The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and the Greater Boston Humanists are proud to present Lavanam, Indian Humanist and activist, speaking about "The State of Secularism in India Today."
Lavanam ["salt" in the Telugu language, named in honor of Gandhi's March to the Sea to condemn the British Salt Tax] is the son of Gora, a powerful anti-caste and secularizing force in India. Gora gave up his Brahmin heritage and married an Untouchable woman in the 30's. He also gave up his last [caste] name and did path-breaking social work with Untouchables, widows and jogini [temple prosititutes] as well as helping to reform the so-called "Criminal Castes".
Because of his exemplary social activities, Gora and his family were invited to Gandhi's Ashram and stayed there for over 2 years. Gandhi officiated at Lavanam's marriage and Gandhi was assassinated just a week before he was to officiate at the marriage of Lavanam's sister. Published by the Gandhi Library in New Delhi, Lavanam's book "Gandhi As We Knew Him," co-written by Mark Lindley, a Harvard alumnus and Watertown resident, explores many of his and his family's experiences with Ghandi in more depth.
Now, Lavanam is the Director of the Atheist Centre in India (under the International Humanist and Ethical Union). He has led a life of Positive Atheism and Service to Humanity and was recently a National Awardee for Social Programs by the Indian Government.
An Indian Buffet will be served at 1 pm. The talk begins at 2 pm.
For more information, call [masked], or check out www.harvardhumanist.org.