NEW DELHI: Noted rationalist and senior Malayalam journalist Joseph Edamaruku died of a massive heart attack here on Thursday.
Edamaruku, the face of rationalist movement in Kerala and known for his critical works on holy books, died at his residence in Mayur Vihar in East Delhi. He was 72.
He is survived by wife Solley and son Sanal Edamaruku, who is also a known figure in the rationalist circles.
Born on September 7, 1934 in Kerala's Idukki district, Edamaruku represents a colourful era of rationalist movement in the state and was an influential figure for youth.
An avid reader and traveller, he authored 168 books, both in English and Malayalam relating to subjects like religion, philosophy, magic and over 2000 essays in a number of Malayalam publications.
His main works include 'Christ and Krishna Never Lived', 'Quran - A Critical Study' and 'Bhagadvad Gita - A Critical Study'. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for his autobiography 'The Times that Raised the Tempest'.
The co-founder of rationalist weekly 'Therali', he came to Delhi in 1977 and was associated with the Kerala Sabdham group of publications. He later became its Delhi Bureau Chief.
An staunch campaigner against obscurantism, superstitions and blind belief, he was president of Indian Rationalist Association from 1995 to 2005.
Edamaruku, who won the International Atheist Award in 1979, was imprisoned in 1970 and in 1975 during Emergency.
His body will be handed over to AIIMS for medical research as per his will.