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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Seen and the Unseen: Episodes 6 to 10

I just realised that I haven’t been mirroring episodes of my weekly podcast, The Seen and the Unseen, on India…

The Return of Pragati

A few days ago, the magazine Pragati relaunched under my editorship. This was the editorial I wrote to mark its…

A Top Edge (and a Brain Fade)

This is the 30th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Embrace the Technology!

This is the 36th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. At…

It Is Anti-National To Be Against Free Speech

This piece was published (under a different headline) in the Sunday Times of India today. It marks the start of…

10 April, 2007

God made smallpox!

There’s a fascinating debate on religion between Sam Harris and Rick Warren in Newsweek, in which this delightful exchange takes place:

Warren: I look at the world and I say, “God likes variety.” I say, “God likes beauty.” I say, “God likes order,” and the more we understand ecology, the more we understand how sensitive that order is.

Harris: Then God also likes smallpox and tuberculosis.

I think Harris the atheist comes off much better than Warren the believer in this debate, but the nature of these polarising discussions is such that if you’re a believer, you might agree more with Warren, even when he says things like “I talk to God every day.” I find the guy hilarious, though, especially when he tries to explain why Christianity is superior to other religions:

In 1974, I spent the better part of a year living in Japan, and I studied all the world religions. All of the religions basically point toward truth. Buddha made this famous statement at the end of his life: “I’m still searching for the truth.” Muhammad said, “I am a prophet of the truth.” The Veda says, “Truth is elusive, it’s like a butterfly, you’ve got to search for it.” Then Jesus Christ comes along and says, “I am the truth.” All of a sudden, that forces a decision.

Big deal. Here and now, on India Uncut, I announce:

I am the truth.

You decide now. Your favourite blogger or dead man with beard?

Posted by Amit Varma in Miscellaneous

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