Monday, July 23, 2012

James Randi on Sanal Edamaruku

A Matter of Very Great Concern

Written by James Randi   
Monday, 18 June 2012 13:13
Sanal Edamaruku is the well-known Indian Rationalist who has now taken refuge in Finland, where he has fled to avoid prison in his homeland. He faces arrest due his criticism of a so-called "miracle" claimed by the Catholic Church in his country, a "weeping statue" fueled by sewage water that leaked in from a drain.  This is a preposterous action, a violation of human rights and an affront to reason and justice.  We should all be both alarmed and insulted by the government of India, from whom we certainly could have expected a rational reaction rather than this pandering to "political correctness" that threatens the liberty of Mr. Edamaruku. To quote Sanal himself:
It is nothing new that the Catholic bishops try to sentence their opponents to the stake when they run out of arguments. Giordano Bruno’s is a case in point. But try as they may, they cannot stop me to stand for reason, science and historic facts. And I am not alone. Freedom of expression is under attack and we are going to defend it!
TV channel TV-9 had invited Sanal to investigate a “miracle” at Mumbaia that resulted in some local excitement. He inspected the crucifix standing in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni. This had become the centre of attraction for an ever-growing crowd of believers arriving from far and wide, thus the Church was anxious to take advantage of their credulity. For some days, there were little droplets of water trickling from the feet of the painted plaster figure. Hundreds of people came every day to pray and collect some of the “holy water” in bottles. The town was becoming a pilgrimage centre. But within minutes, Sanal Edamaruku clearly identified the source of the water  – a drainage pipe near a laundry room – and the means by which it reached the figure’s feet – capillary action. The local church leaders who were present during this investigation, were far from pleased. See the investigation in detail on YouTube.
I just received an email note from Mr. Edamaruku:

Yesterday I reached Helsinki. My first breath of free air after two months in hiding. My new anticipatory bail is filed at Mumbai High Court. It will come up for consideration on Monday or Tuesday. Here is my local mobile number in Finland:             +358414874408      
Folks, as you may know, I’m currently involved in a legal action involving my partner, and I’m much preoccupied with that matter.  However, I will take these few moments to urge you to go to click here if you feel you might wish to provide some support for Sanal. He’s a good and effective fighter for reason and rationality, and deserves support. Please consider that possibility…
And I thank you, all.

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