Honorary Associates of Rationalist International
Joseph Edamaruku (India)
(1934 – 2006)
Joseph Edamaruku, born on 7 September 1934 in the southern Indian state Kerala, was an eminent rationalist, scholar and author of 168 books and more than two thousand articles in Malayalam language. Since 1977 he lived in Delhi and represented Kerala Sabdam group of newspapers. 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 the 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).
Joseph Edamaruku died in New Delhi, at the 29 June 2006.