Leading anti-superstition campaigner gunned down

Narendra Dabholkar, leading anti-superstition campaigner of India, social worker and journalist, was gunned down in Pune by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants on 20th august, 2013.
The attack took place around 7.30 a.m.IST near Omkareshwar Temple, when Dabholkar, in his 60s, was on his morning walk. The two gunmen fired indiscriminately at Dabholkar and sped away, leaving him in a pool of blood. The assailants fired four rounds at him from a point blank range and fled on a motorcycle parked nearby.Two bullets hit Dabholkar in his head and chest.

Narendra Dabholkar born on November 1945 was an Indian rationalist and author from Maharashtra. He was the founder-president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organization set up to eradicate superstition.  He was a doctor, having obtained an MBBS degree from the Miraj Medical College, Miraj. After working as a general practitioner for over a decade, Dabholkar became a social worker in the 1980s.

Gradually, Dabholkar started focusing on eradication of superstition, and joined the Akhil Bharatiya Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ABANS). In 1989, he founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti ("Committee for Eradication of Superstition in Maharashtra"), and campaigned against superstitions, confronting dubious tantriks and holy men. Over the years, Dabholkar had also challenged some of India's "godmen", self-styled Hindu ascetics who have huge followings, over their claims to have performed miracles.

He also campaigned against animal sacrifices during some religious rituals.He was the founding member of Parivartan, a rehabilitation centre located in Satara. Dabholkar was the editor of a renowned Marathi weekly Sadhana.

In the 2010s, Dabholkar made attempts to get an anti-superstition law enacted in the state of Maharashtra. Under his supervision, the MANS drafted the Anti-Jaadu Tona Bill (Anti-Black magic Bill). It was opposed by certain Hindu extremist organizations. It was also opposed by the political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena on the grounds that it would adversely affect Hindu culture, customs and traditions. A couple of weeks before his death, Dabholkar had complained that the bill had not been discussed despite being tabled in seven sessions of the state assembly. He accused the chief minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan of stifling progressive thought in the state.

As the General secretary of Science and Rationalists Association of India, I vociferously condemn the incident & demand immediate arrest & punishment of the delinquents and appeal to each & every like-mined/ democracy adoring citizens/ associations all over India & abroad to raise their voice of protest against such dreadful crime.

Views: 172

Tags: AND, ANTI, ASSOCIATION, ATHEIST, BIPLAB, DABHOLKAR, DAS, INDIA, NARENDRA, OF, More…RATIONALIST, RATIONALISTS, SCIENCE, SUPERSTITION, WITCH

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Comment by Sentient Biped on August 22, 2013 at 10:48pm

A terrible loss.  This makes me feel very sad.

Comment by Loren Miller on August 21, 2013 at 1:27pm

Damn ... some people are just amazing when they feel as though their hallucinations are threatened, don't they?  A damned shame and a hurtful loss.

Comment by BIPLAB DAS on August 21, 2013 at 1:16pm

We vociferously condemn the incident & demand immediate arrest & punishment of the delinquents and appeal to each & every like-mined/ democracy adoring citizens/ associations all over India & abroad to raise their voice of protest against such dreadful crime.

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on August 21, 2013 at 1:12am

Rationalism in India is a very worthy cause.

According to this IBN news report a political motive for the murder is yet to be confirmed as the murderers have not been positively identified and arrested.

This murder is tragic and unfortunate. I hope the Police apprehend the perpetrators soon.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 20, 2013 at 11:29pm

Insanity in the form of religious superstitions continues to hinder healthy thinking and action. No amount of reasonable discussion seems to end the ignorance and crimes of sanctimonious beliefs. 

Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 20, 2013 at 10:59pm

A tragic and senseless loss of life of someone who was diligently working to promote rational thought.  A very sad story.  He was up against mountainous obstacles but continued the cause for the betterment of humanity. 

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