We, the atheists, humanists, rationalists, freethinkers and like-minded people, from India and abroad, gathered here in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, on the eve of the World Atheist Conference 2018, organized by DravidarKazhagam, Atheist Centre and The Rationalists’ Forum on January 5, 6 & 7, 2018.
We have identified that:
• Children and Youth are the majority in the world and there is a need to liberate them from ignorance, illiteracy and superstitions, by educating them in critical thinking and free inquiry so that they develop scientific temper and lead a rational and ethical living
We are deeply concerned:
• We are concerned with the growing intolerance, persecution and violence against atheists, humanists and rationalists
• We are concerned about religious fundamentalists and the youth falling prey to the extremist ideologies
• We are concerned with the superstitious practices and fraudulent ‘god-men’, their impact on the health and well-being of children, women and the society.
• We stand for equality and rights of women, children, and LGBT people, and all have the equal right to life and free from discrimination
• We stand for secularism and free thought
• We voice the need to stop all sorts of atrocities against the socially marginalized communities and women
• We assert that atheists, humanists, rationalists, freethinkers and non-believers have equal rights as with everyone else and the Governments should be cognizant of these
• We stand for the separation of religion and State, religion and politics, religion and education and religion and governance
• We call on the Governments to invest in educating and in fostering rational thinking among youngsters
• We are committed to build atheism and humanism as a way of life, along with critical thinking, scientific temper and spirit of inquiry
• We uphold the human dignity and self-respect of all people
• We believe that ethics is a social necessity and has no religious significance
• Blasphemy laws throughout the world, should be abolished
• The Constitution of India should be amended to abolish caste system which includes ‘untouchability’
We recognize the efforts of atheist, rationalist and humanist social reformers and we will be carrying forward their work for a rational and empathetic society.
Today, on January 7, 2018, this declaration stands as our voice for justice, equality, scientific temper and spirit of inquiry.