The murder of Pune-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was received with dismay and sorrow by fellow rationalists from all over the world including the United Kingdom, where the Rationalist Association and its well-established journal New Humanist are very much in the forefront of an ongoing intellectual debate in this country on the philosophy and practice of rationalism.

“The Rationalist Association, and New Humanist magazine, extends its sympathy to Dabholkar’s colleagues, friends and family, and will continue to promote the values he espoused,” Daniel Trilling, who will take over this September from Caspar Melville as Editor, New Humanist, told The Hindu. “We also give our solidarity to those in India who wish to continue his work: they are not alone, and we will be making sure our readers around the world know the full story.”

Pursuit of truth

Recalling the relentless pursuit of truth by Dr. Dabholkar in exposing fraudsters who “manipulated people’s beliefs,” Mr. Trilling said that Dr. Dabholkar’s “bravery in doing so was admirable: the fact that his own personal safety was at risk is testament to the importance of his work, and its effectiveness.”

The Rationalist Association, United Kingdom, was established in 1885, and counts among its past and present members Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, HG Wells, Claire Rayner, Ian Banks and Philip Pullman. Economist Amartya Sen is an Honorary Associate and supporter of New Humanist.

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