A few ‘sleight of hand’ tricks form part of the two-day global conference

They are kids of young age but their strength of mind is as big as that of a grown-up individual.

Taking pride in calling themselves young atheists, 10-year-old Sankalp Gora and eight-year-old Arun were the most delightful part of a two-day international atheist conference, hosted by the Atheist Centre, Vijayawada, at Siddhartha auditorium in the city on Friday and Saturday.

Since it was a gathering of atheists, rationalists and humanists from across the globe, it was in the fitness of things to include a few ‘sleight of hand’ tricks popularly used by religious con men to dupe gullible masses.

Sankalp is the great-grandson of Gora and Saraswathi Gora and grandson of prominent physician G. Samaram while Arun is the son of Babu Gogineni, International Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

Using elements of the scientific principles, they performed a few ‘magic’ feats to drive home the point that there was nothing called miracles.

“It is all about manual dexterity in the execution of tricks. I have been attending magic workshops conducted every year by the Atheist Centre. My grandmother buys me all the paraphernalia required for practice,” says Sankalp, a fifth class student.

He performed four items –producing ‘vibhuthi’ from thin air, swallowing burning camphor, placing burning camphor on palm and a candle feat.

First performance

“This is the first time I performed ‘magic’ on the dais but I do not have stage fear,” he declares.

“I am an atheist and I want people around me to know the reality, to educate themselves on things which are directly related to their well being,” he says.

Eight-year-old Arun has grown up feeding on the humanist ideas of his father.

“These concepts are man-made. If God created the world, who then created the God?” was the poser of this young boy.

The spell-bound audience could not have asked for more at a gathering of this nature.

More In: Vijayawada