ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Science and Superstition - II

Shubha Ranganathan’s article (“The Rationalist Movement against Quack Healing: Critical Questions”, EPW, 4 January 2014) is very critical of the approach and methods adopted by Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANS), a well-known society in Maharashtra, which has been doing their best to eradicate evil practices in the name of religion, faith, black magic, Bhanumati, Aghori, etc. The author may be opposing the rationalist philosophy as such but to reject the idea of a sceptical approach and also to object to scientific temper in analysing these problems shows total contempt for the good work that this organisation has been doing for more than two decades.

Narendra Dabholkar had to pay with his life for pursing this with missionary zeal. This has led to, unfortunately after his murder, the passage of the Anti-Superstition Bill in Maharashtra State Assembly during the just concluded winter session. While reading the article, it appears that the author has relied more on the research work of Johannes Quack. His research is on the rationalist movements in India with a focus on the ANS in Maharashtra.

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