RATIONALIST INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN
A LETTER FROM THE FINNISH HUMANIST UNION
Support Sanal Edamaruku
I write to you as the president of the Finnish Humanist Union, as an Honorary Associate of Rationalist International and as a close friend of Sanal Edamaruku since decades.
As you may know, Sanal is living in Helsinki since June 2012. I am glad that the Finnish Humanist Union is in a position to offer him a safe though modest base outside India from where he is fighting the blasphemy cases launched against him in India by religious zealots backed by the Roman Catholic Church. This case, based on a draconian law from colonial times, is posing a threat to Sanal’s freedom and even to his life, as we got confidential information about a plot to attack him if arrested. Though it is a scandalous violation of Human Rights that brought about his stay abroad, we consider ourselves very fortunate, as his presence is enriching and inspiring Finnish humanism and has deepened our knowledge about India and the path breaking work that the Indian Rationalists are doing under Sanal’s guidance since more than three decades. During the six months of his exile, Sanal has not only inspired us here in Finland, but rationalists, sceptics,
secularists and humanists in many European countries, among them Poland, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and the UK, where he held public lectures and met with writers, artists, politicians and leaders of various organizations. Lecture tours to several other countries are in the pipeline. In the coming months Sanal plans to travel to USA, South America, Australia and some Asian countries..
Sanal is currently braving (and even enjoying) the Finnish winter and uses his exile intensely for productive work. Besides his lectures and many other projects, he is busy writing two books. But all this does not make him forget for a moment his lifelong mission: he is determined to help India to overcome superstition and fundamentalism and to develop scientific temper, tolerance and responsibility. He is working tirelessly not to allow the enemies of reason to use his absence to tighten their grip on his country. He mobilizes tremendous energies and develops ever new ideas to keep close contact to the rationalist base in all parts of India and to encourage his colleagues and guide their work from far off.
I strongly feel time has come that we - the international community of rationalists, humanists, atheists, freethinkers, secularists, sceptics and whatever our names - join hands to support these efforts. It is not just about supporting a brave, honest and intelligent man who has devoted his life to fight for the cause we all share. It is about a historic step that could make a huge difference for the future of a country with more than one billion people.
Let us all together think what can be done. For the moment, I have two simple proposals for immediate action.
Please write a letter to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and urge him to do the needful to get the blasphemy cases against Sanal Edamaruku quashed and ensure his safety. The Finnish Humanist Union has already written a letter in these lines that can be used as a model letter (click here).
Mark a copy of this letter to the Indian ambassador / High Commissioner / Consular in your country and to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of addresses and contact details of Indian embassies, high commissions and Consulates of India in different countries, please visit: http://www.embassypages.com/india
Send your contribution to support Sanal Edamaruku and his outstanding work for Rationalism. All those who send a donation will get a personal acknowledgment mail directly from Sanal Edamaruku and a copy of my book “Secular Ethical Education” (till stocks last). For making a contribution, click the link below.
With hope in a new international cooperation,
and good wishes for a more rational and humane New Year,
President, Finnish Humanist Union
Honorary Associate, Rationalist International
Links to some of the recent articles and videos about the “Sanal Edamaruku Case” are given below:
Hundreds of articles and interviews have been published in different languages about the misuse of Indian blasphemy law (Article 295A on IPC) have appeared all over the world. Links to some of the selected articles, interviews and TV/Radio reports are given below:
CLIPPINGS OF TV / RADIO REPORTS AND SPEECHES OF SANAL EDAMARUKU
CNN INTERNATIONAL: “Sanal Edamaruku charged after debunking Crying Jesus Statue”
http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/wo ... -jesus.cnn
BBC WORLD SERVICE AND THE WORLD RADIO REPORT: “A Rationalist fights to disprove miracles in India” http://www.theworld.org/2012/11/A-RATIO ... -IN-INDIA/
CNN IBN CAMPAIGN FOR SANAL EDAMARUKU: “Support pours in for Indian Rationalist forced to live in Finland” http://ibnlive.in.com/newstopics/sanal-edamaruku.html
IBN LIVE DISCUSSION IN Face The Nation: “Are Blasphemy Laws Out of Place in a Secular State? “Sanal Edamaruku has been forced to live outside India as he fears arrest after proving that a ‘weeping crucifix’ was caused by faulty plumbing, not divine intervention. http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/308861/ftn ... state.html
SANAL EDAMARUKU’s SPEECH IN DUBLIN, IRELAND, ABOUT HIS STORY, BLASPHEMY LAW AND THE MUMBAI CASES AGAINST HIM: http://www.atheismtv.com/blog/2012/12/s ... my-speech/
SANAL EDAMARUKU’S SPEECH AT THE SCIENCE CENTRE IN HELSINKI, FINLAND, ON THE SUPERSTIONS IN INDIA AND THE MUMBAI BLASHEMY CASE AGAINST HIM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN0vDisLUgU
SANAL EDAMARUKU : SOME NEWS REPORTS AND INTERVIEWS
GUARDIAN, LONDON: “ ‘Blasphemer’ at risk of jail in India brings his fight to Europe”
http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /en_2.html
INDEX ON CENSORSHIP MEETING ON SANAL EDAMARUKU AND THE INDIAN BLASPHEMY LAW. Report in The New Humanist: http:www.rationalistinternational.net/articl ... /en_1.html
POLICE AT SANAL’S HOSE TO ARREST HIM: Report in Rationalist International web site:
English: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /en_1.html
German: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /de_1.html
Spanish: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /es_1.html
French: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /fr_1.html
Polish: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /pl_1.html
Finnish: http://www.rationalistinternational.net ... /fi_1.html
JOHN DAYAL, NATIONAL INTEGRATION COUNCIL MEMBER AND A CATHOLIC LEADER, DEMANDS: “ WITHDRAW CASES AGAINST SANAL EDAMARUKU”: http://www.thesundayindian.com/en/story ... /24/37573/
WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORT: “Christ Statue in Mumbai Prompts blasphemy Spats”
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012 ... hemy-spat/
THE HINDU: “India’s god laws fail the test of reason” http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article3391109.ece
HINDUSTAN TIMES: “Batting for Reason in the land of Faith”. http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-new ... 51455.aspx
NEW SCIENTIST: “Miracle Buster: Why I traced holy water to leaky drain” http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... drain.html
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Dr. Pieter Admiraal (The Netherlands), Prof. Mike Archer (Australia), Katsuaki Asai (Japan), Jocelyn Bézecourt (France), Prof. Colin Blakemore (UK), Sir Hermann Bondi (1919 - 2005, UK), Prof. Vern Bullough (1928 – 2006, USA), Dr. Bill Cooke (New Zealand), Dr. Helena Cronin (UK), Joseph Edamaruku (1934 - 2006, India), Prof. Richard Dawkins (UK), Jan Loeb Eisler (USA), Pekka Elo (Finland), Prof. Antony Flew (1923 – 2010, UK), Tom Flynn (USA), Jim Herrick (UK), Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011, USA), Ellen Johnson (USA), Malgorzata Koraszewska (Poland), Andrzaj Koraszewski (Poland), Prof. Paul Kurtz (1925 - 2012, USA), Lavanam (India), Dr. Richard Leakey (Kenya), Dr. Henry Morgentaler (Canada), Maryam Namazie (Iran),Dr. Taslima Nasreen (Bangladesh), Steinar Nilsen (Norway), Prof. Jean-Claude Pecker (France), James Randi (USA), Prof. Ajoy Roy (Bangladesh), Dr. Younus Shaikh (Pakistan), Dr. G N Jyoti Shankar (1940 - 2000, USA), Barbara Smoker (UK),
Richard Stallman (USA), Prof. Rob Tielman (The Netherlands), David Tribe (Australien), K Veeramani (India), Bary Williams (Australia), Prof. Richard Wiseman (UK) and Prof. Lewis Wolpert (UK)
Commentary on and links to religion or atheism in the media
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