The Case for Reason: Vol - 2

A Scientific Enquiry into Belief

Narendra Dabholkar

Translated by Suman Oak

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Originally published in Marathi as Timiratuni Tejakade, rationalist and activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s magnum opus, The Case for Reason is both a vision document for, and a chronicle of, the battle that he and his co-activists waged against obscurantism, superstition, pseudo-sciences and blind faith in the scriptures.

In Dabholkar’s view, it is the constitutional duty of every Indian citizen to develop a scientific temper, and the Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti’s (ANiS) campaigns have made this the central argument of their work. A few days after Dabholkar was shot dead by religious extremists in 2013, the Maharashtra government issued an anti-superstition ordinance that was in essence a tribute to Dabholkar’s life-long struggle.

The Case for Reason is available in two volumes, the second of which—A Scientific Enquiry into Belief—delves into the anatomy of faith. In this volume, Dabholkar discusses god, religion, secularism and rationalism, and attempts to understand what it will take for society to transcend the infirmities that misguided religious faith imposes on society.

Argumentative and illuminating, this book is a guide to the thinking of one of India’s most independent, important voices—available for the first time in an English translation.

Narendra Dabholkar

Narendra Achyut Dabholkar (1 November 1945 – 20 August 2013) was a medical doctor and rationalist from Maharashtra. To help eradicate superstition, he founded in 1989 the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti ("Maharashtra Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith"). Following his assassination, the Maharashtra Legislative assembly promulgated the Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Act, a bill originally drafted by him in 2003. He was awarded the Padma Shri for his social work posthumously.

Suman Oak

Suman Oak was a Professor of Education in SNDT Women's University, Mumbai. Post her move to Pune, she worked very closely with Dr Narendra Dabholkar and ANiS.