Sanal Edamaruku, president of IRA Was invited to examine a certain crucifix in Irla (Vile Parle - West) by TV-9. The reason was Jesus was dripping water from its feet. Ever ready to believe the paranormal, worshipers had started flocking to collect that "Holy" water and the usual three ring circus ensued, I believe, with priests promoting the miracle with photos of the miracle, etc.
Sanal, as the president of IRA has a formiddable reputation for debunking such superstitious beliefs (duh, rationalist). So in inviting him, there is a certain understanding that the natural reason for the occurrence will be found out. That happened.
Here is a video of the investigation from TV-9
The water was found to be drawn from a nearby drainage through capillary action. He explained the process and later participated in a television debate with five church officials. Here's the debate:
So, to make a long story short, the church authorities tried to bully him into apologizing, then they threatened him with a court case for blasphemy. Right there in front of *cough* God and everyone. They threatened to file lots of court cases against him. And they did.
Post this, things are more unclear. Sanal hasn't been arrested yet. There are cases filed against him in several police stations, any of whom could take initiative in arresting him. Considering the orthodox and generally blind faith friendly mob mentality of our country, no one knows how quickly this will end or how far it will go. Hie safety from extra-curricular extra-devout Christians is also unknown. But so far, he is free.
There is a defense fund set up for him, and if you appreciate his de-stupidification efforts for the country, and you would like to contribute, it is a very good time to do it, since considerable time and money being spent to the point of paralysis is why so many cases get filed against a person. Unless someone in the religious thugs comes to their senses, they are almost certain to be trying to make his life miserable.
That said, I want to point out a few things and raise a few questions:
- If the Church authorities did not want their precious miracle debunked, why not stop him from investigating? If they were on the side of honesty, why print and promote a miracle that wasn't?
- What kind of trouble TV-9 are facing or supporting him through? Considering that they did this together? Or is this to be the typical drive by needling of religion, leaving their guests to suffer the harassment of criminal leaders? Note: He was demanded an apology for doing nothing more than finding the cause of the drip. And threatened with cases when he refused to apologize. On TV.
- What action has been taken by the police against the Church for both the threats as well as the fraud?
- From having a fairly strong resistance to superstition in the Maharashtra region, how have we reached this point that a person can be publicly threatened and bullied for debunking superstition? What is this intellectual cost we as a people have paid?
- Will the people who visited the church to witness this fraudulent miracle file complaints against say.... Section 415 of the IPC - which deals with cheating or misrepresentation?
- Will people who drank the "Holy" water be entitled to compensation and reimbursement of any health consequences?
It is common in India for the one with the capacity to bully be immune from harm. In every aspect of life. Will we allow this rubbish to continue?
I suggest staying tuned to this space and supporting in any initiatives that may further be needed if the Church continues with their harassment.