As many as 102 academicians from National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR),Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA),11 departments of University of Pune,National Chemical Laboratory (NCL),Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER-Pune),Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT),have signed a statement condemning the murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
Standing by his work,the academicians urged the government to find and charge the culprits. The city of Pune,and all of Maharashtra and India,has lost a great man to extremist forces. Dabholkar worked tirelessly to promote social justice through rationality and scientific temper, Prof Govind Swarup,former NCRA director and faculty; Dr Niru Mohan R; Dr Nissim Kanekar; Dr Dipanjan Mitra; Dr Nimisha Kantharia; Dr Yogesh Wadadekar; Dr Divya Oberoi; Proj Ajit Kembhavi,director of IUCAA; Prof Naresh Dadhich,former director of IUCAA; Dr Mihir Arjunwadkar,faculty,Centre for Modelling and Simulation; Prof Pandit Vidyasagar,faculty,physics department; Prof Sujata Bhargava,faculty,botany department; Prof Raj Rao,faculty,english department; Dr Leelavati Narlikar,faculty,NCL; Dr Apratim Chatterji,faculty,IISER,and others have written in their statement.
Dabholkar had battled exploitative superstitions,dangerous miracle cures of godmen and black magic. He promoted scientific temper and fought for equality and justice for all members of society. He was also instrumental in pushing for a specific law Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic. We welcome the ordinance passed by the Maharashtra government in this regard, they wrote.
They added: Our Constitution enjoins us to create a scientific temper. We believe that his work on empowering people to fight exploitation and injustice through science is essential in a democratic country like ours. That such a murder happened,and that too in Pune,which has a history of intellectual debate and an openness to ideas,is condemnable. In an age when rational debate and evidence-based arguments are under siege and when rationalists are under attack from fundamentalist forces,it is essential that we step forward to claim Dabholkars fight as our own.