Even though the Catholics in India represent only about 1,5% of the population, it seems that they are a pretty strong and faithful community. And you’ll understand why when you hear the story of what happened when a Jesus statue in Mumbai, India started leaking water.
The priest and the very active Catholic laity organizations in Mumbai were promoting the idea that water dripping from the feet of a statue of Jesus was a sign from God. Hundreds of believers flocked to the dripping cross, collecting and consuming “holy” drainage water that they believed would cure all ailments.
But then… this guy showed up. (the article continues after the ad)
The man pictured, Sanal Edamaruku, which happens to be the president of the Indian Rationalist Association, was invited to the Delhi studio of TV9, a Mumbai-based national channel, to comment on the issue. During the program, Edamaruku rejected the possibility of a miracle but of course, he couldn’t give any scientific explanation without an investigation. The channel then invited him to visit Mumbai and proceed with the investigation.
And so he did.
When he went there, he had a close look at a nearby washroom and the connected drainage system that passed underneath the concrete base of the cross. He removed some stones from the drain and found it was blocked. It was very simple: Water from the washroom, which had been blocked in the clogged drainage system, had been transmitted via capillary action into the adjacent walls and the base of the cross as well as into the wooden cross itself. The water came out through a nail hole and ran down over the statue’s feet. Simply said: it was a plumbing issue.
But the Catholic community didn’t like Edamaruku’s explanation. The leaders of two Catholic laity organizations have launched charges against him under Section 295A of the Indian penal code. This charges a person with “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community.”
As this would have got him straight to the jail without any chance of bail (or even assassination), Edamaruku flew to Finland in a self-imposed exile.