Talk:A. T. Kovoor

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Untitled[edit]

Guys, I don't have any agenda regarding this article, and I am not your enemy. I'm just trying to make it better. To some degree that means shorter and less rambling than the former. For example, I deleted a quote from Dr Kovoor about the circumstances of his birth, but this quote was just a straight recount of the facts, which had already been stated. The previous version had about 200 words containing the full details of the "challenge". I digested this to one sentence, which captures the gist. But if anyone thinks that the article does not do justice to Dr Kovoor by omitting something important from the former version, please say so here, and I will happily work the deleted material back in. The only category I recall removing was the "Atheist thinker and activist" category, and that was mainly because there didn't seem to be enough information about the subject to support the idea that he was an noted "Atheist thinker", although atheist perhaps he was. If he was more significant as an atheist thinker than is apparent in the article, then by all means write something on that and put the category tag bac. --BM 13:02, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Comparing this article to the James Randi one, there are a lot of details of Randi's challenge and of the various paranormalists that Randi has attempted to discredit. I don't see the level of detail given in this article as being particularly excessive or unusual, especially for an encyclopedia with unlimited disk space. You also removed the "skeptics" category, which this person clearly is. The athiest category is more debateable, perhaps, but I'd rather not throw out any bits of baby with the bathwater so I've done a straight revert for the time being. Bryan 01:04, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I don't remember removing the skeptics category. The encyclopedia may have unlimited disk space. That isn't the scaling constraint. As far as number of articles is concerned: it is the number of articles in categories and the ability of people to understand how the articles in a category they are trying to learn about are structured. As far as individual articles are concerned, the constraining factor is the time required to read the articles. It's the 80/20 rule, as with many other things. Eighty-percent of the people are interested in twenty percent of the information in the article. For most people, the ideal article length is going to be 20% of the information that you could give them. You give them somewhat more because it doesn't hurt and is helpful to another 10 or 15%. If you give them all the information you have, most of your potential readers will think it too long and be frustrated with all the excess information, and only a tiny percentage who are extremely interested in the subject will appreciate all the extra information. That tiny percentage would have been as well served by reading a book on the subject. Many people might be interested in reading all of a one page article about Abraham Kovoor. The number of people you gain by making it a three page article is not as great as the number you would lose. Disk space is not the issue. In this case, all the details of the challenge is too much information for the vast majority of readers. If you say the Randi challenge is equally detailed, I would say the same about that. --BM 01:43, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I just read through the Randi article, and the challenge is summarized in four points, not the 15 or 20 of this article.
I couldn't disagree more. Your argument could support the notion of adding a summary to an article, but if an article becomes too large to be conveniently readable then the correct solution is almost always to split that article up into more tightly-focused articles rather than to outright delete

content.

Well this is an honest difference of opinion. I hope you are not going to follow me around reverting changes I make to articles aimed at making them more succinct and focused. Because that is the main thing I plan on doing. I'm not a expert myself on that many subjects. Too much information is a problem. The articles are often written by people with no sense of proportion about their subjects. They are the 1 in a 100 who are interested in every tiny detail about their subject, and they think everybody in the world must want to read it all. So, on a biographical subject, instead of a tight 300 words on the person's main accomplishments, highlights of their prersonal life, key associates, etc, you get: the street he lived on as a boy, the name of his high school, his cat's name, the names and sexes of all his children, etc. It's as if the writer thinks you might need to answer the subject's security question at the bank: what was his mother's maiden name? The article ends up being much longer, with the important stuff buried. Sometimes they get so hung up on details, they even forget to mention the important things, and you have an article where you can't even figure out why the person is prominent or significant. This Kovoor article is a bit like that, actually. We get his resume which is that of an obscure biology teacher in Colombo, then the information that did some public demonstrations that the godman feats were magic tricks, and that he had some confrontations with godmen, wrote two books (titles mentioned) and created a challenge, and that's about it. So what? I would want to read something about the impact this had, if any, and why any of this is considered significant by anyone. By the end, I don't know this, but I know that he donated his eyes upon his death. In the previous version, I know the name of the village where he *failed* to have a confrontation with Baba, and the name of the village that Baba ran off to. If the "extra" information were at the end, like a newspaper article, and you could just stop reading when you had the main points, it might be OK, but usually it isn't. I'm exagerating a little for effect, but not by much. I've found this problem with quite a few of the articles about Indian figures, actually. I have to assume that they are famous in India, and that Indians don't need it explained why these people are significant or prominent. Maybe Kovoor is famous because a famous actor played him in a Bollywood movie about his confrontation with Baba, and everyone in India is familiar with these episodes. But that isn't mentioned in the article. Nevertheless, you always get the full list of degrees they earned, colleges they attended, and awards they were given. A cultural thing, I guess.
Since it seems to be reversion itself that offends you, I'm now reintegrating most the material you deleted into your latest version without reverting first. A summary of what it is and why I'm putting it back:
  • the paragraph describing his conclusion that paranormal powers don't exist - this seems pretty important for setting the stage for his later activities.
  • Mentioning what position he retired from
  • Restore the full description of his activities regarding Sathya Sai Baba, who seems to have been his most prominent target
  • restore full description of the state of his challenge today
  • add headers to make navigation easier and establish subjects for the sections
  • restore an image of Kovoor with M.C.Joseph
The only removals I basically agreed with were the extended quotes you replaced with summaries. The rest had actual encyclopedic content that was reduced by your edits. Bryan 06:26, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
BM, I believe that you had the best intentions but I am not happy with your removals. I find for example the challenge list quite interesting. Andries 20:40 7 Dec. 2004
Andries, thanks for the feedback. If the challenge/confrontation with Baba is the only notable thing about this person why not focus the entire article on that, and cut out some of the other stuff? There doesn't seem to be a lot else of interest about this guy; it looks like he kind of popped out of nowhere in his retirement to take on the godmen for a while, and then wrote some books about it, so maybe the entire focus of the article should be on that. Did anything come of his jousting with the godmen, for example. In the article, it seems like the only enduring thing is that his books are still "bestsellers", and to be honest I am not sure I really believe that. --BM 20:47, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
BM, yes, I agree that the statement that the book is still a best seller should be removed until somebody provides references. E.g. the nr. of editions and their years together with sales. Andries 20:53, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"If the challenge/confrontation with Baba is the only notable thing about this person why not focus the entire article on that, and cut out some of the other stuff?" - why must anything be cut? So far the only major reason you've given is that the article takes too long to read for people who aren't interested in all of the information that's being provided, which I find to be an invalid argument for an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. If you think it's too long, don't cut content, add summaries. Bryan 00:26, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Bryan, really, you are exasperating me. Are you informing me of Wikipedia policy or just telling me your preferences. If its policy, this would mean that an article can only ever be in upwards ratchet that makes it longer and more rambling -- never shorter, crisper, more focused. As long as its "information" in some one's view, once it is in, nobody can ever remove it for the sake readability and style -- no matter how small a detail, no matter how out of proportion to the importance of the subject. Is this why we have articles listing all the current flavors of Snapple? Only information pack-rats need apply for an editing job on the Wikipedia. Don't tell me that is policy! --BM 00:39, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It's just my preferences, if it was policy I'd be quoting chapter and verse at this point. But why are your preferences in this regard more significant than mine? The article is titled Abraham Kovoor, not Abraham Kovoor's challenge or Abraham Kovoor's confontation with Sai Baba, so all sorts of information about Kovoor is relevant here. If you think it's not organized in a readable fashion then by all means rearrange and reedit, but don't delete stuff just because you think only the most casual of readers are of value to Wikipedia.
I should also note, BTW, that headers are another way in which "too long" articles are made more easily readable. If someone comes to this article only interested in Kovoor's challenge, he can skip down to the "His publications and challenge" section. If he's only interested in the Baba stuff, there's a header for that section too. Consider each of those as mini-articles and see whether they still seem too long. Bryan 00:44, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)


    • The statement that one Mr.Joseph Edamaruku translated some of his works into Malayalam langguage and as a result of that Dr.Kovoor became a hero is false. Dr.Kovoor was and still is a well known figure through out the Indian sub-continent. It is absurd to say that his translated works into a regional language of South India are the cause of Dr.Kovoor's popularity.

His works have been translated into many languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi and, recently, Kannada. None of the translators can claim that they made Dr.Kovoor a Hero. In fact, it is the popularity of Dr. Kovoor and the quality of his works that made these translators to publish their works in these languages. And, as far as I know, all the translations have been done from the English original and not from his translated works in Malayalam. MANOJTV 05:38, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The very fact that Manoj calls J.Edamaruku as "one Joseph Edamaruku" makes it clear that he does not know anything about India's rationalist movement. What he tries to add, correct and revise is based on the agenda of certain political parties who tries to arm-twist history to suit their agenda against socio-cultural movements.

It was Indian Rationalist Association and it's then General Secretaries Dr.G.N.Jyoti Sankar and A Suryanarayana who organised Kovoor's national Divine Miracle Exposure Campaigns. This fact is known to the entire rationalist movement in India. I have first hand information and documents to prove my position of the facts. APARNA 12:01 6 August 2005 (UTC)

On Abraham Kovoor, M.C.Joseph, B.Premanand....[edit]

I confess that the information I have on Abraham Kovoor's Miracle Exposure Campaign is very meagre. But I don't think that is an issue here. Before discussing anythingelse let us have a look at the contributions made by the very knowledgeable Aparna Thekkethil and the anonymous user with the IP address 221.134.24.*** to Wikipedia. I suspect that both these users are one and the same. I may be wrong.

File:Mcjoseph.jpeg
MC Joseph with Abraham Kovoor

The entire contributions made by the user Aparna Thekkethil are, as on today (ie, 8th August 2005) ,related to various Edamarukus and an organization headed by them. The images s/he uploaded are those related to Edamarukus except the one of M.C.Joseph which s/he used only to displace the image (shown alongside) of MC Joseph with Kovoor. S/he used her contributions to boast about a couple of individuals. S/he added the names of these individuals and their organization at all possible places in Wikipedia. This goes against the very basic ethics of Wikipedia which insist that the articles being contributed should be impartial.

Now look at the contributions made by the user with the IP address 221.134.2*.***. Whatever I said in the preceding paragraph is equally applicable to this user too. The article this user contributed on one of the Edamarukus was considered as biased and hyperbolic by an impartial Wikipedia user Gwalla who put a notice ({npov}})on the page saying the neutrality of that article was suspected. Instead of improving the article the original contributer deleted the notice! Remember that it is none other than this contributor who put a notice on the page of Basava Premanand to delete the uninteresting article!

The same user made the astonishing claim (see his/her revision as on 15:25, 2 June 2005) that Joseph Edamaruku, well known Malayalam author and rationalist, translated most of his articles into Malayalam which made him a popular rationalist hero. What a temerity to claim that Abraham Kovoor was made a rationalist hero by the translator of his works into one of the of Indian regional languages!

The reason given for deleting the image of Abraham Kovoor with MC Jospeh is specious, to say the least. M.C.Joseph was a towering personality in the cultural scene of Kerala and this was acknowledged even by the Government of Kerala by publishing his biography. No Aparna Thekkethil can undo this. If the closeness of a person with Kovoor is the criteria for uploading one's image, Aparna Thekkethil can better upload the image of Kovoor's wife or his son.

Basava Premanand undoubtedly is one of the most prominent rationalists in India today. He has conducted innumerable miracle exposure campaigns travelling across the length and breadth of India. Any one curious to know about him may either follow the external links in the page Basava Premanand or do a Google search. He still offers Rs.100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Indian Rupees) to any person who will demonstrate any psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability of any kind under satisfactory observing conditions. It is possible that a number of other obscure or well-known organizations/personalities too are offering similar prizes. In that case, the best one should do is to add that information in the Wikipedia page, but without deleting the information pertaining to B. Premanand. But, alas, such a thing can be expected only from a person of humility.

It throughly puzzles me what the user Aparna Thekkethil had in mind while deleting the links to James Randi and James Randi Educational Foundation; while removing the links to a number wikipedia pages on various subjects and dates; etc..etc..Are the Edamaruks and their organization the only subjects worth referring to?

I have nothing against Joseph Edamaruku, who published excellent Malayalam translations of Kovoor's works. It was through his translations that I first read Kovoor's works much before I could properly read and understand English. But, unfortunately, most of Joseph Edamaruku's original works are below par. And, I can't stand personality cults - that of self-proclaimed godmen or rationalists. But it is not what Aparna or I feel that matters when it comes to Wikipedia. What matters is the objectivity of the article. Will Aparna please go through the wikipedia guidelines on Neutral point of view? Here is the link: Wikipedia:NPOV.

I have no intention of reverting the page on Kovoor to its correct earlier version. I leave it to the wise judgement of other users. In the meantime, I wish Aparna Thekkethil all success in his/her endeavour to market his/her pet personalities! MANOJTV 10:22, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

MANOJTV seems to be extremely prejudiced against Mr Edamaruku. At one part he says: "I have nothing against Joseph Edamaruku, who published excellent Malayalam translations of Kovoor's works. It was through his translations that I first read Kovoor's works much before I could properly read and understand English." At another part he says: "one Mr.Joseph Edamaruku". The hatred and bias that he cultivates seem to be coming from the political bosses of MANOJTV. Well! He is at liberty to promote Basava Premanand, his "guru', but not by inserting wrong information, and by removing and manipulating facts. MANOJTV even removed the information that it was Indian Rationalist Association who organised the Miracle Exposure campaigns of Abraham Kovoor. How partial, biased is this person! Please do not, in any case, remove the explosive information about the "doctorate" of Abraham Kovoor, unless or otherwise you produce proof to counter it.GHOSH

Some clarifications[edit]

I used the phrase one Joseph Edamaruku in the specific context of the claim made by the anonymous contributor that he (J.Edamaruku) had made Abraham Kovoor a rationalist hero. I doubt whether Joseph Edamaruku himself would have come out with such a claim. I still have respect for Joseph Edamaruku for the contribution he made in enriching rationalist literature in Malayalam. In fact,when I contributed the article on Abraham Kovoor I also provided links to his publication group - Indian Atheist Publishers, New Delhi. If my usage of that phrase sounded an insult to Joseph Edamaruku, I am sorry for that. It was not intended. But I stand by my statement that I can't stand personality cults and Wikipedia should not be used to promote any individual or group.

The remaining part of GHOSH's (whoever it is - the user id is created only to intervene in this discussion. One who analyses the passage can easily make out who the user is) intervention is just name-calling and does not worth any response. But I have to say this about B.Premanad: I have not contributed anything in the Wikipedia page on him. And my acquaintance with Premand is only through media reports.

And, the ethics demands that the opinion expressed,images uploaded and the typographical style used by some user in the wikipedia talk page should not be edited out by any other user. Because this is an opinion page. MANOJTV 05:16, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

MANOJTV and his apologies: What it means?[edit]

MANOJTV, if one sees his contribution and comment, is systematically busy with Wikipedia with a personal agenda. Closely watching, one easily understands for whom he interprets and manipulates facts and history. In one passage he writes "most of Joseph Edamaruku's original works are below par." But the truth jump out of his key board in another passage when he writes "I still have respect for Joseph Edamaruku for the contribution he made in enriching rationalist literature in Malayalam." J.Edamaruku has written more than 170 books and is respected as a scholar in the field of the history of religions. His series on world religions, if translated into English, in my judgment will stand separately in world literature. What do you mean by personality cult, and what does Edamaruku has to do with it? He is well known and his readers respect him. What is "personality cult" in it? When you accuse something, you have to prove it also. When your prejudices are pointed out, you just apologize! That is not what is required. Manoj, shed away your hatred, bias and prejudice towards those who do good work. APARNA

    • While I wrote "... the contribution he made in enriching rationalist literature in Malayalam", I meant the works of various authors (to be precise, the Malayalam translations of well known rationalist and science literature. For instance, works of Charles Darwin, Madeline O'Murray, Abraham Kovoor, ...) published by Joseph Edamaruku's publishing group, Indian Atheist Publishers. As to Edamaruku's own works, I find many of his works below par. But then, it is my personal opinion and need not be shared by others. And, I said sorry for the unintentional meaning the phrase "One J.Edamaruku" conveyed and not for the facts I pointed out.MANOJTV 04:54, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I can imagine that MANOJTV is not at a level to digest the serious and authoritative books of J.Edamaruku. Well.. one can have personal opinions. That also speaks one's reading level. But what one sees clearly is the political prejudice and the assertive private agenda of MANOJTV that he tries to impose in Wikipedia. This has to be discouraged. So-called contributions of MANOJTV needs re-evaluation. APARNA

A Section needs to be included to increase the neutrality of the article[edit]

    • This article is missing the heated debate between ISKCON's Hansadutta where Abraham Kovoor was publicly challenged for Rs.500,000 to prove his statement that life originates from chemicals. This discussion should also be included to increase the neutrality of the article.

Sunil —Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.192.170.153 (talk) 19:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Atheists and Godless scientists are involved in promoting A. T. Kovoor, and hence they will not maintain any neutrality in this article. People do not know that Dr. Kovoor refused to accept the challenge from ISKCON. He could not show that life comes from chemicals, and hence backed out (he did not show up at the venue). This was reported in Srl Lankan Sunday Times. I ask any rationalist and Kovoor supporter to show that this is not true. Polytope4D (talk) 04:05, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

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