Thursday 25 July 2024

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Freedom fighter and rationalist Vasant Karapurkar no more


Goa’s eminent freedom fighter and rationalist intellectual Vasant Karapurkar passed away today afternoon.

He was 89.

As per his last wish, his body would be donated to the Goa Medical College.

His body would be kept for ‘darshan’ between 11 am to 1 pm tomorrow at his Comba residence in Margao.

Karapurkar, a staunch atheist, is survived by his wife Sugandha, social activist son Siddhartha and daughter-in-law Rajashree, an author.

Vasant Mama, as he was widely known in Margao, is also the maternal uncle of eminent businessman and writer Datta Damodar Naik.

Though he lived his post-liberation life in real non-violent manner, he was one of the founders of Goa Liberation Army during liberation struggle.

The Army was involved in preparing bombs and arms and he was imprisoned for four years for the violent activities he was involved in.

It included a bomb blast in a second class passenger bogey at Kalay on 12 February, another bomb blast in Panaji-Aldona boat on 26 May and derailing a goods railway at Margao on 17 August – all in 1956.

Karapurkar was a rationalist to the core and was forthright in his views about superstitions and even the concept of God.

Though a non-believer, he never imposed his views on others but believed in persuading people with his logical arguments based on scientific footings.

He was also an active member of Samata Andolan right from its inception in 1991 and was outspoken about his radical views against religious fundamentalism and casteism prevalent in the society. 

Known as a voracious reader of all kinds of literature, Vasant Mama was equally a good conversationist but always restrained himself from going on a platform and speaking.

He was in the forefront with another freedom fighter and writer Gurunath Kelekar in founding MARG, an organisation dedicated to road ethics and streamlining the traffic system.

Till recently, both of them touring the whole state to educate students about road ethics.

“Young people should celebrate our deaths rather than crying on our demise. We have lived happily while serving the society in whatever minimum efforts we could”, said Kelekar, his close confident. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Its inappropriate to classify a person either as an Atheist or religious.Religion is purely a personal affair.One's beleif in one's religion or not cannot be a mark of achievement or greatness.On the contrary such classification creates more harm to the person than credit.

Parag Hede , Panaji,Goa.