Dabholkar aides to take rationalist movement on national level

Last Updated: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 12:03

Pune: Supporters of Narendra Dabholkar`s rationalist movement will now seek support of various political parties to press for a law in states to eradicate superstition-based malpractices.

A delegation of Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), the anti-superstition organisation founded by Dabholkar - who was shot dead here last month - will visit Delhi next week and speak to political leaders to garner support for their mission.

Encouraged by the positive response being seen in Maharashtra with the promulgation of the anti-black magic ordinance, MANS activists, including Anish Patwardhan, son-in- law of the slain rationalist, will also have an interaction with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in order to mobilise public opinion and change social mindset.

The state government promulgated the ordinance, a long -standing demand of Dabholkar, a day after the noted social activist was gunned down by unidentified men on August 20.

"We have our schedule fixed for an interaction with JNU students and faculty as the institution is known to be a vibrant centre of rational thought. Also on the agenda are meetings with the Left party leaders, including D Raja (CPI), in an endeavour to create awareness in all states for enactment of anti-superstition laws," Patwardhan said.

He said after Maharashtra became the first state to issue the anti-superstition ordinance, expected to ratified by the legislature in the winter session, Tamil Nadu and Assam governments, too, have evinced keen interest in enactment of a similar law which was a positive sign to take the rationalist movement forward and make it nation-wide.

In Maharashtra, post-ordinance, a large number of people had started coming out and lodged complaints against quacks and conmen who cheated them taking advantage of their ignorance and superstitious beliefs, Patwardhan said.

The awareness among people led to a timely intervention
by police to prevent an attempted ritual of human sacrifice in Nashik a few days ago, Patwardhan said.

"We hope to spread and inculcate Dabholkar`s crusading spirit for the cause of eradication of superstition and promotion of scientific temper and expect a positive response beyond Maharashtra as it would be a fitting tribute to his memory.

"It will also send a message to those opposed to the rationalist movement that Dabholkar`s mission is being taken forward and gaining strength and momentum," he asserted.

Meanwhile, the MANS has issued an appeal to all civic bodies in Maharashtra to ensure an "eco-friendly" Ganesh idol immersion.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 12:03

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