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January 17 2015

surveyork
20:27

There are no Charlie Hebdos in India. Je suis declarations notwithstanding, freedom of expression now seems to be an abstract ideal, a distant dream of our founding fathers.

At around the time that TV was breathlessly covering the 3.7 million people rally in Paris, there was considerably less attention on the protests in India against Tamil writer Perumal Murugan. Poor Murugan might have at the very least merited a stray nod from all those fulminating talking heads. Instead, the writer announced his retirement from writing.

For 25 years Murugan has written poetry, short stories and novels and single-handedly compiled a dictionary of the Kongu dialect. But it was his 2010 novel, Madhurobhagan (One Part Woman), set 100 years ago about a childless couple who attend a religious festival in the author’s hometown of Tiruchengode where women have consensual sex with men other than their husbands in the hope of conceiving, that has earned the ire of the RSS and caste organisations like the Hindu Munnani.

A sustained campaign included posters, a planned bandh and the distribution of selected pages. Murugan and his family were forced to flee town on the advise of the police. And a peace meeting among the author, agitators and district administration ended with an apology by Murugan and an assurance that future editions would excise the name of the town.

Je suis Charlie, hell yes. Je suis Perumal. Anyone?

January 03 2015

surveyork
22:42
Right-wing Hindu groups allied to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — and whose members are overwhelmingly BJP members — have conducted a series of ceremonies across India over the past week to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.

July 08 2014

surveyork
14:04
By Associated Press July 7

NEW DELHI — Islamic courts have no legal authority in India, the country’s Supreme Court ruled Monday, saying Muslims cannot be legally subject to a parallel religious authority.

Individuals may abide by Shariah court rulings if they wish, but cannot be legally forced to do so, Judge C. K. Prasad said.

“No religion is allowed to curb anyone’s fundamental rights,” he told the court, giving the decision of a two-judge bench. Indian law does not recognize Shariah court rulings, he said.

Court: Islamic law holds no legal sway in India - The Washington Post

November 15 2013

surveyork
19:15
Jawaharlal Nehru (14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964), the first Prime Minister of India (1947 -64)

Nehru in his book Discovery of India:
      “The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.

It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people... Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid... The future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.

What the mysterious is I do not know. I do not call it God because God has come to mean much that I do not believe in. I find myself incapable of thinking of a deity or of any unknown supreme power in anthropomorphic terms, and the fact that many people think so is continually a source of surprise to me. Any idea of a personal God seems very odd to me.”

Discovery of India

October 31 2013

surveyork
03:36
After 11 days of digging for the 1,000 tonnes of gold at the Daundia Khera village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, it's Peepli Dead now. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has hit a dead-end in the digging and doesn't seem interested in continuing with it.

Formally, the site has nothing very special even in terms of archaeological value, said BR Mani, additional director general, ASI. Informally, the local seer, Shobhan Sarkar, who had dreamt of the treasure and had convinced Union Minister of State Charan Das Mahant to get the site excavated, perhaps had a stomach disorder and was having a bad dream.

October 18 2013

surveyork
20:02

A statue of the Virgin Mary dressed as a local tribal woman is in the eye of the storm in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

When leaders of a local church installed the statue in Singhpur village, 15km outside the provincial capital of Ranchi in May, they thought they were paying tribute to local traditions.

<!-- PAGELOADEDSUCCESSFULLY-->

<!-- PAGELOADEDSUCCESSFULLY-->But the statue - which depicts the Virgin Mary in a red-bordered white sari and red blouse, sporting a necklace, bangles and earrings, and holding baby Jesus in a cloth sling tied around her shoulder - has become a lightning rod of controversy.

It has infuriated a nature-worshipping, non-Christian group who identify themselves as followers of the tribal Sarna religion.

Several Sarna groups have held protest rallies and demanded that the statue be removed.

September 27 2013

surveyork
03:49
According to a top-secret NSA document obtained by The Hindu, the NSA selected India’s U.N. office and the embassy as “location target” for infiltrating their computers and telephones with hi-tech bugs, which might have given them access to vast quantities of Internet traffic, e-mails, telephone and office conversations and even official documents stored digitally.

September 16 2013

surveyork
04:43
But now, after the murder of a high profile sceptic, there are growing calls for the introduction of comprehensive anti-black magic legislation
Killing prompts calls for crackdown on Indian black magic | Asia Pacific | ABC Radio Australia

August 29 2013

surveyork
08:36
"Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, a 67-year-old anti-superstition activist and Humanist leader from India, was assassinated on Tuesday morning, presumably because of his skeptical beliefs."

When reason is not on your side, kill your opponent. Kill the infidel. Kill the non-believer.

August 09 2013

surveyork
21:40
Network security agreements that Reliance Communications and VSNL signed with U.S. government departments oblige them to share data carried on their infrastructure and assist the U.S. in its surveillance programme.
By SAGNIK DUTTA in New Delhi

June 09 2013

surveyork
09:22

AT least 18 tribal villagers in India's northeast have been arrested for hacking to death a man they suspected of practising witchcraft, police say. <!-- google_ad_section_end(name="story_introduction)" -->

<!-- // .story-intro --> <!-- google_ad_section_start(name="story_body," weight="high)" -->

They said they were told to kill the victim by a Hindu goddess who appeared in their dreams.

Mobs have killed at least 200 people over the past five years who they have accused of practising sorcery and witchcraft - mainly in tribal-dominated areas of western and northern Assam state, Indian police say

Reposted bynibot nibot

November 03 2012

surveyork
08:19
A large number of people, including activists of religious parties, ransacked and set on fire a girls' school in Lahore and clashed with police following reports that a question paper for a test had contained blasphemous references to the Prophet, police said today.
Reposted byTamahl Tamahl

September 30 2012

surveyork
01:28
Multiple incidents over the last twelve months have underscored the appalling lack of freedom in many countries to express even the blandest criticism of either religion in general or the dominant religion in a particular country. To name just some examples, there are the cases involving Rimsha Masih, Hamza Kashgari, Alexander Aan, Sanal Edamaruku, Hamad al-Naqi, Pussy Riot, and Alber Saber.

August 04 2012

surveyork
20:52
The case against Sanal Edamaruku reveals the inherent flaws in legally protecting “religious feelings.”

July 08 2012

surveyork
20:56
Sanal Edamaruku faces a Catholic backlash after insisting that the "holy" water dripping from a statue of Christ in Mumbai, India, came from a leaky drain. Edamaruku is the founder and president of Rationalist International, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, and honorary associate of the U.K. Rationalist Association.
surveyork
20:51

I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.

July 06 2012

surveyork
20:42
Please join the Rationalist Association (UK) in condemning the misuse of Indian law by several Catholic organisations to silence a campaigner against superstition. In March 2012, following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai as nothing more than the result of a leak, a complaint was lodged against Sanal Edamaruku by local Catholic organisations with the Mumbai police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied 'anticipatory' bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery. 

June 13 2012

surveyork
00:23
Defending Secularism and Rational Inquiry

June 07 2012

surveyork
19:54
Please join the Rationalist Association (UK) in condemning the misuse of Indian law by the Catholic Church to silence a campaigner against superstition. In March 2012, following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai as nothing more than the result of a leak, a complaint was lodged against Sanal Edamaruku by the local Catholic Archdiocese with the Mumbai police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied 'anticipatory' bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery. 
Reposted byskuxy skuxy

May 29 2012

surveyork
05:02
Catholics in Mumbai are outraged at a skeptic who pointed out that their latest miracle was full of it . . . literally.

The local Catholics spotted water dripping from a crucifix in Mumbai’s western suburbs. They eagerly lapped up the “miracle water”, thinking it had magical powers.

Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association and Rationalist International, inspected the site and pinpointed the source of the water. A leaking toilet drain.

For explaining that the only “magic power” the water has is to transfer gastrointestinal infections and other disease, Edamaruku now faces up to three years in prison for “blasphemy”.

Indian skeptic faces 3 year prison sentence for explaining dripping crucifix | Secular News Daily
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