20 Facts Short Biography of Narendra Dabholkar, a Rationalist Anti-Superstition Activist
Name - Narendra Dabholkar
Born - November 1, 1945
Died - 20 August 2013 (aged 67) Pune, Maharashtra, India
Education - Studied in New English School Satara, Willingdon College Sangali
Narendra Dabholkar passed out as a medical doctor from Miraj Medical College.
Address - Parivartan, Sahayog Hospital, Sadar Bazaar, Satara
In college, he was the captain of the Shivaji University Kabaddi team.
He represented India against Bangladesh in a Kabaddi tournament.
He won the most prestigious Chatrapati Shivaji Krida Puraskar for Kabaddi from the government of Maharashtra.
He practiced as a general practitioner for nearly 12 years after which he joined active social work.
In the beginning, he was associated with the movements for social justice and equality and at that time, he worked with Baba Adhav, in the "One Village One drinking water well" agitation.
In 1983, he started working in the field of superstition eradication.
He founded Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti
Later named as Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti,
It has 230 branches in the state.
He gave his life for fighting against all kinds of superstitions and worked in a constructive way to create scientific temper within the society.
He has penned more than a dozen books and had been editor of the Marathi Weekly Sadhana for 16 years.
Dabholkar organized programmes in all parts of the state, which exhibited a number of tricks, which can be used to fool people by terming those as miracles.
He exhibited how a person can walk on fire and explained the science behind the same.
He organized special camps to inculcate scientific temper in the students and trained more than 10 thousand teachers in the last 15 years.
A mobile laboratory kind of Vidnyan Bodh Vahini used to travel throughout the state to demonstrate experiments along with the science behind it.
Dabholkar launched Samajik Krutadnyata Nidhi, which meant raising a fund for expressing gratitude towards those who have worked selflessly for society.
Dabholkar was the secretary of this Nidhi right from the inception and noted theatre and film artistes like Dr Shriram Lagoo, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, and Nilu Phule helped got associated with it.
The Samajik Krutadnyata Nidhi gives Rs1000 honorarium for fifty activists and this activity is going on for last 23 years.
Dabholkar had challenged the astrologers asking them to prove that it is a science.
Dabholkar along with internationally acclaimed astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar had challenged astrologers by giving a questionnaire to them.
Dabholkar and Narlikar had challenged astrologers to identify as to whether the Kundli can reveal that a person is mentally retarded and a few other questions, which astrologers could not accept.
He was also the founding member of Parivartan, a de-addiction center located in Satara.
He was closely associated with Sanal Edamaruku, a leading Indian rationalist and president of Rationalist International, who now lives in exile in Europe following death threats and blasphemy cases against him.
He was trying to bring ‘anti-superstition and black magic bill’ in Maharashtra.
Under his supervision, the MANS drafted the Anti-Jaadu Tona Bill ("Anti-Black magic Bill").
It was opposed by certain Hindu extremist organizations and the Warkari sect.
It was also opposed by the political parties of Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena on the grounds that it would adversely affect the Hindu culture, customs, and traditions.
7th July 1995 first time it was passed by the Maharashtra government but still the law is not passed by the any Maharashtra government.
For last 18 years Dr Narendra Dabholkar was fighting with Maharashtra state government to pass the anti superstition and black magic bill.
He was demanding state government to pass the bill in the last state assembly's monsoon session.
Dabholkar had recently started a campaign against Jat Panchayat and had held a workshop at Nashik against Jat Panchayat.
Dabholkar was also campaigning against immersion of idols in water bodies.
He appealed to the devotees to immerse idols in water tanks rather than in rivers to protect the water bodies from being polluted.
On 20 August 2013, while out on a morning walk, Dabholkar was shot at by two unidentified men near the Omkareshwar temple at 7:20 AM IST.
The assailants fired four rounds at him from a point blank range, and then fled on a bike parked nearby.
Two of the bullets hit Dabholkar in head and chest. He was taken to Sassoon Hospital, where he died.
Goals Objectives of MANS
1)To cultivate scientific attitude, skepticism, humanism and critical thinking among the people
2)To oppose harmful superstitions, which exploit people
3)To cultivate rationalistic moral values, humanism and create a just society
4)To encourage constructive analysis of religious traditions and customs
5)To agitate against harmful superstitions and rituals and suggest useful alternatives to some
6)To help and work with other social reform organizations
Watch the video Speech by Dr Narendra Dabholkar at Panvel
Watch the video Talk On Nirmal Baba by Dr. Narendra Dabholkar
Question & Answer (Q&A) Session following the talk "Astrology Examined" delivered by Dr. Narendra Dabholkar on 24th Jan 2012 in Pune, India.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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