Slashdot.org report that Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian rationalist who might be familiar to people for subjecting himself to a Tantrik’s ultimate-death spell on live TV — the operational (and funniest) part of the ‘spell’ was admirably reproduced in PZ Myers’ Om lingalingalingalinga, kilikili. Sanal Edamaruku must’ve been tickled, because he simply laughed — may get arrested.
Sanal Edamaruku went to Bombay recently after he was invited by TV9 to try and find why a statue was dripping water. The statue has apparently become a pilgrimage of sorts.
But Sanal Edamaruku spoilt this prospect. Within minutes, he clearly identified the source of the water (a drainage near a washing room) and the mechanism how it reached Jesus feet (capillary action). The local church leaders, present during his investigation, were far from pleased. See the investigation in detail on YouTube.
And then he went on TV and argued that the Church should stop this sort of miracle-mongering.
There’s apparently going to be police action against Sanal Edamaruku for ‘causing hurt to the religious sentiments of a particular community’. The Indian Penal Code is arcane and outdated at its best (think of adultery: if a married man cheats on his wife with an unmarried woman, it isn’t a crime; but if a man sleeps with a married woman, that is. The reasoning is obvious: married women are their husbands’ property, and adultery is a crime against the husbands).
But when it comes to religion, the IPC is downright reactionary. Basically, anybody who does anything at all to discomfort religious people and question their belief may be subject to legally sanctioned harassment by the thin-skinned idiots. That there are such laws is bad enough, but that they are applied in the 21st century really is appalling.
How I wish we would simply grow the fuck up, and leave the 19th century behind (the IPC was written in 1860 – not a typo – and most parts haven’t been revised since).