Indian Skeptic to Challenge Blasphemy Law

I reported a few weeks ago about Sanal Edamaruku, head of Rationalist International, who is being charged with blasphemy for debunking a Catholic “miracle” — a statue of Jesus with water leaking from its feet. He faces up to three years in prison, but is preparing to challenge the validity of that law in the courts.

The 56-year-old has spent the last three decades exposing what he says are fake miracles and fraudulent gurus across India, whose top mystics and yoga masters have amassed huge followings and fortunes.

Edamaruku’s targets have included powerful spiritual leaders such as the late Sathya Sai Baba, who was revered by millions and famed for producing baubles out of thin air.

Now Edamaruku welcomes the moves against him as “an opportunity, not a thing to be afraid of”, he said, and is challenging India’s blasphemy law.

The legislation bans “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” — a rule Edamaruku believes runs counter to freedom of expression.

His lawyers are preparing to lobby India’s Supreme Court to overturn the colonial-era section of the penal code, as well as asking a court in Delhi to prevent his arrest.

Edamaruku said the Catholics’ response had been “like Islamic fundamentalists speaking” and drew parallels with the opposition to Mumbai-born British author Salman Rushdie.

Rushdie’s 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” remains banned in India for allegedly insulting Islam and the writer withdrew from a literary festival in January this year after death threats and angry protests.

“I always think there are two Indias,” said Edamaruku. “The 21st century, which is progressive, modern, scientific” and “17th-century India, which is pulling us back to the dark ages of intolerance, bigotry, superstition”.

I certainly hope he succeeds. Such laws are barbaric and dangerous and should be done away with in every country.

"Carter, you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas . . . I'm ..."

Carter Page Still Making Bizarre Arguments ..."
"I think a lot of news organisations do that actually but usually do two (or ..."

OANN Called the Race for Moore, ..."
"A lot of people thought Roy Moore would likely win - thing is most of ..."

OANN Called the Race for Moore, ..."
"FWIW :https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...Snowflakes form in a wide variety of intricate shapes, leading to the notion that ..."

Mikey Gets Email

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment