Catholic Church vs. Sanal Edamaruku
The noose is tightening at Mumbai
It is more than three weeks now that agents of the Catholic Church pressed multiple blasphemy charges against Sanal Edamaruku as revenge against him for exposing their “miracle” of the water-dripping cross as a job for the plumber. While the threat of arrest keeps looming over Sanal’s head, ready to hit anytime, the Catholic Church is unleashing the “dogs of the Lord”*). In a widely circulated public statement, a fanatic Catholic group tries to invoke fatwa power and calls Sanal a case for mental asylum.
*) “Dogs of the Lord” (Latin: Domini canes) was the name, the Dominicans loved to call themselves after the Vatican put them in charge of the Inquisiton in the 13th century. In a Papal Bull, a Pope with the endearing name “Innocent” ( No. IV) gave them officially a free hand to torture. This is a classical division of work.
On 11th of April, charges under Section 295 A, Indian Penal Code, have been filed against Sanal Edamaruku in at least three Mumbai police stations: in Juhu, in MIDC and in Andheri. Strangely, he did not receive any official document about these cases up to now. The Mumbai police refuse flatly to send copies of the complaints to Delhi – an unusual violation of the standard procedure. Sanal did not receive any summons either. Till today, there is nothing official about it - except the phone calls of an inspector from Juhu police station, who urges Sanal to come and get arrested. Recently, he calls every night.
What looks like a nightmare a la Franz Kafka, is a simple strategy: As long as the allegations against Sanal are not available in black and white, he will not be able to file a reply. Thus the stage is set for his arrest. In fact, that arrest – not any clarification – is on the police agenda, has already been spilled by the inspector from Juhu. Call it intimidation, attrition policy. This set-up aims at restricting Sanal’s movements and paralyzing his work.
Enormous worldwide response
Sanal’s harassment for exposing a Catholic wannabe miracle has caused an enormous worldwide response. It is reported and discussed in many newspapers, TV and radio programs in India and abroad. It keeps snowballing through thousands of blogs in various languages around the globe. People in USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Brazil, Japan and even Vietnam are expressing their solidarity with Sanal’s courageous position in the controversial TV discussion that followed his exposure of the dripping cross. In the light of this great public attention, Sanal’s detractors may have considered it advisable to slow down their moves for a while. But now, things are warming up.
The Catholic Church is orchestrating the background music for the countdown. It’s the rather nasty noise of the “dogs of the Lord” yapping themselves hoarse. With a great smear campaign, a fanatic Catholic group tries to stir up hatred against Sanal, branding his arguments in the TV-9 debate as “anti-Catholic venom”. They try to invoke fatwa power: Kindling the imagination how fanatic Islamists might deal with such a blasphemer, they leave the decision if Sanal “should be allowed to go scot free” to the mob. Finally they propose that “one needn’t send such a person to jail, but rather to a mental asylum...”
While his lawyers are preparing to defend his right to promote reason and scientific temper and to expose fraudulent claims of “miracles” of any – including Catholic – origin, Sanal Edamaruku has made it clear that as a law-abiding citizen he was ready to address the charges brought against him in front of any court of law or investigating officer – provided a proper summons was issued against him. However, he absolutely refused to comply with the bishop’s demand and apologize or withdraw any of his statements made in the TV-9 debate.
Instead he proposed that the authorities of the church of Velankanni at Mumbai should publicly apologize for distributing the dirty drainage water that was dripping from the cross to hundreds of gullible people. Advertising a natural phenomenon as a “miracle” to attract devotees and promoting them to drink unchecked dirty water claiming it had curative properties is an irresponsible act - and should be a punishable offence, too.
Unstoppable and in full swing: