New Delhi, 29 June 2006.
Joseph Edamaruku , veteran journalist and rationalist leader, passed away in sleep this morning. He was 73. He is the father of Sanal Edamaruku, the President of Indian Rationalist Association and Rationalist International.
As per his wishes his eyes were donated to All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The body is now kept at Kerala House (3, Jantar Mantar Road, New Delhi) for Public Homage. Later in the evening the body will be handed over to the anatomy department of AIIMS, for the use of medical students.
Joseph Edamaruku, born on 7 September 1934 in the southern Indian state Kerala, is an eminent rationalist, scholar and author of 173 books and more than two thousand articles in Malayalam language. Since 1977 he lived in Delhi and represented Kerala Sabdam group of newspapers as its Bureau Chief. Joseph Edamaruku edited daily newspapers and mass circulated magazines, published rationalist journals, addressed numerous meetings and influenced the way of thinking of a whole generation in Kerala. An indefatigable campaigner against obscurantism, superstitions and blind belief, Edamaruku represents a colorful era of Indian rationalism. He was the president of Indian Rationalist Association from 1995 to 2005.
Hailing from a traditional Syrian Christian family that contributed bishops and priests to the church, close experience with the church and Bible education made him a rationalist while still in his teens. He became an activist, married Soley from a Hindu family and challenged caste marriages. He was instrumental in building up the strong rationalist movement in Kerala. He spent two spells in prison, in 1970 and in 1975 during the National Emergency. In 1979 he received International Atheist Award from American Atheists. His autobiography, The Times that Raised the Tempest won award from the Kerala Literary Academy as the best autobiography in Malayalam. Important books: Cultural History of Kerala (1977), Christ and Krishna never lived (1981), Quran - a Critical Study (1982), Bhagavad Gita - a Critical Study (1982), Rationalist State (1983) and Upanishads - a critical Study (2004) and a series of 36 books on world religions (1984-1987).
Xposted to freethinking and antitheism.