Why I am an Atheist
By Bhagat Singh 1931, Marxists Internet Archive
Written: October 5–6, 1930
Source/Translated: Converted from the original Gurmukhi (Punjabi) to Urdu/Persian script by Maqsood Saqib;
translated from Urdu to English by Hasan for marxists.org, 2006;
HTML/Proofread: Andy Blunden and Mike Bessler;
CopyLeft: Creative Common (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2006.
Note: Bhagat Singh also called Bhagat Singh Shaheed (1907 – 1931) was an influential Indian revoutionary during the Indian freedom movement against the British colonial rule.
It is a matter of debate whether my lack of belief in the existence of an Omnipresent, Omniscient God is due to my arrogant pride and vanity. It never occurred to me that sometime in the future I would be involved in polemics of this kind. As a result of some discussions with my friends, (if my claim to friendship is not uncalled for) I have realised that after having known me for a little time only, some of them have reached a kind of hasty conclusion about me that my atheism is my foolishness and that it is the outcome of my vanity. Even then it is a serious problem. I do not boast of being above these human follies. I am, after all, a human being and nothing more. And no one can claim to be more than that. I have a weakness in my personality, for pride is one of the human traits that I do possess. I am known as a dictator among my friends. Sometimes I am called a boaster. Some have always been complaining that I am bossy and I force others to accept my opinion. Yes, it is true to some extent. I do not deny this charge. We can use the word ‘vainglory’ for it. As far as the contemptible, obsolete, rotten values of our society are concerned, I am an extreme sceptic. But this question does not concern my person alone. It is being proud of my ideas, my thoughts. It cannot be called empty pride. Pride, or you may use the word, vanity, both mean an exaggerated assessment of one’s personality. Is my atheism because of unnecessary pride, or have I ceased believing in God after thinking long and deep on the matter? I wish to put my ideas before you. First of all, let us differentiate between pride and vanity as these are two different things.