We’ve Lost a Good Leader

Ajita Kamal, who founded the Indian science/freethought group Nirmukta, died earlier this week. He was only 33 and the cause of death is unknown.

Ajita was an active participant in freethought throughout his years in America, forming ties with freethinkers who would become part of Nirmukta’s extended family. Employing his versatile talents, his contributions towards the cause of reason were manifold: as a prolific and edifying writer, as an insightful interviewer, as an adept podcast host, as an energetic community organizer both on-ground and online, and as a welcoming mentor to many freethinkers young and old taking their first steps towards embracing freethought.

I never had a chance to meet him, but I’ve been in contact for years with several of the people who joined the groups he helped create. The passion for freethought that he instilled in them is truly infectious and I hope that legacy continues.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Annie

    Such sad news.  I was visiting Tamil Nadu a few weeks ago.  It’s a beautiful part of India, but (from my tourist’s first impression) seeping with superstition.  I imagine his work there was very important and needed.  May his enthusiasm live on through the seeds he planted in Nirmukta.

  • Heintje

    Death of anyone in his prime is a sad affair. It’s doubly sad when he is an ardent proponent of rationality, who has made a significant contribution in spreading it in a nuclear power that is still benighted by superstitions. My condolence goes to his family and friends.

    I hope more details surrounding his sudden, untimely death will come to light – unless his family would like to keep them private. I can’t help but suspect foul play…