The Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA) has asked Bangaloreans and people of elsewhere to boycott the ‘healing meet’ featuring international televangelist Benny Hinn.
This is the second line of protest, the first one being the appeal of restraint at the high court of Karnataka by Hindu outfits. “We will appeal to the people to boycott the meeting as it was nothing but a staged show,” Prof. Narendra Nayak, president of the FIRA told dna.
“The FIRA has earlier also carried out various campaigns against spiritual healing shows. The first campaign against spiritual healing in India was against Chris Panos as early as 1975 who, clad in his three-piece suit called himself a healer in the name of Jesus Christ and enacted a fake healing act with some actors. I later took a beggar who was also a leprosy victim to the stage and attracted the attention of Panos who refused to heal him and intimidated me, but in the meanwhile some of his cronies pulled out the plug and the entire hall was engulfed in darkness and when the power was restored, Panos had vanished,” said Prof Nayak recalled.
“I do not know if this feat could be repeated in Bangalore due to heavy security. But I will try along with my colleagues to expose him. I do have a bone to chew with the Hindu activists who have filed an objection with the court, but again it was for their own designs and benefit,” he said.
“The knowledge city of Bangalore is known for its science-based institutions and organizations, and this meet would bring its name down by fathoms if it allows such frauds as Benny Hinn to perform,” Prof Nayak said.
It is estimated that over 50,000 people would attend the Benny Hinn ‘healing session’ in Bangalore. People from neighbouring states will also attend and a big contingent of people from Goa.
“I am surprised at the development we are striving here to take Goan people away from such spurious practices such as spiritual healing but here we are hearing large groups of people attending that session in a city we look up as the knowledge city, IT hub and people with freethinking of national repute reside” the convener of the Goa Science Forum- one of the largest groups dedicated to growth of Scientific temperament in south India along with FIRA, told dna.
FIRA activists from the catchment area of Bangalore, including Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, southern Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa will whip up a campaign to dissuade people from going to Bangalore to attend Hinn’s session