'A thought cannot be killed'

Aug 21, 2013, 01:32 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Shocked by the death of the Dr Narendra Dabholkar, social activists condemned the killing, stating that the anti-superstition movement will not end, as Dabholkar's thoughts will always remain with them in their fight

The anti-superstition and black magic bill is still pending in the Assembly. Now, the state government must pass the bill. It will be the ultimate tribute to Dr Narendra Dabholkar who always believed in democratic socialised philosophy.

During his college days he established the Samajwadi Yuvak Dal in Satara. Our thought process was similar, so we never faced any differences in the journey of our movement.
-- Ratnakar Mahajani, Activist working with Dabholkar since his college days

Dabholkar was working to establish religion-free society. His thoughts were based on proper study. The perpetrators of this heinous crime should realise that ‘thought’ cannot be killed. Many people were against him because of his firm stand against religious mysticism. He also worked against the Jat Panchayat, which might be the reason behind his assassination.
-- Asim Sarode, advocate

Maharashtra has long tradition of progressive philosophy right from the days of Sant Tukaram. The core value of progressive thought is humanity. Dabholkar was also working towards humanity. Now, it is the responsibility of the youth to carry forward his movement.
-- Madhukar Nirfarake, Aide who worked with Dabholkar for more than 50 years

He was the best leader and co-coordinated the movement in earnest. Many activists connected with him because of his systematic organisation. He not only formed a team of activists but also nurtured the thought process of every member of the movement. Now, all his followers should work to ensure the anti-superstition and black magic bill is passed at the earliest
-- Anwar Rajan, activist

Dabholkar’s assassins terminated his thoughts with bullets. Those who don’t have courage to contend with intellect take such extreme steps.
-- Atul Pethe, theatre personality

Today, I am ashamed of being a Punekar. It is a black day in the history of the state. His killing is a major setback to our society, and his fellow activists will make sure his death won’t go in vain.
-- Dr Anil Avchat, Writer and social activist

(As told to Sukirt D Gumaste)

‘It’s an attack on secularism, democracy and rationalism’
The murderous assault of Dr Narendra Dabholkar is an attack on secularism, democracy and rationalism, and it is obvious that the people behind this attack are not believers of these principals. However, the anti-superstition movement will not end with Dabholkar’s death, as his thoughts will always remain with us. He was not only raising his voice against superstition, he also tried to eradicate the caste system from society and supported inter-religion marriages. 
Razia Patel, Social activist

The self-proclaiming secular state government is equally responsible for Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s death as are the fanatic Hindu organisations that are probably involved in his assassination.

He never asked for police protection, but that doesn’t mean that the state should have ignored his safety. There are fanatics in every political party, but some are openly propagating extreme Hindutva. People should now think twice before voting
Medha Patkar,Activist

Dr Narendra Dabholkar was not against religious faith, but loathed the social ills prevalent in the name of religion. We are not scared after his killing, as activists are always ready to sacrifice their lives. However, it’s necessary that Dabholkar’s sacrifice is not put to waste and we should work hard to keep pressurising the state in bringing the anti-superstition law.
Suniti Su Ra, National convener of NAPM

(As told to Niranjan Medhekar) 

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