Rationalists resolve to continue fight against superstition

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BANGALORE: Dr NarendraDabholkar’s murder has only strengthened the resolve of rationalists in Karnataka to continue their war against superstition and propagate reasoning.

It is unfortunate that the opponents of the scientific and rationale ideas have answered the issues raised through bullets. BGVS believes that by carrying forward his work and spreading rationale ideas further, we should uphold the values for which Dr Narendra Dabholkar stood for,” office-bearers of the Bharath Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Karnataka State, said in a press release.

In fact, a two-day training camp for youth on scientific temper has been organized at the Karnatak Rajya Vigyan Parishat on August 24 and 25 in memory of Dabholkar.

Threats are real. It’s risky. Unless a person has courage and conviction, it’s not possible to propagate rationalism. They have killed Dabholkar now and the next person could be me. But, I won’t be out of it just because of threats,” said Dr Narendra Nayak, president of the Federation of Indian Rationalists’ Association, who has escaped three murder attempts. He sustained head injuries in an attack, while miscreants tampered with his scooter break cable twice.

“I even learnt karate and used to go around with a Nanchaku. After a while I abandoned the knife because I realized all that is needed is self-respect and courage,” said Nayak.

Hulikal Nataraj, who founded Pavaada Samshodhane Kendra in 1994 to bust miracles, said he continues to get threat calls round-the-clock. I don’t remember when was the last time I had had a good sleep. The threat calls continue throughout the night. I became a rationalist after seeing a god-man rape my mother in 1979 when I was in Class 9. That incident is still fresh in my memory. It gave birth to the rationalist in me. I am aware of the dangers in my path, but can’t care less. Death comes only once,” said Nataraj.

Late H Narasimhaiah pioneered the rationalist movement in Karnataka in 1970s, which has gathered momentum with time. A majority of rationalists in the state are engaged in miracle exposure.

The number of rationalists in the state has increased. But, not many of them are courageous. They inform us about the exploitative and primitive practices, but don’t accompany us,” said Nataraj.

Dr Narendra Nayak says, “It (rationalism) is breathing. By the way, it’s a thankless job.”
Meanwhile, the BJP government’s initiative to come out with a policy to register astrologers had been criticized by the rationalists, who termed it ‘nonsensical.’ The present government hasn’t bothered to look into the proposal.

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