• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign in to follow this  

Jehovah’s Witnesses in India to sue for right to not stand for national anthem

Recommended Posts

Kurt    594

Audience members stand for the Indian national anthem before a movie starts at a cinema in New Delhi on December 4, 2016.

    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
 are looking to overturn a recent Supreme Court ruling requiring movie theatres to play the country’s national anthem before every film, and audience members to stand for the anthem, 
    Hello guest!

The sect’s members believe the singing of national anthems constitutes an act of unfaithfulness towards god, according to the official Jehovah’s Witnesses website.

The Indian Express reports that a U.S.-based lawyer is working to help file an application seeking to overturn the apex court’s ruling.

On Nov. 30, 2016, the Supreme Court of India 

    Hello guest!
 that audience members in movie theatres must stand for a rendition of the national anthem accompanied by images of the Indian flag, “to show respect for the national anthem and the national flag.”

The ruling was made after a petition by a 78-year-old citizen who said he was rebuked by moviegoers sitting behind him in a theatre 16 years ago, after he decided to stand when the national anthem was played as part of a scene in a 

    Hello guest!

It comes just over three months after a disabled man was allegedly harassed in a movie theatre in the Indian state of Goa because he didn’t stand up while the national anthem was being played, as 

    Hello guest!

The order appears to overturn a 1986 decision in which the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ freedom to not partake in anthem singing.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses are happy to have had a part in contributing to the constitutional freedoms of all citizens in India,” reads 

    Hello guest!
 on the evangelical group’s website detailing the 1986 ruling.

    Hello guest!



Share this post

Link to post
Kurt    594

National Anthem: A Spiritual-Cultural Hymn For Holding Nation Together? – Analysis


FEBRUARY 13, 2017

The objection by a section of Indian intelligentsia against the November 30, 2016 Supreme Court Order on national anthem that all cinema halls in the country shall play it before the start of the film suggests that even after seven decades of country’s independence they continue to be under the siege of colonial and enslaved mindset. They seem to have no emotional attachment to the glorious nationhood of Bharatvarsh which has been holding it together for millenia.

Although, a cross section of political leaders welcomed the order of the supreme judiciary, some wise people like the former Attorney General and eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee “questioned the order terming it as an example of judicial over reach”.(Indian Express dated December 2, 2016).

Similarly, the members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian sect in India believe the singing of national anthem an act of unfaithfulness towards God. They are even planning to approach the Supreme Court to reconsider the order. http://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/28718-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witnesses…)

These and similar statements from a section of the intelligentsia have encouraged a section of people to disbelieve that Bharat has been a nation since Vedic days. Hence this paper to disabuse such people that India has been a united cultural entity from times immemorial.

In fact eulogising this nation our scripture Vishnu Puran says:

“Gayanti devah kil Geetkaani, Dhanyaastu te Bharat bhumi bhaage,

Swargapavarga aspad margabhutei Bhavanti bhooyah purushah suratvaat”

(Bharat is the way of all of the heavenly pleasures and even salvation. It’s a very welcome piece of fortune to be born as a human being on this soil of Bharat in spite of being a deity).

While referring to the geographical boundary of Bharatvarsh Vishnu Puran says: “उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् । वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ”

(The country that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam; where dwell the descendants of Bharata known as Bharati.)

The name Bharat is a result of joining of two words- ‘Bha’ and ‘rat’. The term Bha is etymologically derived from the Sanskrit verb ‘Bha’ that means light and the term ‘Rat’ means immersing or devoted. The term ‘varsh’ which means country was added with Bharat and therefore the complete meaning of Bharatvarsh is a country where people are deeply immersed to (Divine) Light. Since the natives of this region were noble beings, anyone addressing elders used to call them Aarya and this land of nobles was also known as Aaryavart.

Thus, the name Bharatvarsh became the spiritual-cultural heritage of this land which forms the basis of a nation and its people are found proud of it from generation to generation. Unfortunately, the conquest of this land by outsiders who were unaware of the country’s glorious past tried to destroy its nationhood by changing its name from Bharatvarsh to Hindustan by Muslim invaders and later India by the British. Both the alien rulers played the politics of re-naming it with a view to re-shape its socio-cultural and political conditions according to their respective native traditions.

According to Wikipedia “A national anthem (also state anthem, national hymn, national song etc.) is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people”.

Although there is a reference of the word ‘rashtra’ (nation) in our Veda, the people of anglicised and ‘secularised’ mind set call it a myth. They believe that prior to the advent of British rule there was no concept of nationhood for Bharatvarsh. They were perhaps not aware that Bharatvarsh was a ‘Rashtra’ from times immemorial. In Yajurveda there is a hymn praying the Supreme Power for the spiritual, economic, defence, education and agricultural growth of the nation. The hymn is as under:

आ ब्रह्मन् ब्राह्मणो ब्रह्मवर्चसी जायतामा राष्ट्रे राजन्यः
शूर इषवयोऽअतिव्याधी महारथो जायतां दोग्ध्री धेनुर्वाढानड्वानाशुः
सप्तिः पुरन्धिर्योषा जिष्णू रथेष्ठाः सभेयो युवास्य यजमानस्य वीरो जायतां निकामे निकामे नः
पर्जन्यो वर्षतु फलवत्यो न आषधयः पच्यन्तां योगक्षेमो नः कल्पताम् O Supreme Lord! May there

–Yajur Veda, 22.22

“O Brahman! Let there be born in the kingdom ‘brahmanas’ with ‘brahmatejas’ (divine lustre) who are well versed in the Vedas; let there be born the ‘rajanyah'(kings), heroic, skilled kings, archers and mighty warriors; cows giving abundant milk; load carrying oxen; the swift coursers; industrious, cultural women. Let the person who holds the yajna have brave and triumphant charioteer youth capable for addressing meeting. May ‘Parjanya’ (clouds) send seasonal rains; may our fruit-bearing plants and trees ripen; may the ‘yogakshemam’ (spiritual and prosperous well-being) of our people increase steadily.”

In fact this hymn was the national anthem of ancient Bharatvarsh. Even today this hymn is chanted by the people at the end of any religious function in many parts of the country.

After Independence, our Constituent Assembly instead of reviving the name of ancient Bharatvash registered it under a dual and bilingual identity – ‘India,that is Bharat’. In fact Bharatvarsh was a geo-cultural boundary bound by common history and heritage as well as also a juridico-political conception. There were many kings who ruled in different territories of this boundary but the entire region was under one spiritual-cultural umbrella of a nation called Bharatvarsh and those kings who conquered the whole Bharatvarsh were known as ‘Samrat’ like Ashoka and Chandragupta.(

    Hello guest!

Irrespective of their varied caste, sect, region, local customs, food habits, costumes, professions and languages, the people of Bharatvarsh believed in polytheistic Sanatana Dharma that originated from the liberal Vedic texts – EKAM SADVIPRAH BAHUDHA VADANTI (He is one, wise men call Him differently) and the spiritual voices of their ascetic ancestors that permitted complete freedom to worship the deities of one’s choice without any ill-will against any other faith. With such spiritual strength and freedom they maintained the cultural unity of their motherland and gradually contributed to the internationally acclaimed civilisation, as its people were deeply immersed to the root of the name Bharatvarsh.

Despite this historical fact it is surprising that during freedom movement Jawaharlal Nehru preferred the term ‘Jai Hind’ (Victory of Hind) as the battle-cry in preference to ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Victory to Mother Bharat). Unfortunately, no Indian leader has so far raised the issue to replace the prevailing salutary term Jai Hind in our army and police with the term Jai Bharat.

After Independence, our constitution makers incorporated ‘JANA GANA MANA …… ’ a poem composed by Rabindranath Tagore as national anthem in the constitution to revive our cultural and spiritual legacy for instilling a sense of patriotism and nationalism for which people should be proud of.

The key words of the SC directive were to instil “committed patriotism and nationalism”. This is apparently a message that the people should revive the sense of their glorious national pride which was enslaved and colonised by the alien rulers. To pay respect to the national anthem is paying respect to the nationhood of the motherland. The highest judiciary has perhaps sensed the indifference of Indian people over national pride which has pushed them towards the ideology imposed on them by the West sowing the seed of destruction and disunity and therefore SC directive is only to empower the people with national self and pride.

Even our former president APJ Kalam had written a beautiful poem to express his patriotism and nationalism. In the last stanza of the poem he expressed:

“Oh Almighty, bless all my people to work and transform
Our country from a developing into a developed nation.
Let this second vision be born out of sweat of my people,
And bless our youth to live in Developed India. APJ”.


Any effort however small it may be to remind ourselves of our glorious past and to sustain the unity of the country should be welcomed and not objected to for narrow sectarian reasons.

    Hello guest!
 (Eurasia Review)

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Nicole
      Although the space shuttle program may have been temporarily halted in the United States, NASA is still alive and well — and now, thanks to 18-year-old Rifath Sharook of India, are launching their smallest-ever satellite into space. The satellite is called 'KalamSat,' named after Indian nuclear scientist, pioneer in the aeronautics field, and former president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and is the first-ever to be manufactured by 3-D printing, a tech trend we don't see disappearing (or even going away a bit) anytime soon. NASA is planning on launching it off of Wallops Island, Virginia, on June 21, according to the Business Standard.
      Read more: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
    • By Nicole
      BENGALURU: A 50-year-old Nigerian national underwent an awake craniotomy, a surgery performed while keeping the patient awake, allowing doctors to test the patient’s functions throughout the operation. The surgery was performed on April 14 at Columbia Asia Hospital in Hebbal.
      Doctors performed cortical mapping that helps identify important regions of the brain that can be avoided and protected during the surgery.
      “Stimulating various areas of the brain to have different effects on the body, like touching the motor region results in twitching and touching the speech areas would prevent the patient from speaking briefly. This helped the surgeons navigate through the main affected areas and perform the surgery accordingly,” said Dr Arjun Srivatsa, senior consultant, neurosurgery, Columbia Asia Hospital. During the procedure, doctors engaged Samuel in a conversation.
      Samuel was operated upon to remove a brain tumour that affected areas of speech. Over the past three months, he had been finding it difficult to communicate, often forgetting words or losing his train of thought while talking. His condition worsened with persistent headaches and speech impairment. He was diagnosed with seizure activity in the brain and an MRI confirmed a brain tumour.
      Since he is a Jehovah’s Witness (accepting blood transfusion is prohibited), it complicated the surgery further.
      The three-hour surgery had no post-operative complications. Samuel is now able to communicate without any difficulty, said Srivatsa.  

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Samuel with Dr Arjun Srivatsa

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg

      via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
    • By The Librarian
      The latest move by the Jehovah’s Witnesses will seek to overturn the apex court’s order on November 30, 2016, that all cinema halls in India would play the national anthem before the feature film starts.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. OVER 30 years ago, a college professor in Kerala, who belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect, knocked at the doors of the highest court in India on behalf of his children, citing religion as the reason to safeguard their right to not sing the national anthem at school.
      Next month, when a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra restarts hearing petitions on its order last year on national anthems in cinema halls, the Jehovah’s Witnesses may again be at the forefront in challenging that decision.
      On August 11, 1986, the Supreme Court had allowed Emmanuel’s plea and held that forcing the children to sing the national anthem at school violated their fundamental right to religion.
      The latest move by the Jehovah’s Witnesses will seek to overturn the apex court’s order on November 30, 2016, that all cinema halls in India would play the national anthem before the feature film starts. This order also made it mandatory for all present in the hall “to stand up to show respect to the national anthem” as part of their “sacred obligation”.
      This time, it’s learnt that representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including a US-based general counsel, are in the process of finalising a detailed application to be filed shortly in Supreme Court, which will restart hearings on February 14.
      Among other things, the sect plans to seek the court’s intervention in ordering that its followers won’t have to stand up for the anthem in movie theatres. The sect hopes to convince the court that while it respects the national anthem and the flag, its religious beliefs prevent members from standing up for or singing the anthem.
      The organisation has already secured relief on behalf of the sect on various issues in several countries, including saluting the flag and/or singing a country’s national anthem.
      ”Our patriotism can never be in doubt. But even standing for the national anthem is not allowed in our religion. Courts in several other countries have accepted our pleas on this count. The fact that we are looking to contest the court’s order doesn’t mean that we don’t respect our flag or our anthem. We hope to convince the court about that, like we have done in other countries, including the US and Canada,” said sources linked to the sect’s move.
      When contacted, former Union law minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal confirmed that he has been approached by representatives of the sect in this regard.
      ”They informed me that their religious views don’t allow them to even stand up when the anthem is played. Their stand is that this doesn’t mean they will ever do anything to disrespect any country’s flag or anthem. These are issues of significant Constitutional importance,” Sibal told The Indian Express.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christianity-based evangelical sect, which bases its beliefs solely on the text of the Bible. The group does not celebrate Easter or Christmas and believes that traditional Churches have deviated from the text of the Bible. However, the sect is not considered a part of mainstream Christianity because it also rejects the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
      In the 1986 case, the Supreme Court bench had ruled in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses family. “Our tradition teaches tolerance, our philosophy teaches tolerance, our Constitution practices tolerance, let us not dilute it,” the bench had said.
      It had also noted that there was “no provision of law”, which “obliges” anyone to sing the national anthem.
      However, the bench of Justice Misra, in its order last year, had said that “a time has come” when “citizens of the country must realise that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to the National Anthem, which is the symbol of Constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality”.
      On December 9, the bench clarified its order to state that “if a physically challenged person or physically handicapped person goes to the cinema hall to watch a film, he need not stand up, if he is incapable to stand, but must show such conduct which is commensurate with respect for the national anthem”.
      The order has drawn widespread criticism, with renowned jurist Soli Sorabjee terming it as an example of “judicial overreach”.
      In 1986, armed with the Supreme Court order, Emmanuel got his and other children from Jehovah’s Witnesses re-admitted in the NSS High School at Kidangoor in Kottayam district, 4 km from their village Kadaplamattom near Pala. The school run by the Hindu organisation, Nair Service Society, had 11 students from the sect, at the time.
      After sitting in the classes for a day, the Emmanuel children left school. Some of the other children from the sect moved to other schools.
      Emmanuel decided not to have formal education for his other four children, either. None of his eight grandchildren, who study in various schools, sings the national anthem.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
  • Member Statistics

    Total Members
    Most Online
    Lyniah Mullan
    Newest Member
    Lyniah Mullan
  • Forum Statistics

    Total Topics
    Total Posts