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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.
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Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 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! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 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! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 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! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. movie. 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! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 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! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on the evangelical group’s website detailing the 1986 ruling. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
Udupi, Dec 12: Two women were caught by pro-Hindu outfits at Herga in Parkala here on Monday December 12 for allegedly trying to convert people to a Christian denomination.
The women have been identified as Seneta of Perampalli and Soumya from Mission Compound, Udupi.
It is said that the women had been going door-to-door handing out religious pamphlets to people in the area for the past one week. The women were also collecting addresses, mobile numbers and other personal details from the people, it is alleged.
On receiving information, pro-Hindu outfits along with some locals confronted the women on Monday and handed them over to Manipal police.
The women reportedly belong to a committee propogating beliefs of 'Jehovah's Witnesses'.
The women were arrested and a case was registered in Manipal police station.
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Intolerance has a chilling effect on freedom of thought and discussion. It places democracy under siege.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. An unmistakable feature of any nation which professes to be democratic is the prevalence of tolerance therein. Tolerance is not merely a goody-goody virtue. It is vital because it promotes the receiving or acknowledging of new ideas and this helps to break the status quo mentality. Tolerance is particularly needed in large and complex societies comprising people with varied beliefs, as in India. This is because readiness to tolerate views other than one’s own facilitates harmonious coexistence.
A liberal democracy accepts the fact that in a free country, one can have different opinions and should have equal rights in voicing them. This is pluralism, and tolerance is its ultimate rationale.
Tolerance accords high respect for human rights, especially freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. Disagreement with the belief and ideology of others is no reason for their suppression, because there can be more than one path for the attainment of truth and salvation. Even if there is only one truth, it may have a hundred facets.
Intolerance stems from an invincible assumption of the infallibility and truth of one’s beliefs, the dogmatic conviction about the rightness of one’s tenets and their superiority over others, and with the passage of time, this leads to forcible imposition of one’s ideology on others, often resulting in violence. At present, the virus of intolerance has acquired global dimensions. Religious and political persecution has become rampant and curiously that too sometimes in the name of God Almighty or some Divine Power.
An intolerant society does not brook dissent. Suppression of dissent by censorship is an indispensable instrument for an intolerant authoritarian regime. Censorship, indeed, is its natural ally.
The necessity for tolerance has been internationally recognised. It is noteworthy that the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations proclaims that to achieve the goals of the Charter we need to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”. Another significant UN instrument is the Declaration of November 25, 1981 on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief which emphasises that it is essential to promote tolerance and requires states to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of intolerance in all its forms and manifestations. It is evident that there is an essential linkage between tolerance, human rights, democracy and peace.
Intolerance does not always emanate from official or state action but also from certain groups or sections in society. A not too recent instance was the determined effort to ban the exhibition of the film Ore Oru Gramathiley by a group of persons who regarded its theme and presentation as hostile to the policy of reservation of jobs in public employment and seats in educational institutions in favour of Scheduled Castes and backward classes. There were threats of attacking cinema houses where the film would be shown.
The Madras High Court in an incredible judgment revoked the certificate granted by the Board of Censors to the film and restrained its exhibition. The Supreme Court promptly reversed the judgment in a landmark decision, S. Rangarajan vs P. Jagjivan Ram, where Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty, speaking for the court, laid down an extremely important principle: “Freedom of expression protects not merely ideas that are accepted but those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the
population. Such are the demands of the pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no democratic society”.
Intolerance has a chilling, inhibiting effect on freedom of thought and discussion. Remember how Galileo suffered for his theory that the sun was the centre of the solar system and not the earth. Darwin was a victim of intolerance and was lampooned and considered an enemy of religion for his seminal work, The Origin of Species. Nearer home we have the example of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, whose efforts for reform, especially for the abolition of Sati, evoked fierce opposition because of intolerance. We must not revert to those dark days because when that happens democracy is under siege.
We must combat intolerance and its manifestations resulting in human rights violations by appropriate legal remedies. However, the crucial point is that tolerance cannot be legislated. No law can compel a person to be tolerant. Therefore, we must develop the capacity for tolerance by fostering an environment of tolerance, a culture of tolerance. Stereotypes and prejudices about certain classes and communities must be eschewed. Educational institutions have a vital role to play in this connection. The immense value of tolerance must be ingrained in the hearts and minds of the students.
Our Supreme Court’s judgment in Bijoe Emmanuel vs. State of Kerala is significant. Students belonging to the faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, stood up when the national anthem was sung to show their respect but declined to sing along. The students were expelled by the school authorities. Their expulsion was upheld by the high court.
The Supreme Court reversed the high court judgment. Justice Chinnappa Reddy, who headed the bench, in the course of the judgment, observed that the students did not hold their beliefs idly or out of any unpatriotic sentiment but because they truly and conscientiously believed that their religion forbade singing the national anthem of any country. After a careful consideration of the issues, the Supreme Court concluded: “Our tradition teaches tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance; our Constitution practices tolerance. Let none dilute it”.
This is a classic judicial affirmation of tolerance. Let us resolve to promote tolerance in our multi-religious, multi-cultural nation and thereby strengthen and enrich our pluralist democracy which is the pride of our nation.
Certain fundamental duties have been prescribed by Article 51 A of the Constitution. To my mind, the practice of tolerance is the most fundamental duty of every citizen to curb the growing menace of intolerance.
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Stuff does happen. For example Jesus told his followers to eat his blood and flesh which was against the Mosaic Law and common sense. Would you have followed Jesus without any explanation or would you be so bold to ask for one? The Israelites were leaving Egypt and told to turn back to Pihahiroth instead of just leaving Egypt altogether. Moses led them up against the Red Sea it seemed this crazy guy we are following is not from God because he is leading us into a trap. Of course Moses was imperfect and made many mistakes but how do you know if that decision was made by a crazy old man or Jehovah was guiding his decision? Just the fact that what he did was WRONG and what Jesus did was WRONG does it really make it WRONG to our Creator who may be testing your Loyalty to his direction. Perhaps he knows more than you do. Perhaps he has a purpose it what he did. Obviously then taking sides against this direction because it seems right to you, a human who also makes mistakes may perhaps put you in an alignment with God's adversaries like the anti-cultist apostates on the MOJ?
The context here is making a decision to disassociate or not disassociate as an ADULT, therefor making an informed dcision about disassociation and knowing the implications will be shunning. As regards baptism, he was saying that this applies to baptised persons, who know that once baptised, you can get disfellowshipped or disassociate (for whatever reason) on the contrary, those who are not baptised cannot get disfellowshipped or disassociate regardless of age. So as a (baptised) ADULT person (regardless of when you got baptised) and a victim of child sexual abuse, you will know that "the consequences of disassociating yourself will be shunning". THAT was the point being made. It had nothing to do with WHEN one gets baptised. Notice this was omitted from thesubtitles which would have given the context of what he was talking about: "here is somebody, who as an adult, or approaching adulthoid is making that decission" (what decission? The decission to get baptised? NO we are talking about disassociation here, so the decision about disassociation, and being aware the consequences will be shunning) As he goes on: "that the consequences of disassociation will be shunning". Omitting pertinent information which gives context is typical for those who want you to misunderstand.
I believe (if memory serves) that it was American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale that said "My country right or wrong... but MY COUNTRY!" The Nazis also had that philosophy, as do we for OUR Spiritual Nation.. Remember, even David, the beloved of God, had to hide out when King Saul went nutso and was trying to kill him for his own selfish reasons ... and Saul was ACTIVELY ... the Annointed of Jehovah at the time. "STUFF HAPPENS!" I disagree. When they serve the cause of righteousness correctly, your statement is true ... when incompetence and ignorance and self serving aggrandizement is the law ... NO! AND OF COURSE! we will have to pay whatever price levied. That is the theme of the 2016 movie "Hacksaw Ridge" ... illegal orders do NOT have to be obeyed. . .
As to policies and procedures it all boils down to loyalty to Jehovah's Organization. If this is the true religion then we should follow the ones Jehovah has taking the lead.