Tag Archives: Narendra Dabholkar

Time for Akhara ‘certified’ Babas?

For a law against Superstition at the National Level


( Image Courtesy : http://antisuperstition.org/faith-in-time-of-rationality/)

These are really ‘bure din‘ for the spiritual gurus of India.

While the likes of Ram Rahim, Asaram Bapus and Rampal are cooling their heels behind bars for their not so spiritual acts, Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale who is also known as “Ichadaari Baba” among his followers has also joined them for running a high profile sex racket.

It was unprecedented in recent history that Odisha had witnessed mass movements targeting many such Babas/spiritual gurus which had compelled the state government to arrest few of them. In fact the judiciary had also expressed grave concern over such Babas masquerading as spiritual leaders, robbing innocent followers of money and leading a “licentious life”.(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1160528/jsp/odisha/story_88018.jsp) Continue reading Time for Akhara ‘certified’ Babas?

रौशनी के बीज बोने का माददा – ‘अंधविश्वास उन्मूलन’ पुस्तकत्रयी के बहाने चन्द बातें 


(‘पहल’ के आगामी अंक हेतु )

Andhavishwas Unmoolan : Vichar - 1


स्मशान में कवि सम्मेलन और वह भी अमावस की पूरी रात।

पिछले साल के अन्त में पुणे से आयी इस ख़बर की तरफ बहुत कम लोगों का ध्यान गया था। ( देखें इंडियन एक्स्प्रेस 14 नवम्बर 2015) उधर शहर में लोग दीपावली मना रहे थे और वहां सैकड़ों की तादाद मंे एकत्रित लोगों के बीच कविताएं पढ़ी जा रही थीं, एक कविता संग्रह का विमोचन भी हो रहा था, कुछ सांस्कृतिक  समूह भी बीच बीच में अपनी प्रस्तुतियां दे रहे थे। पुणे के उपनगर बोपोडी की स्मशानभूमि का परिसर उस अलग ढंग के कार्यक्रम का गवाह बना था।

‘अमावस्या की पवित्र रात में स्मशान में कवि सम्मेलन’ शीर्षक से आयोजित इस कार्यक्रम के मुख्य आयोजक थे , महाराष्ट्र अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समिति – जिसके निर्माण में शहीद विचारक डा नरेन्द्र दाभोलकर ने पहल ली थी – तथा सिद्धार्थ संघ और सिद्धार्थ महिला संघ। समिति के सदस्यों द्वारा गाया एक गीत काफी चर्चित हुआ, जिसके बोल थे ‘बो रहे हैं हम प्रकाश बीज’। भूतों-प्रेतों के ‘अस्तित्व’ या उनके ‘विचरण’ को लेकर समाज में व्याप्त भ्रांत धारणाओं को चुनौती देने के लिए अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन समिति के बैनर तले आयोजित इस कार्यक्रम ने बरबस कुछ समय पहले कर्नाटक के बेलागावी सिटी कार्पोरेशन के अन्तर्गत आते वैंकुंठ धाम स्मशान में हुए एक अन्य आयोजन की याद ताजा कर दी थी,  जहां कर्नाटक के उत्पादनशुल्क/एक्साईज मंत्राी जनाब सतीश जरकीहोली ने सैकड़ों लोगों के साथ वहीं रात बीतायी थी अंौर वहां भोजन भी किया था। याद रहे कि महाराष्ट्र की तर्ज पर कर्नाटक विधानसभा में अंधश्रद्धा विरोधी बिल लाने में अत्यधिक सक्रिय रहे मंत्राीमहोदय दरअसल लोगों के मन में व्याप्त इस मिथक को दूर करना चाहते थे कि ऐसे स्थानों पर ‘भूत निवास’ करते हैं। Continue reading रौशनी के बीज बोने का माददा – ‘अंधविश्वास उन्मूलन’ पुस्तकत्रयी के बहाने चन्द बातें 

On keeping Open the Door that was Opened by Dr. Malleshappa Kalburgi

On Sunday morning, seventy seven year old scholar Dr. Malleshappa Kalburgi opened his door in Dharwad town in Karnataka to some people who asked for ‘sir’. They pumped bullets into ‘sir’ when he appeared in front of them. Throughout his life, Dr. Kalburgi had the habit of opening doors. His scholarship into Kannada literature opened many doors. Those who killed Kalburgi abused not just his hospitality, and his willingness to open his doors to strangers (he had asked that his security be ‘lifted’ despite threats to his life), they abused all the traditions in the world that promise kindness to strangers, and keep doors open.

Continue reading On keeping Open the Door that was Opened by Dr. Malleshappa Kalburgi

Towards a Rational Literacy – Education and Beyond: Shivali Tukdeo

[Anyone who is familiar with the writings and positions of various Kafila authors will see, we do not subscribe to or share many of the views expressed by Shivali Tukdeo in this essay. Several of us have our own fairly strong critiques of the processes of colonial and post-colonial knowledge formation which condemned a whole host of practices, and the lifeworlds in which they were located, as “andhvishwas”. However there is also a simultaneous extremely interesting history of efforts at the inculcation of a “rational temperament” that used emergent discourses of science and modernity to question traditional hierarchies of caste and so on. Maharashtra is an especially vibrant locale for such experiments and their location within long histories of oppressed caste mobilizations. Recent violent assertions by the Hindu Right on the grounds of “tradition”, as evidenced in the tragic murder of Dr. Dabholkar, further complicate the terrain within which these questions arise. So we are carrying this essay as an offering and opening to what we hope will be a spirited conversation around reason, science and faith of all varieties – andh, kana and trilochan. AS]

This is a guest post by SHIVALI TUKDEO

In what can only be termed as an ultimate irony and deep embarrassment, the Maharashtra police allegedly resorted to relying on planchet tricks of a self-claimed god-man to investigate the brutal murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist and organiser of Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANS)—Committee against Eradication of Blind Faith[i]. The ‘supernatural intervention’ in this high-profile murder case is painfully damaging, no doubt; however, it is neither an isolated instance nor is it confined to the police department alone. As reportage in the aftermath of the case reveals, police departments routinely subscribe to such practices. Moreover, the widespread practice of offering prayers to Thirupathi before a space launch or the decision to conduct excavation based on a Sadhu’s dream aptly illustrate the powerful hold superstitions have. Such instances also point to the deep and long standing crisis in India’s education. Continue reading Towards a Rational Literacy – Education and Beyond: Shivali Tukdeo

FTII Students’ Association Calls for Solidarity : Against violence by fascist forces

Students’ Association, Film and Television Institute of India, Law College Road, Pune

On the 21st of August 2013 students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Yugpath, Pune organized a screening of ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’, followed by a discussion with Anand Patwardhan and a performance by members of the Kabir Kala Manch. At the close of this event, five students of FTII were physically attacked by twelve members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Maharashtra has for centuries produced socially progressive activists. Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was one among them. The event on the 21st was organized by the students of FTII to also pay homage to Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. It is unacceptable that an attack of this nature can be inflicted on students for organizing cultural events, in a state, which has a rich and diverse cultural tradition.

This is not an incident in isolation. The attacks on Amdavad ni Gufa an art gallery in Ahmedabad and the cancellation of Sanjay Kak’s film at Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune are recent examples of mindless violence by right-wing fascist groups. It is critical to challenge the growing impunity with which fascist groups are intolerant of artists, thinkers, students and any individual who are either opposed or not inclined to their politics. Such attacks by any fascist force violate the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. At a time when such attacks are becoming increasingly routine we appeal to the student community and all concerned individuals to register their protest.

On the 26th, this Monday, we are organizing a Solidarity March starting from FTII Campus, Law College Road to Omkareshwar Chowk at 4 PM. This march is a protest against the assassination of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, the attack against the five FTII students, and all other acts of mindless violence by fascist forces. We demand that those guilty of attacking the FTII students be brought to justice and the charges against the FTII students be dropped immediately. Join us in solidarity as we peacefully march to celebrate the right to democratic dialogue and reclaim the right to expression.

We appeal to students and free thinking individuals across the country to voice their protest. We urge you to use your art, your words and your ideas in defiance of such fascist forces.

Vikas Urs

General Secretary

Students’ Association, F.T.I.I

Contact- 09158737954,





Assassination of an Activist : Who Killed Dr Narendra Dabholkar?

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

– Albert Einstein

 Words have an uncanny ability of impinging on the receiver with clinical detachment. It is upto the receiver to unpack them or try to derive meaning out of them. It is still difficult to get over the sense of grief and shock one experienced when one received the news of the assassination of renowned rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar on the streets of Pune on Tuesday 20 th August.

Continue reading Assassination of an Activist : Who Killed Dr Narendra Dabholkar?