Saturday, December 29, 2012

Secularism and Nonreligion journal

By Mathew Goldstein

Access to this academic journal is free and the articles are interesting. They say that they intend to publish one volume per year, with new articles being added to the current volume throughout the year. The first volume is now completed. So take a look, Secularism and Nonreligion.

Blurb from their web site:

Secularism and Nonreligion is a new interdisciplinary journal published with the aim of advancing research on various aspects of 'the secular.' The journal is interested in contributions from primarily social scientific disciplines, including: psychology, sociology, political science, women's studies, economics, geography, demography, anthropology, public health, and religious studies. Contributions from history, neuroscience, computer science, biology, philosophy, and medicine will also be considered. Articles published in the journal focus on the secular at one of three levels: the micro or individual level, the meso or institutional level, or the macro or national and international levels. Articles explore all aspects of what it means to be secular at any of the above levels, what the lives of nonreligious individuals are like, and the interactions between secularity and other aspects of the world. Articles also explore the ideology and philosophy of the secular or secularism.

Irreligious Socialization? The Adult Religious Preferences of Individuals Raised with No Religion PDF
Stephen M. Merino 1-16
Atheisms Unbound: The Role of the New Media in the Formation of a Secularist Identity PDF
Christopher Smith, Richard Cimino 17-31
Anti-Atheist Bias in the United States: Testing Two Critical Assumptions PDF
Lawton K Swan, Martin Heesacker 32-42
Forms, Frequency, and Correlates of Perceived Anti-Atheist Discrimination PDF
Joseph H. Hammer, Ryan T. Cragun, Karen Hwang, Jesse M. Smith 43-67
Explaining Global Secularity: Existential Security or Education? PDF
Claude M. J. Braun 68-93
Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not, by Robert N. McCauley PDF
J. Tuomas Harviainen i-ii
Secularization and Its Discontents, by Rob Warner PDF
Isabella Kasselstrand iii-iv
Doubt, Atheism, and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Intelligentsia, by Victoria Frede PDF
Scott M. Kenworthy v-vi

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Haiku

by Edd Doerr

the tide rushes in
   lingers briefly on the beach
       returns to the sea

     *     *     *

a flash of lightning
   a roar of thunder follows
      the downpour begins

     *     *      *

fog rolls in slowly
   hovers over the city
      gives way to the sun

     *      *     *

the tiger lilies
   blooming along the old road
      remind one of home

Opus Dei

by Edd Doerr

Opus Dei, Latin for "The Work of God", is a strange, secretive cultlike outfit within  the Catholic Church, though most Catholics take a dim view of it. I have written about it for years and piles of books have been published about it, pro and con. If you read Dan Brown's thriller novel "The Da
Vinci Code" or saw the move of it with Tom Hanks you got a scary but inaccurate picture of it. In just recent months the Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Robert Finn, an Opus Dei member, was convicted of covering up clerical child sexual abuse. It has not been established but some people believe that justices Scalia and Thomas may be members.

Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by Msgr Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer and became powerful in Spanish politics in Franco's later years. It operate in the US and many other countries and is ultraconservative. Long ago I read Escriva's Opus Dei book Camino (The Way) in the original Spanish and found it quite bizarre. In the 1970s inrerviewed an Opus bigshot for an article in Church & State when I was its edtor.

My purpose here is to plug the Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN), based in Pittsfield, MA. Their web site -- ODAN.ORG -- has more info on this outfit than you can find anywhere. I urge you to check it out.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking at Political Rhetoric Ahead with the Aid of a Look Back at Decider Era Language

By Gary Berg-Cross

There are quite a few decisions ahead we face as a nation, but the end of the year is also a time to look back.  Well, at first blush we see in the rear view mirror a very political, ideological and shallow belief driven year.  Looking ahead at some of looming, large conversations it seems that there is plenty to anticipate. But  as a nation we have gone from a 2 year campaign to a permanent campaign mode that makes compromise and balanced decisions difficult.  With ideological belief ridding harshly on pragmatic approaches we are likely to slink into that finger-pointing style for some time. 

That seems a poor environment for decisions so perhaps a look back provides some perspective on what might get when we auto pilot on  politics, ideology and God-given beliefs.  We don’t have to go back too far.  We can look at George W. Bush’s (ghost team written) presidential autobiography Decision Points for some idea of what emerges from such an atmosphere.

When it came out Decision Points  was described by a NYTs review as:

 a book that is part spin, part mea culpa, part family scrapbook, part self-conscious effort to (re)shape his political legacy…. Certainly it’s the most casual of presidential memoirs: how many works in the genre start as a sort of evangelical, 12-step confession (‘Could I continue to grow closer to the Almighty or was alcohol becoming my god?’),”

Eliot Weinberger’s writing in the London Review of Books pointed out how the book blurred distinction between fiction and non-fiction.

That is to say, the parts that are not outright lies – particularly the accounts of Hurricane Katrina and the lead-up to the Iraq War – are the sunnier halves of half-truths.

Obama is certainly not George W. and likely more thought and data for decisions, but he is dealing in part with neo-con and rigid belief factions that advised us into “problems.”  It is sobering to think about how many Bush legacies, discussed in that book as if Bush was heroically dealing with each one, still have to be dealt with by Obama. The list includes:

  • Recession and debt following the financial crisis of 2008
  • Terrorist attacks,
  • Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and controlling the military,
  • Middle East conflicts, emerging democracies & aid,
  • drones,
  • Various domestic issues (including Medical reform, Social Security reform, Education and Immigration reform),
  • Federal response to disaster (Sandy etc.) and
  • Political strategy

What ever book Obama writes it will probably provide more insight into these and reflect a different backward glance than W’s last days in office (from Wikipedia):

"I reflected on everything we were facing. Over the past few weeks we had seen the failure of America's two largest mortgage entities, the bankruptcy of a major investment bank, the sale of another, the nationalization of the world's largest insurance company, and now the most drastic intervention in the free market since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. At the same time, Russia had invaded and occupied Georgia, Hurricane Ike had hit Texas, and America was fighting a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was one ugly way to end the presidency."

Ugly yes, but as Eliot Weinberger wrote in the London Review of Books:

“Bush is the lone hero of every page of Decision PointsWe hear very little substantial thinking but are offered instead some detached voice sounding forceful, in command, and often peeved at “the inadequacies of his subordinates”. 

Now with a permanent campaign abroad in the land we don’t have to wait for a book to hear spin, combined with mea culpas and self-conscious effort to (shape political legacies (think John Boehner).   So perhaps we can be fore-warned and not have to wait for a future Obama book.  Instead someone else is likely to spin the next few years events to their purpose in a George W decision making style voice:

‘What the hell is happening?’ I asked during an NSC meeting in late April. ‘Why isn’t anybody stopping these looters?’
‘By the time Colin gets to the White House for the meeting, this had better be fixed.’
‘We need to find out what he knows,’ I directed the team. ‘What are our options?’
‘Damn right,’ I said.
‘Where the hell is Ashcroft?’ I asked.
‘Go,’ I said. ‘This is the right thing to do.’
‘We’re going to stay confident and patient, cool and steady,’ I said.
‘Damn it, we can do more than one thing at a time,’ I told the national security team.
As I told my advisers, ‘I didn’t take this job to play small ball.’
‘This is a good start, but it’s not enough,’ I told him. ‘Go back to the drawing board and think even bigger.’
‘We don’t have 24 hours,’ I snapped. ‘We’ve waited too long already.’
‘What the hell is going on?’ I asked Hank. ‘I thought we were going to get a deal.’
‘That’s it?’ I snapped.

It’s complaint and bravado without substance and you can substitute freely to imagine the events that will be reported around the fiscal curb, for example. (“we don’t have 2 hours and what the hell is going on?”)  It’s the new normal and I’m already afraid we’ll be hearing this empty leadership style language in the 2014 campaign. In Texas, noted the NY Times, the 2014 Campaigns  Have Already Begun – “The Campaigns Are Dead, Long Live the Campaigns”. .And the rhetoric has plenty of fodder to throw at us. 

‘That’s it?’ I’ve snapped just thinking about what our political-interest-media hybrid system has become.

Image Credits

George P. Bush:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The best answer to this question is we don't know.

Mehdi Hasan is political director of the Huffington Post UK and a contributing writer for the New Statesman. The New Statesman published an article on December 19 Why is there something rather than nothing? by Mehdi Hasan in which he argues that his theistic belief in prophets and miracles is properly evidenced. He begins by saying that evidence is not proof, therefore faith is not belief in something without evidence.

One of the recurring problems with this discussion is the introduction of everything or nothing, faith or proof, ignorance or knowledge, and other similar false dichotomies that confuse and obscure the real issue, which is belief justification. Our beliefs do not need to be proven, or appear in science textbooks, or qualify as knowledge, to be properly justified. But that doesn't mean that there are no standards at all and every belief is equally, or even properly, justified. Nor does it mean that a belief is properly justified by citing faith. Beliefs are properly justified by evidence, not by faith. Therefore, the word "faith" shouldn't even appear in an argument for a belief.

So when Richard Dawkins publicly asked Mehdi Hasan ‘‘You believe that Muhammad went to heaven on a winged horse?”, he was asking a fair question. Certainly he wasn't thereby guilty of claiming "the likes of Descartes, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Rousseau, Leibniz and Locke were all unthinking or irrational idiots". Very intelligent people can profess beliefs that are poorly justified, and religious beliefs in particular have a tendency to have this role. Therefore, we cannot properly justify particular beliefs merely on the grounds of esteeming the intellects of people from the past who held similar beliefs.

Mehdi Hasan then makes three arguments, starting with the cliche "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I can’t prove God but you can’t disprove him. The only non-faith-based position is that of the agnostic." This notion that the only way to properly anchor a belief in the overall available evidence is to refuse to take a side and remain undecided is mistaken. On the contrary, anyone who takes an evidence first approach to justifying their beliefs is compelled to take sides and prefer one conclusion over competing conclusions whenever the evidence favors that conclusion. Proof in some absolute sense has nothing whatsoever to do with properly justifying beliefs because such proof is impossible (we are not omniscient and omnipresent) and unnecessary. Also, whenever a particular conclusion implies the presence of supporting evidence, and such evidence is absent, the absence of that evidence is itself evidence against that particular conclusion. So, contrary to what Mehdi Hasan asserts, that tired cliche (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) is sometimes false.

Mehdi Hasan then begins his second argument by citing four examples of statements that "cannot be scientifically tested or proven" yet are reasonable to believe to be true: "1) Your spouse loves you. 2) The Taj Mahal is beautiful. 3) There are conscious minds other than your own. 4) The Nazis were evil." In fact, it is both possible, and wise, to follow the evidence when deciding whether or not your spouse loves you, whether or not other minds are conscious, and whether or not some ideology was evil. Statements about objects being beautiful also have some evidence based content, but such statements about feelings and sentiments are distinct from statements about historical events or existence claims. Atheists are not making the unreasonable claim that all possible statements require evidence to be properly justified when we insist that factual statements about historical events, or about existence claims, or about how the world works, require evidence to be properly justified.

Mehdi Hasan continues his second argument by noting that "science itself is permeated with unproven (and unprovable) theories. Take the so called multiverse hypothesis." Mehdi Hasan asks "How do we 'prove' that these “billions and billions” of universes exist?" A multiverse is not a theory, it is a prediction of scientific theories which are well evidenced and accepted. There are four theoretical categories of multiverse, called levels. Inflation naturally produces the Level I multiverse, and if you add in string theory with a landscape of possible solutions, you get Level II, too. Quantum mechanics in its mathematically simplest ("unitary") form gives you Level III. If theories are scientific then it's legitimate science to work out and discuss all their consequences even if they involve unobservable entities. Evidence need not be direct, indirect evidence is also evidence. The notion that there is no evidence for the prediction that there is a multiverse, and therefore a multiverse is believed merely on faith, is a misunderstanding, which a minority of accommodationist scientists, such as Templeton Foundation prize winner (1995) Paul Davies, have unfortunately promoted.

Mehdi Hasan's third argument is that there is evidence for God, citing the Kalam cosmological argument, the fine-tuning argument, and "the late Antony Flew, the atheist philosopher who embraced God in 2004, did so after coming to the conclusion that 'there had to be an intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical universe'." Mehdi Hasan then concludes that God is the best answer to the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?"

However, the Quran, like the Bible, depicts a universe where humans are central to what the universe is all about and why it exists, while the overall empirical evidences much better fits the conclusion that humans are inconsequential and unimportant. We are a primate mammal on a small planet orbiting one of the more than 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. Given the failed track record of arm chair theologians and philosophers, citing logical puzzles as evidence for a God, let alone for the God of Islam, is not particularly persuasive. No one predicted the theory of relativity and quantum chromodynamics, or the number of stars, from logic alone. A better answer to Mehdi Hasan's question is that the quantum vacuum state is unstable and the multiverse is eternal. Since the multiverse always was, it didn’t have to come from anything. Beyond that, the best answer by far is that we do not know. Existence could be a brute fact that has no further explanation. Some people convince themselves that with this one word, God, they have answers which they actually don't have and don't need.

Monday, December 24, 2012


by Edd Doerr

When Robert Bork passed away in mid-December, the media referred to him as a conservative. But that term is deceptive. Bork was well to the right of most traditional conservatives. He was an extremist who opposed church-state separation, women's rights, civil rights, civil liberties. He enthusiastically, as Solicitor General, supported Nixon's efforts to derail the Watergate investigation.

Not long before Reagan sought to appoint Bork to the Supreme Court I had the uncomfortable experience of sitting through a well-attended lecture by Bork at a Hilton in Washington. The gist of his speech was that transient or permanent majorities have the right to impose their beliefs and values on everyone else. I recall thinking at the time that "This guy is a Jerry Falwell in striped pants".

When Reagan made public his Bork nomination I was among the journalists who went to the Senate Judiciary Committee to look over the writings he had submitted prior to the confirmation hearing. I was appalled. In the coming weeks I was involved with the vast coalition of civil liberties, civic, religious and other groups mobilizing to oppose his Senate approval. I made 30 TV and radio appearances across the country calling attention to his numerous defects. Happily, the Senate turned hmi down 58 to 42.

But we still had the Neanderthal Reagan-appointed Antonin Scalia and we were about to get the Bush I-appointed zombie-like Clarence Thomas.


by Edd Doerr

In its 12/22 special Holiday issue the British newsweekly The Economist ran a 4-page piece titled "Into Everlasting Fire", a neat debunking of the religious notion of everlasting torment for sinners, a belief now largely confined to religious fundamentalists of various sorts.

Ah, but wait. There is a Hell. It's the name of a small town in the middle of Norway, a bit south of the Arctic Circle, in Nord-Trondelag County. I have driven through the area. The word "hell" in Norwegian means either a "slope"  or "good luck".

So, when someone tells you to "go to Hell", they may mean you should take a trip to Norway. Or maybe just "good luck".

Anyway, have a helluva good new year.

And if a Norwegian wishes you "God Jul", what that means literally is "have a good winter holiday" (Good Yule).

Sunday, December 23, 2012


by Edd Doerr

This letter was published in the Washington Examiner on 12/23/12  ----

"Florida school board thumbs nose at voters"

On Nov 6 Florida voters rejected, 55 to 45, a proposed state constitutional amendment designed to allow diversion of public funds to church-run private schools through vouchers.

On the same day Indiana voters ousted state school superintendent Tony Bennett, who had displayed his disdain for teachers and his support for diverting public funds to church-run private schools through vouchers, even though he outspent his Democratic challenger, teacher Glenda Ritz, by 4 to 1 in a state that went for Romney.

One month later the Florida state school board appointed Bennett the new state education commissioner, thereby demonstrating board members' contempt for voters, for public education, and for the religious freedom of citizens not to be forced to support religious institutions.

Florida and Indiana politicians seem to have little regard for either voters or their state constitutions.

Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty

At Risk - a Violence-Obese Nation?

By Gary Berg-Cross

It started with a preview of Les Miserables.  I recently went to see the movie Lincoln and was sitting through the previews following a series of gratuitous ads I was help hostage to.  This new screen version of Les Miz has a brisk pace filled with violent action that grabbed my attention. Does it need violence to liven up what producers feared would otherwise be a dull musical? Or maybe they just need block buster insurance and draw segments of society that violent action appeals to. I guess it was some sensitivity caused by the Newtown massacre.

My discomfort escalated with a preview of a violent period thriller Gangster Squad. It’s not that it looks like a poorly done movie.  It stars many actors I like seeing - Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena and others. It’s just that it seemed like nonstop gun violence from start to finish, including assault like weapons. Well to be fair some sex was thrown in, but on the whole it seems a historically atmospheric of the 30s film that glorifies the idea of violence against violence.  Similar thing with the next trailer for Zero Dark Thirty.  Here there is suspense but the  message seems to be that we need “torture” (aka enhanced interrogation)s to solve terrorist problems in a violent world. Violence solves problems.  A popular trope in our society although real world evidence twined with moral values suggest otherwise. Of course, violence leading to a happy movie ending of getting “our man” whether it be Jewish Mafia Mickey Cohen or the Muslim Osama seems to be an important, gratifying ingredient. Its arousal with transfer to emotional satisfaction.  No such satisfied arousal Newtown, which makes for a jarring contrast of movies and life around us.

But there was more.  Next was ‘Django Unchained’ described by one reviewer as “Gloriously violent, impeccably scripted, darkly hilarious” with a sensational soundtrack.  OK “Quentin Tarantino is his own brand,” and every Tarantino movie (like Reservoir Dogs) is SHOOT ’EM UP,  but artful and in a skilled way with actors good at their craft - Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz. But it just seems like too much to get across whatever the message is. This is an eye for an eye going wild.

But there was more. The next up? The “Jack Reacher”  preview which assaulted the senses with the slaughter of innocent people by a crazed gunman (using an assault weapon) Jack Reacher is yet another  badly timed 2-fisted, gun-slinging, car-crashing action movie that goes for the thrill and not thought. The mid-Dec. New York &  Pittsburgh premieres of Jack Reacher were actually canceled out of respect for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  That seems practical if not admirable.

There was one more preview of note.  A little bit father off. The summer release of Gore Verbinski's The Lone Range with Johnny Depp in a much-anticipated performance as Tonto. The trailer starts with explosions and violence and fits all of the shallow downsides of an exploitative  movie, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s probably better than the banned  Cannibal Holocaust (1980), but it seems a formulaic blockbuster catering to violent justice.  The action, violence and filmatic vividness may draw us in, but there may be little substance to live on. 

Ultimately we all decide what we watch, but there is also a supply side issue on these things as  we as a society  become filled with action-obese people.

Image Credits:

Reservoir Dogs:

Jack Reacher: 122012jackreacher14.jpg


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PBS' "First Freedom"

by Edd Doerr

PBS's Dec 18 90-minute documentary "First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty" was a pretty good introduction to the subject. It traced the development of religious liberty in the US from colonial times to shortly after 1800. It came down nicely on the side of church-state separation and used so me nice period visuals, though it was not up to the level of the  4-hour Ken Burns PBS documentary a few weeks earlier on the "Dust Bowl". Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and others came off well, but John Winthrop and the Puritans came of as, well, Purtitans unfriendly to religious freedom. A DVD is available.

I would give "First Freedom" a "B". It is high school level stuff and left out some important matter. While it highlighted Anne Hutchinson's banishment from Massachusetts, it failed to mention the execution of Mary Dyer and other Quakers on Boston Common, and failed to provide visuals of the Hutchinson and Dyer statues on the grounds of the Massachusetts state house. It contained no mention of Roger Williams and his accomplishments. It did not mention that Massachusetts was the last state to give up a religious establishment, in 1833. It highlighted Washington's 1790 letter to the Jewish congregation  in Newport, RI (Ed Asner and I were speakers at the bicentennial of the Washington letter at the synagogue in 1990), but neglected to mention Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Danbury, CT, Baptists that has been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court as explaining what the First Amendment means. It did not mention the 1797 US treaty with Tripoli, negotiated under Washington, ratified unanimously by the Senate and signed by Adams to much fanfare, which states that "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion,"  Finally, it left the vague impression that the First Amendment only outlaws a national establishment of religion, when it actually bars any federal law even "respecting" (having anything to do with) an establishment of religion.

Though the matter may have been beyond the scope of the documentary, it did not mention the ongoing threats to religious liberty in the US such as the unceasing campaigns to infringe women's religious liberty and freedom of conscience on reproductive matters, to divert public  funds to religious schools through vouchers and to infiltrate fundamentalist religion into public schools.

On balance, First Freedom was a positive contribution to an important dialogue.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Can this happen in USA academic world?

Innaiah Narisetti, humanist from India who lives in USA has submitted this unique story .
Philosophical consequences of Modern science-Thesis Antithesis

The facts relating to this Thesis constitute interesting reading. The zigzag turns, the twists all give a touch of drama to the course of the Thesis. Its chequered career is influenced and shaped by acts of well meaning and honest persons as well as by the sly and subtle ways of some others.
Mr. N. Innaiah enrolled himself as a research scholar for Ph.D. degree course of Osmania University in the Department of Philosophy in October, 1965. The topic of research was "The Philosophical Consequences of Modern Science with special reference to the problem of Determinism." (Appendix-1) He had passed the preliminary Ph.D. test held in September, 1966 (Appendix - 2). Mr. Innaiah was then one of the Lecturers in the Philosophy Department of Osmania University. As such, he submitted some research papers. They were commended by his supervisor for publication as articles (Appendix-3). He submitted his Thesis on 3rd October, 1969. He was not informed about the fate of his Thesis even by 22nd June, 1973. Then the scholar wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University requesting him, for the information (Appendix-4). On 17th December, 1974 he was asked by the Controller of Examinations to revise his Thesis
(Appendix-5). He was furnished with extracts from the ,reports of the Examiners. (Appendix - 6). He submitted his revised Thesis on 30th March, 1976 (Appendix. 7).
It is not out of place to refer to something that 'happened prior to March 1976. There was a move to get an Aurobindo University established, by Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy. He is an Aurobindite. It was felt in many circles that he was making strenuous efforts to get an Aurobindo University established, This gave rise to a tirade against the said move 'by the rationalists and radical humanists in the form of a press statement (Appendix-8). They wrote a 'Letter to the Editor' in a local English Daily (Appendix-9). This seems to have irked the Aurobindites of Hyderabad. In the meanwhile, a One-man Commission headed by a retired Judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Mr. V. Parthasarathi, was appointed to go into the affairs of the University. Naturally, the way the Thesis of Mr N. Innaiah was dealt with, figured as one of the matters enquired into by the commission. The report of the Commission in respect of the manner in which the Thesis was handled is revealing. It spoke of the entire episode as one of 'wrecked hope' and 'a blasted career. It stated that one could not part with the case "without being shaken to the core of one's being." Elsewhere in the report it is observed that "it is frustration that grows out of weary years of waiting that enhances or Deepens the pathos of the tragedy." The Com­mission commented that the matter was "muddled through for several months with the incept handling repeating itself in an incredible manner.'' This evidently referred to the University's delay in taking the necessary action just prior to its directing the candidate on 17th December, 1974 to revise his Thesis. The Commission did not leave the matter without indicating the examination branch of the University by saying "that no one associated with the matter is free from blame."              It seems that the report of the Commission was sent to Dr. V Madhusudhana Reddy for comment. Events followed fast. Mr. Innaiah's supervisor and guide Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy tendered his resignation to the post of Professor and Head of Department of Philosophy. The news of this event was reported in the press with the date line of 25th April, 1976. Even this incident created problems for Mr. Innaiah for he was asked to submit the revised Thesis with the certificate from his supervisor. Under the circumstances then prevailing, it was impossible.
Several factors till then unknown to the candidate became known, thanks to the enquiry by the One-man Commission. It seems that at first three examiners were appointed to evaluate the Thesis. They are :
1.          Prof. Leo Gabriel of Austria.
2.          Dr. Daya Krishna, Jaipur.
3.          Dr. V. Madhusudhana Reddy, Supervisor.
While Prof. Leo Gabriel and Dr. V Madhusudhana Reddy had recommended the award of Ph.D degree, Dr. Daya Krishna had recommended its rejection. The University Syndi­cate at its 143rd meeting, held on 17th April, 1971, had resolved that the Thesis of Mr.lnnaiah be referred to the fourth examiner. The offer was made to three foreign examiners in succession and ultimately it was sent ro Prof. Richard Hecking of USA, on 6th July, 1972. Since the report of Prof. Hecking was not received for a long time, Dr. Milick Gapek of Boston University was appointed as examiner. He sent the report in February 1974, stating that the Thesis should be thoroughly revised and resubmitted. The case was submitted to the University Syndicate on 10th June, 1974. It seems that the syndicate has resolved to call upon the candidate to revise the Thesis. The communication of the Syndicate's direction was made on 17th December 1974. Thus it can be seen that it took nearly two years from 17th April, 1971 onwards, for selecting an examiner who could be expected to agree to do the evaluation. Thereafter it took nearly four months for submitting the matter to the Syndicate i.e., from February, 1974 to June, 1974 . Yet another six months were allowed to lapse from 10th June, 1974 to 17th December, 1974 to communicate the syndicate's resolution to the candidate. It is this delay that was the subject of adverse comment by the One-man commission headed by Mr. Parthasarathy,
The English daily press reported the news of the report by the Commission and the consequent resignation of the guide. As per Rule 26(b) of Ph.D. rules of Osmania Uni­versity, the revised Thesis shall, as tar as possible, be referred to the same examiners for their opinion. But this rule was not brought to the notice of the Vice-Chancellor who appoint­ed on 18th May, 1976, the following three teachers as examiners :—
l. Prof. K Satchitananda Murthy, Tirupathi
2. Prof. N K Devraj, Varanasi
3. Dr, Barlingay, Poona
The Thesis was sent to the said examiners who sub­mitted the reports. While Dr. K. Satchitananda Murthy recom­mended the award of Ph.D. degree, Prof. N. K. Devraj and Dr. Barlingay, have suggested the revision of the Thesis. On 11th January, 1977 the syndicate passed a resolution to call upon the candidate to revise and resubmit his Thesis in the light of the remarks made by examiners (2) and (3). All these facts are adverted to in the note before the syndicate at its meeting on 4th June, 1977 (Appendix-10). The Dean, Faculty of Arts was requested on 1st  March, 1977 to communicate to the candidate that he should revise the Thesis. He was suggested that the reports of the three examin'rs be communicated to the candidate. Accordingly, on 10th Marh, 1977, the University sent a note to the candidate calling upon him to revise the thesis (Appendix-11 ). The extracts from the reports of the examiners were supplied to himn (Appendix-12). On 21st May, 1977 he wrote a letter to the University protesting against the procedure and requesting that he be awarded with the degree of Ph.D (Appendix-13). The University seemed to have been perplexed by the very irregu­larities it had been committing and so it was considered by the syndicate at its meeting on 4th June, 1977. It decided to cancel the communication dated 10th  March, 1977, directing revision. It further directed the Controller of Examinations to send the revised Thesis of 30th March, 1976 to Dr. Mitlic Gaspek of USA, Dr V. Madhusudhana Reddy and Prof. Leo Gabriel. In June 1977, two copies of the Thesis were sent to Prof. Leo Gabriel and Prof. Gaspek. Prof. Gaspek sent it to his colleague Prof. N. Bhattacharya and the University later acquiesced in it. Prof. Bhattacharya sent his report on 30th March, 1978. to Prof. K J Shah, who was appointed in the place of Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy, who did not reply to the University's communication, he being out of service then, Prof. Shah sent his report on 18th September, 1978. Both the examiners rejected the thesis. All these facts became known when the University filed a counter to the  W.P. 476 of 1979, on the file of the Andhra Pradesh High Court (Appendix-14).
On 15th June, 1977, Mr. Innaiah was informed that his representation was under consideration (Appendix-15). Evi­dently the University did not choose to inform the candidate about the revised Thesis being sent to the original examiners. As time was running fast, as nearly 10 years have elapsed after the candidate's submission of the Thesis on 3rd October, 1969, he became courageous enough to file a Writ Petition No. 476 of 1979 in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on 19th January 1979, praying for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the University to constitute a Board of Examiners to conduct the Viva-voce for him in relation to his Thesis (Appendix-16). The University filed the counter earlier referred to as Appendix No-14. The position stood thus — The original Thesis was read by four examiners out of which two have recommended award of the degree; one recom­mended rejection and one opted for directing revision. The revised Thesis was perused by five examiners out of which one has recommended acceptance, two for rejection and two opined that it needed revision. Thus out of nine Scholars who had the privilege of examining the Thesis either in the original form or in the revised form, opinions were expressed as follows. Three examiners recommended acceptance, while another three examiners rejected its worthiness and the remaining three chose to direct revision. Thus it is evident that the matter was not free from doubt. Moreover, one fact became evident that there was a wide difference of opinion between the Austrian school and the American School in respect of the subject itself. This can be inferred from the communication of Dr. Gaspek to the University as referred to the counter to WP. 476 of 1979 (Appendix-14). Prejudices seemed to have played a vital part in the decision of the examiners who ought to be above these considerations. Apart from that, the University cannot be expected to direct the candidate to revise the Thesis twice, as rules do not permit the same. What all happened after the reports of the original examiners i.e., what happened after 1971 is null and void as being contrary to law and he rules. At any rate, as two out of the three examiners of the First Board recommended acceptance of the candidate's Thesis, it should have been accepted for award of the degree.
Then Mr. Justice Alladi Kuppuswami, dierected the University on 6th February, 1980, to consider the position as it obtained in 1971 after the receipt of the reports of the examiners viz. Prof. V. Madhusudhana Reddy, Prof. Leo Gabriel of Austria and Prof. Daya Krishna. The Vice-Chancellor was directed to decide within one month whether he should direct the viva-voce examination to be conducted, or the Thesis should be revised or rejected.(Appendix-17). The Court was also pleased to direct that viva-voce should be conducted within two months if the Vice-Chancellor chose to do so.
One would expect smooth sailing thereafter, but alas,  it was not so. Mr.Innaiah as called upon by the University by its communication dated 16th April, 1980 to appear for the viva-voce examination on 27th April, 1980. (Appendix-18). He complied with the direction. There, to his dismay and consternation, he found only two examiners, one who rejected his Thesis viz. Prof. Daya Krishna and the other his erstwhile supervisor Prof, V. Madhusudhan Reddy who by that time rejoined service in the University. What happened at the interview was far from being happy. The viva-voce examination was riot utilised for the purpose for which it was intended i.e. to determine whether after all the scholar has written the Thesis or somebody else did it for him with the connivance of the supervisor. The two examiners did not have the advantage of reading the Thesis again for they did not have copies of the same with them. The last time they read it was in 1970 or so i.e., nearly a decade ago. The copy of the scholar was borrowed by them and questions poured forth. What transpired at the interview was referred by the candidate in his letters to the Vice-Chancellor dated 27th April, 1980 (Appendix-19) i.e., the very day of the examination and dated 6th May, 1980 (Appendix-20). On 16th June, 1980 the Vice-Chancellor of the University chose to reject the Thesis submitted by Mr. Innaiah (Appendix-21). This was unexpected for the supervisor and          guide commended the Thesis as early as 1970. Presumably he must have changed his stand. Consistent with his earlier stand, Prof. Daya Krishna might have rejected the Thesis as unworthy for acceptance. Eyebrows were raised as it is probably the first time in the University that a Thesis was rejected in viva-voce and probably first occasion in the academic history of India when a guide and supervisor went back on his earlier recom­mendation. Mr. Innaiah filed the Writ Petition No. 3452 of 1980, praying that the Andhra Pradesh High Court might be pleased to direct the University to award the degree of Ph.D. to him (Appendix-21). The University filed a counter (Appendix-22). Ms. Justice Amareswari by her judgement dated 14th April, 1981, accepted the contention of the scholar that viva-voce conducted on 27th April, 1980, was against the rules framed by the University as only two examiners were present then. The Hon'ble judge set aside the viva-voce. She opined that there was neither logic nor justification in appointing Dr. Daya Krishna as an examiner for the viva-voce as he had earlier rejected the thesis outright and denounced it in the harshest terms. Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy was found to have written on 27th April, 1980 to the Vice-Chancellor. His letter reads as follows ;- "In the context of the disturbing controversy into which my name got involved, I request you kindly to keep me out of any panel of adjudica­tors that you may contemplate for the purpose," This attitude of Prof. Madhusudhana Reddy was quite appropriate and befitting the membership of the academic community had the matter stood there. Moreover              Mr. Parthasarathy as the One-man Commission, opined that one of the contribu­tory factors for the delay in respect of the Thesis was “remissness" on the part of the internal examiner, thereby meaning Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy. It was unfortunate that he should have decided to sit as an examiner for viva-voce. The Court thought that Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy's presence at the viva-voce examination, should be dispensed with, in the circumstances of the case, It opined that the University has power under Rule 32 to dispense with the viva-voce in certain cases. It directed the University to adjudicate upon the Thesis in the light of its observations without any further delay (Appendex-23). To a call attention of an M.L.A., the Hon'ble Minister for Education stated in the A.P. Legislative Assembly that the University has decided to award the degree of Ph.D to Mr. Innaiah in the Convocation to be held on 14 th May, 1981. Ultimately, he was awarded with the degree. Thus, Mr. !nnaiah became Dr. Innaiah,
The price paid by Mr. Innaiah was heavy. For want of Ph.D. degree he had to lose the opportunities of continuing in the University. He became a freelance journalist and ulti­mately ended up by now as a working journalist. It took him nearly 12 years after the submission of his Thesis to get the degree. It involved two legal battles in the High Court. The University took nearly eleven years to reject the Thesis at the first instance. Such an inordinate delay engendering horrible mental agony to the scholar is unheard of in the annals of the academic life.
Mr. N K Acharya the present president of the Hyderabad Rationalist Association and editor of the 'Indian Rationalist' during 1967-1971 stood the ground and argued Mr. Innaiah's case with ability and steadfastness of purpose.
I The success of Mr. Innaiah is the tale of victory of the cause of 'Justice to the Scholars.' It may appear to be the lone fight of a single person; yet it partakes of the chara­cter of a fight for the vindication of rights of scholars to have their dessertations treated with consideration and sympathy in keeping with the highest principles of the academic life. It is neither a craving for charity nor is a praying for mercy. It is a reminder to the Academies to keep flying the banner of intellectualism in the country. It is a beaconlight beckoning the academic community to develop spirit of enquiry, respect for knowledge and attitude of detachment. All kudos to Dr. Innaiah who braved the hardship and suffering to raise the standard of revolt for a just and noble cause.

-          M. V. RAMA MURTHY