Starting the serialisation of B.Premanand's Life's research of fortyeight years explaining miracles and psychic phenomena - "SCIENCE VERSUS MIRACLES"
With this April issue three years will be over since Indian Skeptic came into existence. This tiny journal was started so that member associations in other states and countries would know about our work in India.
Indian Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, came into existence in 1969 and Dr.A.T.Kovoor was the lone light in India around whom the rationalists gathered. In 1976 I took over the mantle as he was old and sick and started going around villages of Kerala explaining the tricks behind miracles and psychic phenomena.
The Vijnan Yatras arranged by state organisations took me to more than seven thousand villages and cities in India lecturing to about two crores of people and I could enthuse hundreds to take up the work of educating our people in scientific temper. It was in 1989 December that Dr. Narendra Sehgal, Director, National Council for Science & Technology Communication Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi 110 016 had courage to give me a fellowship for training resource persons in explaining miracles and also to make a video library of about 1200 miracles which I can explain. Also to write books explaining the miracles.
It is of great honour to me, that this year in the second Bharat Vignan Yatra, the resource persons whom I had trained would go around fifty thousand villages with the message of Scientific Temper. They will explain the science and tricks behind miracles, superstitions and blind beliefs so that exploitation in the name of god and miracles are stopped. Thus one of my aspirations would be fulfilled.
Another desire is to build up a research centre where all the miracles and psychic phenomena will be exhibited and explained with a library on religion, magic, science, miracles and psychic phenomena and connected subjects will be available for people to learn and do further researches on new claims. It would cost about two crores of rupees at the present money value. I had been dreaming about it for the past forty years and it is on paper and has to blossom into reality. Not through magical powers but through co-operation and hard work! Who will cooperate and how? Fifteen acres of land is there in Kerala which was named "Shrishaila" by our poet Late Rabindranath Tagore.
Since November after I had to undergo a surgery, I am far behind and it has not been possible to reply to hundreds of letters which have accumulated since then. Moreover the training programmes sponsored by NCSTC is taking major of my time and I hardly get about five to seven days in a month to reply to letters, to edit Indian Skeptic, type, print, staple, pack and post which I do myself as it is not possible to engage workers. I have not been able even to post receipts of the amounts received by way of subscription and the magazine is behind time. Some have also remited amounts for copies from the first issue. My work with NCSTC will be over by July 1991 and in August copies of old issues will be sent to those who have remitted money. I am unable to print them now as there is no time and the work has to be done by myself. I beg pardon and assure them that they will get the copies by August end.
In earlier days, cyclostyled newsletters were posted to co-operating organisations and when I found that the expenses in this regard was difficult to be borne by me in 1988 we planned for a regular monthly journal at a price of Rs.40/- annually, printed on photo copying machine. The price was fixed on the basis of cost of production given by the BPL who had supplied the photo copier, while on working it was found that the printing alone would cost Rs.5/- and one rupee for the paper. Then a table top offset machine was purchased from Madras, but it won't work, and it has not been worked so far except when we sent a legal notice last year under the consumer protection act. The Engineer visited us and he made it work. Although the work was not satisfactory, he agreed to supply a part as the automatic feeder was not working properly. The part has not yet been received and I am wondering that unless they are taken to court it wont be set right. When it is worked for a few minutes the alignment of the parts gets out of order and the nuts and bolts get loose. Meanwhile I am sending one person to them to get trained on such machine and we will know whether it would work. Please bear with me for the delay in getting copies of Indian Skeptic.
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Last update: 22 July 1998