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Disenchanting IndiaOrganized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India$
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Johannes Quack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812608.001.0001

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Organized Rationalism in 20th-Century India

Organized Rationalism in 20th-Century India

(p.78) (p.79) 8 Organized Rationalism in 20th-Century India
Disenchanting India

Johannes Quack

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines why people like B. R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ramaswami Periyar, Abraham Kovor, as well as M. N. Roy and his Radical Humanists and Gora and his Atheist Centre, are often considered by the contemporary rationalist organisations to be their “ancestors”. Further, the role of the Rationalist Press Association of London is discussed with respect to the most influential Indian rationalist organisations of the 20th century. Finally, the history of two exemplary rationalist organisations, the Rationalist Association of India (RAI) and the Indian Rationalist Association (IRA), is described from the 1930s until today. Thus, the chapter provides an account of the development of organised Indian rationalism throughout the last century.

Keywords:   M. N. Roy, Gora, B. R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ramaswami Periyar, Radical Humanists, Atheist Centre, Abraham Kovor, Rationalist Association, India, Rationalist Press Association

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