Ravichandran C.

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Ravichandran C.
File:RavichandranC2.jpg RavichandranC2.jpg
Born (1970-05-30) 30 May 1970 (age 52)
Pavithreswaram, Kottarakkara, Kollam, Kerala, India
💼 Occupation
University professor, writer, activist
📆 Years active  1995–present

Ravichandran C (രവിചന്ദ്രൻ സി.) was born in the year 1970 at Pavithreswaram of Kottarakkara taluck in Kollam, Kerala as the son of the late K. Chandrasekharan Pillai and P. Omana Amma. After finishing his school education from Saint Jude High School at Mukhathala in Kollam, he graduated from Sree Narayana College, Kollam. He has secured as many as eight post-graduation degrees from multiple disciplines — English, Economics, Politics, History, Sociology, Philosophy, Commerce, Public Administration and Malayalam. He started his career at the Kerala Public Service Commission office as a clerk and continued there for over a decade.

He is a notable atheist, rationalist, author, promoter of science and rationalism, public speaker, blogger, YouTuber and debater in the Malayalam speaking world. He has authored around a dozen books in Malayalam on topics covering from religiosity to politics. He is one of the most popular outspoken atheists from Kerala as well, which in tern prompted severe criticisms from many corners against him. This led him to become more popular among the atheists in Kerala over the years. He has founded organisations like esSENSE Club and esSence Global to promote free thinking, atheism and scientific mentality. He teaches at the colleges under the University of Kerala and currently he is an English lecturer at the Government Polytechnic College, Ezhukone in Kollam.

Activism[edit]

Apart from making speeches on and for science and atheism he debates pseudo science, nephropathy, astrology, palmistry etc. with prominent experts in the subjects and fields on TV shows and public stages organised across Kerala. He has appeared in several popular TV programs and shared his views against god and religion, quackery, yoga etc.[1] He has founded organisations like eSSENSE Global (previously Essense club) to propagate free thinking and scientific approaches. He has translated a couple of internationally best selling science books into Malayalam such as Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth (Malayalam title Bhoomiyile Mahathaya Drishyavismayam),[2] and The Tell-Tale Brain: Tale Brain-Unlocking the Mystery of Human Nature by V. S. Ramachandran (Malayalam title, Masthishkam Katha Parayunnu).[3] Many of the books written by him had been sensational, and sold in large numbers, forcing the publishers to have re-prints in short intervals.[4][5]

The public debate he had with Rahul Easwar—a right-wing commentator and Hindu Nationalist who occupied local and national media headlines at times for his controversial speeches—made him so popular among the youth of Kerala. The event was conducted by Free Thnikers' Forum in Thiruvananthapuram in 2015. When Rahul Easwar told the audience that beef should not be consumed by Indians, since cow was a sacred animal in Hinduism, the religion of vast majority here; and that the minority could adjust their food preference to accommodate the sentiments of Hindus, Ravichandran snapped this argument quipping, "You could treat your sister like your sister, that is fairly OK. But you cannot ask your brother-in-law to do the same".[5] The audience applaud followed filled the hall instantly. He is notable for his sharp and quick-witted counter arguments like this. He had debated popular spiritual figures in Kerala like Swami Sandeepanandagiri [6] and Swami Chidanandapuri [7] on subjects like Gita, Yoga, existence of soul etc.[8]

In 2017 he received the Mundassery Foundation Award for young authors who write science books aiming to spread and instill scientific attitude in people. Prof. Joseph Mundassery is the first minister for education of Kerala and a well known academician and literary critic in Malayalam language.[9]

The organisation Ravichandran has founded, esSENSE Global (previously esSENSE Club), has active members in and out of the State of Kerala. The organisation conducts series of debate programs and speeches. esSENSE Global has members from around the world, mostly people from Kerala who are employed overseas. Due to the generous financial support of these wealthy followers Ravichandran and his organisation could convene big shows and events in Kerala more successfully than any other atheist wing could do in the state in recent times. The annual event of esSENSE is named Litmus. In 2019 the organisation's annual program — Litmus-2019, staged in Kozhikode — witnessed an impressive and dedicated participation of more than 7000 people, an achievement for any atheist organisation like it.[10]

He and his organisation have challenged popular quackery that was introduced as alternative medicines to the gullible public.[11] Interactive sessions were also conducted under this organisation on the purported unscientific aspects of treatments such as homoeopathy, Unani and Siddha.

Ravichandran had taken part in the Kerala's reputed literary annual festival, the Kerala Literature Festival' (its 2020 edition which was conducted in Kozhikode).[12] The festival official document had described him as — Ravichandran C, is an Asst. Professor of English, Govt. Women's college, Thiruvananthapuram has earned nine postgraduate degrees and authored 14 books in Malayalam. He is a writer, translator, public speaker and debater. He is very influential in promoting scientific temper and freethinking among the youth in Kerala. He has been spreading scientific temper and humanism across Malayali diaspora all over the world.[13]


Books[edit]

  • Pakida 18[14] in 2013
  • Vasthu Lahari[15]
  • Ambilikuttanmar[16]
  • Beefum Beliefum[17]
  • Nasthikanaya Daivam[18] in 2009
  • Mrithyuvinte Vyakaram[19]
  • Velichappadinte Bharya[20]
  • Adaminte Palavum Ramante Sethuvum [21] in 2007
  • Ravichandrante Samvadangal[22]
  • Vivekanandan Hindu Missihayo? [23]
  • Chumbichavarude Chora [24]

Organisations[edit]

  • Essense club,[25] the first organisation started under Ravichandran C's leadership, it later on split into two thanks to in-fighting; Ravichandran started a new organisation under the name esSENSE Global which now represents his side of the original esSENSE team and conducts programs of its own. It also took a different logo in April 2021.
  • esSENCE Global[26]
  • Neuronz:[27] Videos and podcasts by esSENSE Global

Litmus '19, Kozhikode[edit]

File:Litmus '19 Kozhikode.jpg
Litmus '19, Kozhikode - leaflet in Malayalam

The annual meet of esSENSE Global named Litmus was held in Kozhikode in the year 2019 and was a huge success in its own, making all the local and national newspapers duly cover it. [28] [29] The event was otherwise remarkable as well as many of the delegates who attended the event signed up their willingness to donate organs of which newspapers like the Mathrubhumi Daily reported. It could also attract hundreds of participants from across the state. Apart from being a science and free-thought conference, Litmus '19 was a program staged in hi-tech mode, which rendered theater-like experience to its audience.

File:Hi-tech stage of Litmus '19.jpg
Hi-tech stage of Litmus - 2019, Kozhikode


Early Associates[edit]

Ravichandran C. came to public attention through his speeches he made in programs conducted by organisations like Nirmukta [30], Bharatheeya Yukthivadi Sangham founded by Sreeni Pattathanam, Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham [31]etc. These organisations competed one another to have his speeches in their programs, owing to his remarkable oratory skills that tried to reveal holes in religious faiths people had. He was the prime attraction at the events of these organisations before he started his own organisation, esSENSE, and stopped making public speeches on behalf of them. Many accomplished people like Dr Viswanathan CVN and the director of the popular Malayalam film Prabhuvinte Makkal that ruthlessly questioned religious customs and practices, Sajeevan Anthikkadu joined hand with him in his early days as activists and organizers at esSENSE. They later parted ways with him alleging that he was undemocratic and having cult-like organisational motives. A few more organisations that previously supported him turned hostile later on due to his alleged stand against nation-wide farmer struggles (2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest) [32] and reservation (Reservation in India) policies.

Awards[edit]

  • Kerala Sahithya Academy Endowment Award 2018 [33]
  • Prof Joseph Mundassery Award by Mundassery Foundation of Kerala, in the year 2017 [9]

Criticism[edit]

Despite being a well known atheist and social critic, he has earned a number of rivals in Kerala thanks to his stern stand against caste based reservation,[34] left wing politics etc. and his affinity for near right-wing politics. Some of his opponents say that he is growing a cult for himself, to support this they point out that Ravichandran is an atheist with followers similar to that of priests and gurus in Kerala, who leave no room for toleration towards opponents of any kind from the 'religious - secular' spectrum; be it other atheists like him or the rival sided religious people.[35]

References[edit]

  1. "മതമുക്തനാകണോ മനുഷ്യൻ പുരോഗമിക്കാൻ ? | C. Ravichandran | Rahul Easwar | Janakeiya Kodathi" – via www.youtube.com.
  2. "Bhumiyile Eattavum Mahathaya Drishya Vismayam – Nastik Nation". Nastik Nation (in മലയാളം). 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  3. "Masthishkam Katha Parayunnu – Nastik Nation".
  4. "'ബുദ്ധനെ എറിഞ്ഞ കല്ല്'; ആയിരക്കണക്കിന് കോപ്പികള്‍ വിറ്റഴിഞ്ഞ കൃതി". March 6, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "സി.രവിചന്ദ്രന്‍ രചിച്ച 'വാസ്തുലഹരി' മൂന്നാം പതിപ്പില്‍". September 5, 2018.
  6. "DEBATE: Ravichandran C Vs Sandeepananda Giri | ആത്മാവ് ഉണ്ടോ ?" – via www.youtube.com.
  7. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/judiciary-silently-implementing-uniform-civil-code-sebastian-paul/articleshow/58034355.cms
  8. Swami Chidanandapuri
  9. 9.0 9.1 "പ്രൊഫ. ജോസഫ് മുണ്ടശേരി പുരസ്‌കാരം വൈശാഖന്; പ്രൊഫ. സി രവിചന്ദ്രന് യുവ എഴുത്തുകാരനുള്ള പുരസ്‌കാരം". January 21, 2017.
  10. "Kozhikode: 7,000 people attend free thinkers' meet | Kochi News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  11. Reporter, Staff (October 4, 2019). "Freethinkers' meet to hold debate on alternative medicines" – via www.thehindu.com.
  12. "നിഷേധത്തിന്റെ ലാവണ്യം | Ravichandran C | Abhilash Mohan | Kerala Literature Festival 2019" – via www.youtube.com.
  13. "Ravichandran C- Speaker in Kerala literature Festival KLF –| Keralaliteraturefestival.com". keralaliteraturefestival.com.
  14. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  15. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  16. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  17. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  18. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  19. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  20. "You are being redirected..." dcbookstore.com.
  21. "Adaminte Palavum Ramante Sethuvum – Nastik Nation".
  22. MD, Sajeev (2019-10-06). "Ravichandrante Samvadangal – Nastik Nation". Nastik Nation (in Latina). Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  23. "Vivekanandan Hindu Messiahyo? – Nastik Nation". Nastik Nation (in മലയാളം). 2018-12-10. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  24. "Chumbichavarude Chora – Nastik Nation".
  25. "എസ്സെന്‍സ്‌ ക്ലബ് അറിയിപ്പ് 8 July 2018 | esSENSE Club- Freethinkers Community - Kerala India".
  26. "esSENSE Magazine | An esSENSE Global Publication". esSENSE Magazine.
  27. "neuronz - YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  28. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/free-minds-decry-state-of-education/article25106563.ece
  29. "അശാസ്ത്രീയ ചികിത്സയ്ക്ക് നിയമപരിരക്ഷ ലഭിക്കുന്നത് ദുരവസ്ഥ -ലിറ്റ്മസ് 19". Mathrubhumi.
  30. http://nirmukta.net/Thread-Debate-Religion-and-Science
  31. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/food-as-a-weapon-of-social-revolution/article18418416.ece
  32. https://www.southlive.in/mirror/socialwall/kerala-yukthivadi-sangham-indirectly-criticizes-ravichandran-c/
  33. "Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards announced". The New Indian Express.
  34. https://www.marunadanmalayalee.com/interview/activist/interview-with-c-ravichandran-part-4-108578
  35. "How effective is C. Ravichandran, as a Rationalist in Kerala? - Quora". www.quora.com.

External links[edit]


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