Rational Thinking : Debunking Superstitions and Exposing Godmen in India

The classic “3 R’s” of learning are, of course, Reading, Riting,  and Rithmetic.  But, at Avasara, we thought it’s important to introduce our students to a fourth ‘R’, i.e. Rational Thinking to help inspire the other three and develop our students into rational beings.

To make this possible, we had Mr Narendra Nayak conduct a session on Rational Thinking in our Learning and Entrepreneurship class this week.

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Curious students listening in rapt attention

Who is Narendra Nayak?

Narendra Nayak, is a notable rationalist and godman debunker  from  Mangalore,  Karnataka. He tours the country conducting workshops to promote scientific temper and showing people how to debunk godmen and frauds. He has conducted over 2000 demonstrations in India. As a polyglot who speaks 9 languages fluently, which helps him when he is giving talks in various parts of the country.

Mr. Nayak distributing ‘vibhuti’(ash) materialized out of nothing
Mr.Nayak reading Delcis’ mind

Science, Magic or Miracles?

Mr Nayak materialized ash out of nothing, he read student’s minds, he produced a gold chain out of thin air and showed some interesting videos on superstitious practices. He then explained to students the science behind the ‘miracles’ they witnessed and how science is being used by certain godmen (babas) to fool others. He pushed students to think, to question, to explore and not be gullible and believe without thinking.

Students watching a video on a baba removing demons from a girl
Students watch as the truth unfolds, on the fake baba.
Saima has already started questioning! She wants to inspect the pack of cards Mr. Nayak is using.

Exposing the Midbrain Activation Scam

‘We help bring out the best in your child’, ‘Help your child to be a genius’ -are some advertisements that have started to pop up in many cities wherein fantastic claims are being made to ensnare parents and make them spend money to ‘activate the midbrain’ of their child.

The whole edifice of this so-called Mid brain development rests on the claims of being able to make children read blindfolded.

Nadia reading a magazine blindfolded
Sonali and Nikita are taken aback by Nadia’s newly acquired skill.

The session was an eye opener for the students. It has set the ball rolling and we hope that the ball keeps rolling for them. As Margaret Mead has rightly said “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” We hope to develop the fourth ‘R’ in our students this year.

(For more information on Mr.Narendra Nayak and his work you can log on to http://www.narendranayak.com)

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