Published On : Tue, Aug 1st, 2017

Rationalist Taher Poonawala no more

Pune: Eminent rationalist, progressive thinker and activist Taher Poonawala died late on Monday night due to old age. He was 95 and is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Affectionately known as Taherbhai in Pune’s social life, he was unwell for the past few days. He breathed his last on Monday night. Taherbhai has donated his body. No religious rites would be performed, his family members said.

Taherbhai was associated with several social organisations like Mahatma Phule Samata Pratishthan, Rashtriya Ekatmata Samiti, Samaji Krutdnyata Nidhi and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

aherbhai, however, is known for his effort to spread progressive ideas and awaken Bohra Muslim community. Inspired by Hamid Dalwai, founder of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal and eminent scholar Dr AB Shah, Taherbhai was associated with the progressive movement for more than six decades.


Known for modest presentation of thoughts, he continued to spread rationalist ideology in the Bohra Muslim community despite stiff opposition. He was also closely associated with Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti, founded by Dr Narendra Dabholkar.