Murder of Dr Dabholkar: Protect freedom of expression
We, the undersigned, express our deep sense of anguish at the brutal murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013. Irrespective of whether or not one agrees with his mission for propagation of rational and scientific perspectives, his death symbolises a culture of violence against the freedom of expression that citizens of India are granted by law. Dabholkar's commitment to enlighten people to adopt reason was nothing out of the ordinary, it was indeed in accordance with the law and was not intended to hurt anybody.
Dr Dabholkar fought for Visamata Nirmulan (Eradication of Inequality) and Andhshradha Nirmulan (Eradication of Blind Faith). He had inspired and built up a strong team of volunteers all over the state of Maharashtra for carrying out the science popularization and rational opinion building programmes through lectures, workshops and demonstrations. IUCAA had offered the group a mobile planetarium which was taken by the volunteers to every nook and corner of rural Maharashtra. All such activities fall within the ambit of the rights of Indian citizens, guaranteed by the Constitution of India. They can also be seen to be a part of citizens’ duties, again prescribed by the Constitution.
In his death, the country has lost one of the ablest and charismatic captains in the battle for equality and enlightenment. We join hands with all peace-loving and democratically-minded people to protest against this murder. We also demand a thorough investigation into the incident. We hope that the perpetrators of this crime will be apprehended and justice will be carried out soon.
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