The first chapter of Anand Patwardhan’s documentary Reason begins with archival footage of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar addressing a gathering. “Everything has a reason behind it. Unlike religion, which believes in a final truth, science is on a hunt for endless truths and reasons,” Dabholkar says in Patwardhan’s award-winning documentary (the Hindi title is Vivek).
Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, allegedly by Hindu fundamentalists. His assassination, along with the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare two years later, are among the examples of murderous attacks on critics of the Hindutva ideology that are examined in Reason.
Patwardhan also investigates Hindu extremist organisations such as Sanathan Sanstha and Abhinav Bharat, the rise of hyper-nationalism, assaults on Muslims and Dalits in the guise of cow protection and the attacks on students in universities.
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