Sanal Edamaruku’s quest to bring reason to India

Pandit Surender Sharma attempts to kill Sanal Edamaruku

Rationalising India has never been easy. Given the country’s vast population, its pervasive poverty and its dizzying array of ethnic groups, languages and religions, many deem it impossible.

Nevertheless, Mr Edamaruku has dedicated his life to exposing the charlatans — from levitating village fakirs to televangelist yoga masters — who he says are obstructing an Indian Enlightenment. He has had a busy month, with one guru arrested over prostitution, another caught in a sex-tape scandal, a third kidnapping a female follower and a fourth allegedly causing a stampede that killed 63 people. […]

His organisation traces its origins to the 1930s when the “Thinker’s Library” series of books, published by Britain’s Rationalist Press Association, were first imported to India. They included works by Aldous Huxley, Charles Darwin and H.G. Wells; among the early subscribers was Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister.

The Indian Rationalist Association was founded officially in Madras in 1949 with the encouragement of the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, who sent a long letter of congratulations. For the next three decades it had no more than 300 members and focused on publishing pamphlets and debating within the country’s intellectual elite. […]

Exposing such tricks can be risky. A guru called Balti (Bucket) Baba once smashed a burning hot clay pot in Mr Edamaruku’s face after he revealed that the holy man was using a heat resistant pad to pick it up.

Times: Sceptic challenges guru to kill him live on TV


Atheism = 1, Magick = 0

Sotantar Simrat Singh – Sun Gong

Sotantar Simrat Singh - Sun Gong

Sotantar Simrat Singh – Sun Gong

I listened to this all morning. Love it. (Not laying down for the proper “gong bath” experience, but lovely none the less.)

(via Arthur)

Liquid Comics Banks on Indian Epic With Ramayan 3392 AD Film


“With Hollywood hitting up comic books for blockbusters, a new comics publisher is looking to India for ideas. “The world is increasingly realizing that India is a source for creativity and great ideas, not just a back office to execute them more cheaply,” said Gotham Chopra, part of the management team at Los Angeles-based Liquid Comics.

One of the first projects for the publisher will be bringing its Ramayan 3392 AD (pictured) – a colorful, 21st-century re-imagining of Indian literary epic the Ramayana – to movie theaters. Liquid has teamed up with Mandalay Pictures and 300 producer Mark Canton for the film, which has a planned release date of 2011. Liquid sprang from the ashes of Virgin Comics, a shuttered enterprise from Richard Branson and the Chopra family that was meant to hammer the dense narratives of India and Asia into graphic novels for the American mainstream and beyond. Chopak and other members of the Liquid management team undertook the buyout of Virgin Comics to continue the quest at the new company.

Chopra talked with Wired.com about Liquid’s birth, a new wave of Indian comics artists and the challenge of bringing an ancient Sanskrit epic to the silver screen.”

(via Wired)

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