Founder

Dr. Narendra Dabholkar

Editor

Prabhakar Nanawaty

Suman Oak

Is religion universal in human culture or an academic invention?

If anything seems self-evident in human culture, its the widespread presence of religion. People do religious stuff all the time; a commitment to gods, myths and rituals has been present in all societies. These practices and beliefs are diverse, to be sure, from Aztec human sacrifice to Christian baptism, but they appear to Continue reading

On Faith and Science

On Faith and Scienceis one of those books where the title says it all. Throughout the pages of this volume, the authors provide both historical and philosophical analyses of the interaction between science and religion within various fields of science. Ultimately, this book provides glimpse into the world of secular scholarship surrounding the Continue reading

Culture is not an excuse for oppressing women

The light in her eyes had gone out. She sat on her hands, her head bowed, apathetic. We were in asalle dcoutea listening roomin a dimly lit hut in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. I was there as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and Continue reading

The unreality of luck

Optimists believe in good luck, pessimists in bad. But if its all a matter of perspective, does luck even exist?

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a technical draughtsman for oil tankers when in the summer of 1945 his employer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries sent him to the Japanese city of Hiroshima for a lengthy Continue reading

After Several Arrests, Questions Still Surround the Dabholkar Murder Investigation

Despite the arrest of one more person last week in connection with the August 20, 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, questions remain about the manner in which the case is being handled by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

On August 18, the CBI arrested Sachin Andhure of Aurangabad and identified Continue reading

Dabholkar, Pansare Killings: Bombay HC ‘Unimpressed’ by CBI, CID’s Progress

The Bombay high court criticised the central and state agencies probing the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, chiding the slow progress despite the country being in a “tragic phase”.

Coming down heavily on Central and state agencies probing the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the Continue reading

Ex-Sena Corporator Detained in Dabholkar Murder Case

Aurangabad/Mumbai:Former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Sunday in connection with the seizure of crude bombs and weapons from different parts of the state between August 9 and 11, an ATS official said. Pangarkar was arrested under the Explosives Act, the Explosive Substances Act and Continue reading

Dabholkar probe officer on Hindu extremists radar

As similarities between the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, progressive thinker M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka, and Tuesdays murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh are being discussed, details have emerged that not only journalists, but even an investigating officer probing the Dabholkar murder case is being watched.

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Indian rationalism, Charvaka to Narendra Dabholkar

Exactly five years ago, on August 20, 2013, Narendra Dabholkar, Maharashtras best known and most vocal anti-superstition activist and rationalist, was shot dead in Pune. In February 2015, Govind Pansare, another rationalist from the same state, was killed in almost identical fashion. In August that year, Prof M M Kalburgi, former Vice-Chancellor of Continue reading

The great purge: Hindutvas Cultural Revolution

Two apparently unrelated yet deeply interconnected events of July invite serious reflection. One belongs to an unending story of crime, the other a not-so-interesting bureaucratic muddle. One will continue to fetch headlines for long and the other will survive, if it does at all, in footnotes for researchers. Yet, both are of a Continue reading

Scientists have established a link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism

A studypublished in the journalNeuropsychologiahas shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and opennessa psychology term that describes Continue reading

Rationalism and Scientific Temper

The All Pervading Superstition

Our country is steeped in superstition. We imbibe too many dos and donts since our childhood, almost all of them irrational and we are not even aware of it. We get up in the morning thinking of what day it is. If it happens to be Continue reading