Bantwal: ‘Intoxication of Religion More Dangerous than that of Opium’ – Minister Ramanath Rai

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Bantwal: Minister in charge of the district and of environment and forests B Ramanath Rai said at Mani that the intoxication of religion was far more dangerous than that of opium. The words made many listeners recall the words of Karl Marx, who had said that ‘Religion is the opium of the people’.


He was speaking at ‘Maanava Dharma Sambhrama’, a programme aimed at promoting the bonds of humanitarianism and fraternity, held in Shri Narayana Guru auditorium in Mani.

The programme was held under the aegis of the Udupi coordination committee of ‘Maanava Bandhutva Vedike’.

Rai further said that the undivided district had once earned a name as an abode of intelligent and the literate. But in quite contrast, it was indeed regrettable that now severe damage was being done to religious harmony as also blind beliefs were being promoted.

Inaugurating the meet, state excise minister Satish Jarkiholi said that only by coming out of blind beliefs that progress could be achieved. Life should not be hampered by faith, caste or religion. On his part, he pledged himself to the mission of promoting humanitarian relationship and fraternity even while being out of power.

All India Rationalists’ Association president Prof Narendra Nayak said that the holiest book for the country was the Constitution of India and not Bhagwad Gita, nor the Bible, nor the Qur’an. Being human was the greatest of all religions, he stressed.

Akashvani Mysuru’s programme executive H I Abdul Rasheed, MLA T Shakuntala Shetty, State AIDS Prevention Society joint director Dr Leela Sampige, Sudana educational institutions’ correspondent Rev Vijay Harvin from Puttur, and Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) vice president F C Chega Reddy also shared their views.

As part of the programme which highlighted equality among all, Mahesh, a teacher from Byranayakanahalli in Chennapatna and Shrunga, also a teacher, from Mandya, but hailing from different castes, tied the knot to become husband and wife.

Maanava Bandhutava Vedike state coordination committee member Wilfred D’Souza, his family members Reena, Paul D’Souza, Rony and Rohini signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to donate their bodies after death for the purpose of medical research.

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