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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Dabholkar aides to take rationalist movement on national level

PTI  Pune, September 14, 2013
First Published: 11:57 IST(14/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:59 IST(14/9/2013)

Supporters of Narendra Dabholkar's rationalist movement will now seek support of various political parties to press for a law in states to eradicate superstition-based malpractices.

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A delegation of Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), the anti-superstition organisation founded by Dabholkar - who was shot dead here last month - will visit Delhi next week and speak to political leaders to garner support for their mission.

Encouraged by the positive response being seen in Maharashtra with the promulgation of the anti-black magic ordinance, MANS activists, including Anish Patwardhan, son-in- law of the slain rationalist, will also have an interaction with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in order to mobilise public opinion and change social mindset.

The state government promulgated the ordinance, a long -standing demand of Dabholkar, a day after the noted social activist was gunned down by unidentified men on August 20.

"We have our schedule fixed for an interaction with JNU students and faculty as the institution is known to be a vibrant centre of rational thought. Also on the agenda are meetings with the Left party leaders, including D Raja (CPI), in an endeavour to create awareness in all states for enactment of anti-superstition laws," Patwardhan said.

He said after Maharashtra became the first state to issue the anti-superstition ordinance, expected to ratified by the legislature in the winter session, Tamil Nadu and Assam governments, too, have evinced keen interest in enactment of a similar law which was a positive sign to take the rationalist movement forward and make it nation-wide.

In Maharashtra, post-ordinance, a large number of people had started coming out and lodged complaints against quacks and conmen who cheated them taking advantage of their ignorance and superstitious beliefs, Patwardhan said.

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