Humanists I Met
(Amritlal Bhikku Shah)
A.B. Shah has played a crucial role as a follower in the Indian Humanist, Secular movement. From the day I got introduced to him in 1964, we continued our friendship. His death in 1982 was a blow to the movement.
The humanist training camp was held in Avanigadda,
Aavula Gopala Krishna Murthy was an academician, a Principal. He conversed in English and translated as and when required to A B Shah. A B Shah also appreciated the speeches of Raavipudi Venkatadri, Tripuraneni Venkateswara rao, NV Brahmam by listening to their English versions and admired their speeches as they had a spirit in them.
Other participants are Malladi Rama Murthy, GV Krishna Rao, Kalluri Basaveswara Rao, Meka Chakrapani, Ch.Rajareddy, M V Ramanayya, Tripuraneni Gokulchand, Bachu Venkateswarlu, Gavini Venkataswami.
I was a good companion to A B Shah.There were not many who could give good company to him in the camp. It included chitchatting over a peg of drink and smoking. A B Shah was used to smoke through pipe whereas Raavipudi was using a cigar. Mandava Srirammurthy contributed and supported very well in the success of the camp. Kutumbarao’s arrangements and hospitality were very appreciable and it was a successful study camp.
A B Shah has toured Andhra on
my invitation many a times. He developed friendship with Abk.
In the year 1967, when he was in bed due to cardiac arrest; we have taken a
promise from him to get himself treated at
I have conducted many meetings in
We had a dinner with the then vice-chancellor D.S. Reddy. Later on to tie a knot with the vice chancellor Narotham reddy’s son to his daughter, he had consulted me for the enquiry of the details of the family. But after the marriage, their relationship broke.
I have introduced Aalapati Ravindranath , VR Narla to Shah.
A B Shah brought into light some very good books in the
name of Nachiketha publications. Out of every seminar
there was a book published. He directed me to sell the books and share half of
the amount with him. We have sold literature on humanism in that way. Gurijala Seetharamayya from Tenali and Koneru Kutumbarao from
A B Shah was in the editorial board of Radical humanist magazine. He had later changed the Quest magazine into new quest and also conducted very well. He had also established the secular society and conducted the secularist magazine. He had challenged Puri Sankaracharya that in the Vedas, there were instances where Hindus consumed cow meat. Tarka tirtha Lakshmana Sastry has cooperated very well. With the assistance of M P Rege,A B Shah has run the NEW quest magazine. Dilip Chitre acted as editor to it for some time.
M N Rai had solved the principles of humanism according to the modern science and proposed alternate solutions. He opined that accepting the principles with Vedas as base might not be a right way. C B Ray agreed with him whereas V M Tarkunde had taken it casually.
I have read a copy of philosophical consequences of modern science through him. But before it could get edited and published, he was no more. Writings of Shah were very scientific and organized.
In 1978 I received a letter from Garden Stain from
A B Shah was born in Gujarath
in the Digambar Jain
community and turned into a humanist under the influence of A N Rai. He moved
VKSinha, a disciple to A B Shah is running a secularist magazine
today. B A V Sarma was also
a follower to A B Shah who moved to
The Satya sodhak
Mandali was set up in
I have introduced A B Shah to Bhavanam
Venkatram when he was acting as a chief minister and
a minister for education. Due to the similarity of thoughts, they grew closer.
Edward Shills ran the Minerva magazine from
A B Shah came to
I have introduced Rashiduddin Khan, Y.Ragahavaiah ,G.Ram Reddy, KSeshadri, P V Rajagopal to Shah. They have recognized his wisdom.
The books on Gandhi and Nehru by Shah were the result of seminar. Some of his well known books are Scientific method, tradition and modernity, challenges to secularism. He had discussed against the topic of obscenity.
His article on “The World around me” published in the Vahini magazine revealed his universal vision.
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