(This story dates back to March of this year.) Debunker and member of the Indian Rationalist Association Sanal Edamaruku faces arrest for his participation in doing what skeptibunkies do. He says he explained/exposed the watery seeping Jesus in Our Lady of Velankanni Church, in Mumbai.
India has laws against insulting religions and "...deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community,” according to the Slate article. On the surface Edamaruku is doing what's expected of debunkers, but I suspect there is a cultural and historical context at the root of his actions. (Italics mine):
What do you fear might happen to you?The religious zealotry, dogmatism and fanaticism Edamaruku fights is ironically mirrored by his own version of same:
If it comes to a trial, I have nothing to fear. I would welcome the opportunity to throw some light on the role that the Catholic Church played and is still playing today here in India. The possibility of arrest is threatening, however.
Do you have any regrets about intervening? Why would one not intervene when somebody gives gullible people sewage to drink? But my reason is broader. The promotion of superstition and belief in paranormal phenomena dulls people's minds and establishes dangerous misconceptions about reality in our society. Such efforts have to be countered.Edamaruku refused to back off and in fact, got quite contentious with critics. While India has the anti-insult to religions law, it also has this, according to Stephen Law.
Clause (h) of Article 51-A of Constitution of India states that : ‘It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform.’