I like to see the new RATIONALIST magazine as a ship starting out to new horizons. As the captain, I am joined by an international crew of brilliant and committed rationalist thinkers and writers spanning over several continents. We are striving for a world without borders where reason, science and human rights come out on top and chase away the shadows that superstition, fundamentalism and intolerance that are still casting over human lives. Welcome to everyone sailing under the same wind.
July 4. This morning, officers of the Delhi Police reached Sanal Edamaruku’s house to arrest him. They came upon directions of a Delhi court to execute an arrest warrant issued by a Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Court (second highest Criminal Court). If Sanal had been at home, he would be in jail now….
The officers were informed that Sanal is presently out of Delhi and traveling. They insisted on details of his whereabouts, addresses and contact numbers. Some hours later, they came again to press for information, to no avail.
What will happen next?
With this dramatic turn of events, Sanal Edamaruku’s persecution has reached a dangerous new level. Exposing the “miracle” of the water-dripping crucifix at the Velankanni church in Mumbai as a plumber’s problem, he incurred Catholic fury beyond all trademark forgiveness. Highly alarming is the fact that the Catholic side has managed to secure considerable support from Indian government agencies. The Catholic Church is representing only a small minority of believers in India. But it is backed by a powerful worldwide apparatus, driven by great ambitions to conquer India and make up for its losses in the western world. I don’t want the Dark Ages to come to India! Sanal says in the controversial TV program, drawing the battle lines
In the ongoing conflict, Sanal has the evidence-based factual truth on his side – regarding capillary action as well as regarding church history. Moreover, he enjoys the full support of the Indian Constitution that explicitly obliges all citizens to develop “scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”. And then, of course, there is the right to Freedom of Expression (Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) on his side of the balance tray.
The revengeful local Catholic leaders, on the other side, have the tacit support of another heavy weight: the powerful Catholic Church. The Pope is keeping mum, ignoring thousands of contemporaries from various parts of the world who are calling upon the Vatican via an Online Petition of the Rationalist Association (UK) to take a stand in this case. But his Mumbai representative, Bishop Agnelo Gracias (whom Sanal encountered in the TV-9 program), does all the talking. Unstinting in his public praise for Sanal’s prosecutors, Gracias “rejoices” about their courage!
It is obvious that the Catholic Church is trying to pull the strings to silence its most vocal and courageous opponent in India. If there is one person who could cross their ambitious plans, it is Sanal Edamaruku. So there is much at stake, for both sides. How far will they be able to go? That cannot be foreseen. We have to be prepared for the worst.
Please help us to spread the information about this case! Forward this Bulletin, translate it, put in into blogs and discussion sites and write articles about it in the media. Sanal is available for interviews also (though maybe not always in person).