The cowards killed many liberals keeping a disturbing trend on, which can turn the country into a cesspool of hatred and intolerance. Gauri Lankesh’s death is being regarded as the latest in a string of murders of ‘rationalist’ writers, including MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar. It will be seven long years since Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, a well-respected rationalist and campaigner against superstition from Maharashtra, was murdered while he was out on a morning walk in Pune. Since then, three more anti-fascist activists who were effective campaigners against right-wing ideas and politics―Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh—have been murdered and investigating agencies believe the murders may be linked. Members of the Sanatan Sanstha have been accused of executing the murders but no one has been convicted so far.
Along with seven years of the murder, August will also mark the 30th birth anniversary of the Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith’ which was set up in August 1989 by Dabholkar with his peers. A unique organisation which has branches in all districts of Maharashtra and about 10,000 active members, the Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith, better known as the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was the vehicle for implementing Dr Dabholkar’s ideas and plans for fighting superstition and promoting rationalism in the so-called progressive state of Maharashtra. It is currently led by Executive President Avinash Patil, who has also been a long-term rationalist activist.
The activist’s killing had prompted the state government to enact the revolutionary ‘Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices, and Black Magic Act, 2013’, which is commonly known as the anti-superstition and black magic law.
The Maharashtra police has questioned nearly 1,000 people in the past two years, including ‘tantriks’, godmen and black magicians against whom Dabholkar campaigned vigorously, but without much success.