipalayam Road, Podanur, sound of mind though suffering from physical complications caused by metastases in many organs caused by carcinoma of the stomach herein solemnly wish to place on record the following:

  1. I have been closely associated with the rationalist movement from 1975 onwards and have been a rationalist of full conviction since then and continue to be so.
  2. It is common for the purveyors of superstitions and such anti rational forces to start spreading rumors about rationalists turning to god and other supernatural forces at the end of their lives and becoming devotees of gods and god men of various types.
  3. It is also claimed that at times of crises that we staunch rationalists through the major part of our lives, turn to spiritualism and religion.
  4. I wish to clarify that as on today the twentieth of September,2009 I remain a staunch rationalist and wish to place on record the following:
  • a. I continue to be a rationalist of full conviction.
  • b. I do not believe in any supernatural power. All the powers that we encounter are in the realm of nature and nothing exists beyond that.
  • c. I do not believe in the existence of the soul or rebirth.
  • d. I have not turned to any religion, god or any sort of spiritual pursuits.
  • e. When I pass away I shall be leaving only my body which is to be donated to a medical college and no spirit or soul to cause problems for the living.

I want to convey to all that the struggle against the exploitation by god men and so called supernatural forces is a long and hard one but the ultimate victory will be ours.
My very survival has been a challenge to astrologers and their so called ?science? of astrology, as they had all predicted that I would die soon after birth and refused to cast a horoscope for me.
I wish to convey to my colleagues of the rationalist movement to continue the work that I have been doing with renewed vigor and that will be the best of tributes for me.

Abhirami Hospital

Podanur (B. Premanand)

Witnessed by: Dr. Maya Prabhu and Suneera

I wish I’d known the man. He’s leaving us one small story from what must have been a life of reason, and is dying as a free man, free in thought.