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November 24, 2010

1929 AD:

The man read out the words from the paper scroll; out aloud for all to hear, “Rationalism is not a religion. It is an attitude to accept knowledge based upon reason.”

“Gentlemen, how does the opening line sound?” asked M.C Joseph, looking around the room; searching for ideas.

“Brilliant,” said Sahodaran Ayyapan who had tears in his eyes.

“Outstanding,” cried Ramavarma Thampan.

The others too acknowledged their approval. The room had a charged atmosphere to it and the men, who had gathered in the room, knew that they were onto something big. They had gathered at their favorite haunt in Ernakulam to discuss something; something which could potentially change their lives; change the social scenario in their beloved motherland.

Sahodaran Ayyapan said, “As we have decided; in this age of superstition and stupid discrimination, we need a public forum to voice our views and get them across to the masses.

Publishing a magazine is a good idea, but what exactly are our intentions?” asked C. V. Kunhiraman.

M.C Joseph took another sip of kattan chaya and said, “I think we ought to clarify exactly that in our manifesto; in our first edition of the magazine.”

So what should our Manifesto include?” asked Ramavarma Thampan.

For starters, we need to state that we would attack each and every single irrational belief and superstition; each and every religion. No institution will be spared! We cannot let our modern society be governed by archaic statements written thousands of years back,” replied M.C Joseph with a sneer.

Then what about our own? What if we say something which is disproved by science later?” asked Sahodaran Ayyapan; “Is that not a serious possibility?

M.C Joseph put his glass down and replied with earnest passion, “When there is a will to strive for the truth; there can be no place for ego or fear! And we will put that in our manifesto!”

And then, he bent down and furiously wrote something down in his paper scroll as the others looked on expectantly. After a minute, he looked up and said, “Gentlemen, I think I have captured all our thoughts in this single paragraph!”

Why not name the magazine “Yukthivadi” (The Rationalist)?” he said.

Rationalism is not a religion. It is an attitude to accept knowledge based upon reason. Yukthivadi will attempt to generate such an attitude amongst the people. To do this, we will have to criticize irrational faiths and propagate rational knowledge. Since Yukthivadi does not believe in any ultimate knowledge, it will not hesitate to correct itself based upon the latest information and knowledge. Every rationalist is bound to do so. The only maxim that Yukthivadi accepts as unchangeable is that the knowledge should be based upon reason.”

There was silence all around, as the people digested this piece of information; which augured well for the occasion.

Finally Sahodaran Ayyapan said, “I think we have a winner here!”

M.C Joseph stood up, raised his glass of kattan chaya up and said, “Gentlemen, let the light of Rationalism brighten every single person’s day from now! A single lamp has been lit today; a million others are waiting…….”

And thus, was born the magazine “Yukthivadi” which would eventually shape the very outlook of the state.

PS: This is a work of fiction, but I would imagine that those great men must have met in a similar place; and must have had such conversations, over many cups of kattan chaya.

Yuthivadi M.C Joseph would eventually be the editor of the paper till July 1974, till his health permitted him too.

Listening to this one now.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 6:37 am

    WOW !!! I like the opening line and the paragraph which makes sense. Rationalism…..knowledge based on reason….so simple, yet so difficult to understand and follow for many….
    OG: Written by them, not me 😛 check the links…………………..

    • November 24, 2010 6:57 am

      Yeah…I read them. And I liked them. That WOW is because, I’ve never read them so simple and profound before. 🙂
      OG: ok 😛 great! same here

  2. November 24, 2010 11:43 am

    History… is always more interesting when told with a personal or human touch to it!!
    Did any one tell you that you’d make a sooper history proff? 😀

    I hadn’t heard of this publication or it’s revolutionary contribution in shaping the state’s outlook, like you mentioned.

    Another “Ezhuthukaran” special, this one 😛

    Btw, what makes you think it was kattan chayya? It could have been hot chocolate…

    *turns her back to the rolling of eyes*

  3. November 25, 2010 10:58 am

    Mindblowing imagination you got!! And I am sending my kids to you when I get a chance – 10 or 15 years from now 😛 😛 U ought to make a great history teacher..>!!! :mrgreen: 😀

  4. November 28, 2010 3:41 am

    Wow, OG, probably thats how they started it, aarkariyaaam ! 😀

    you know what, I guess you kinda get all these from your previous birth ! It must be lying somewhere in your subconscious mind!! 😀 😀 😀 allengil inganey undaavumo oru imagination ! 😀 😀 😀

    Good one aliya, loved it !

  5. November 28, 2010 8:43 am

    Wonderfully written machi 🙂 Loved the way you have portrayed the conversation 🙂 🙂

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