Standing up to blasphemy laws: Sanal Edamaruku and free speech in India


The Rationalist Association and Index on Censorship

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

London, United Kingdom

Event Details

Prominent Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku, currently fighting blasphemy charges in India, is in London for just 2 days. Join New Humanist and Index on Censorship for a lively, rapid-fire lunchtime event looking at Sanal’s case and more widely at the blasphemy laws in India today

For this event Sanal will talk about the case brought against him by Catholic organisations in Mumbai, his determination to fight the charges in court and why he thinks it could prove a turning point in Indian law.

Joining Sanal will be a panel of experts, including High Court Judge Stephen Sedley, historian Professor Richard Sorabji, journalist and novelist Salil Tripathi and free speech campaigners, to discuss the implications of the case for the future of blasphemy in India and beyond.

Come and hear Sanal’s story, join the discussion about the future of blasphemy and lend your support to his campaign. Optional donations will be taken for Sanal’s Legal Defence Fund.

This is a free event but booking is essential as space is extremely limited.

This is a lunchtime event, so feel free to bring sandwiches etc with you.

Find out more about the case and sign a petition in support of Sanal


Previous articles about Sanal Edamaruku posted on

July 23 2012

July 4 2012

July 4 2012

June 13 2012

continue to source article at


  1. This outstanding chap deserves all the help he can get;to aid real “Freedom of Speech” in India.
    Freedom of speech is in my view; the “backbone” of democracy.

  2. Thank’s for the update.  I’ve been wondering how this case has been going.

    Slowly, apparently

  3. What blasphemy case? All I have read about so far is a statue that got wet due to a phenomenon every person should know about after one year in high school… If there was anything blasphemous about that, it would be the clergy trying to use God’s good rep to wring some more money and followers from a case of bad maintenance.

    What will the defense consist of? Arguing that exposing a miracle as a natural phenomenon can’t possibly be considered blasphemy, since there was no divine intervention to mock in the first place, a case against blasphemy laws in general..?

  4. blasphemy laws?  what a riot!  can you imagine blasphemy laws regarding santa claus or some other mythical, man-made figure!!

  5. The charge, such as it is, is of “hurting religious feelings”.  Seriously.

    From the petition: He stands accused of “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community”, an offence under Section 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code. 

  6. His “blasphemy” was to discover that a RC religious image got wet not because of a miracle but to water leaking from a faulty pipe. Is it a blasphemy to tell the truth about an event wrongly interpreted as a miracle? Does the RCC want to keep people in ignorance making them believe in false miracles?(I wouldn’t be surprised). Somebody should tell the Pope to put order in the Indian RCC.

Leave a Reply