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Intolerant India: Kin of those killed demand action

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Bengaluru :The kin of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, rationalists and intellectuals whose killings have fuelled allegations of growing intolerance in the country, today demanded punishment for those that had carried out attacks against the trio.

“Dr Dabholkar, Pansare and Prof Kalburgi’s family members have all come together to ask for justice for the violence.

“With the hope that people who killed them should be punished, we are fighting this fight,” Megha Pansare, daughter -in-law of Pansare said here at a “resistance” (Pratirodh) meet organised by writers, artists, thinkers and rationalists.

While one person has been arrested in connection with Pansare’s killing, inquiries are still on with respect to the murders of Kalburgi and Dabholkar.

“We all will go to high court.. There should be a court-monitored investigation,” Megha said.

“There should be complete investigation of the person who has been arrested in Govind Pansare’s murder. The organisation has been named in this regard and the people with the particular ideology who have been behind this should be investigated,” she added.

Megha also released the book, ‘The Republic of Reason, Words They Could Not Kill’, a compilation of selected English translations of the trio’s writings brought out by Sahmat.

“Through this book, I think some of their thinkings will become accessible to people beyond the Kannada and Marathi-speaking societies. People will read them and know about their writings and the violence they had to face. They used to create awareness and enlightenment in society about values like freedom of expression, democracy,” she said.

The day also marked the birthday of Dabholkar, whose children Mukta and Hamid Dabholkar spoke at the meet through video-conferencing.

Commending the organisers, Megha further added, “Comrade Pansare always said that it is not that rightist forces are very powerful; he used to worry that progressive forces are fragmented. Until these forces come together, we cannot defeat these fundamentalist forces.”

She said that after protest events in Karnataka and Delhi, there are plans to organise an event in Maharastra next and efforts are on to mobilise people from small towns in the state like Kolhapur and Sangli.

“We have to fight for justice, all rationalists and progressive forces from small villages to (cities like) Delhi have to come together against violence and raise their voices for rationalism,” Megha said.

PTI