Indian Independence Day

India's Independence Day

Reading: Romans 13

"Obey the Government, for God is the one who put it there" (Rom 13:1)

We hoist and salute our National Flag on the Independence Day, the Republic Day and on special occasions. However, there are some sincere Christians who keep wondering whether saluting the national flag is not amounting to idol worship.

The word "salute" simply means "to greet with respect." In India we greet one another with bowed heads or folded hands. These postures vary according to cultures. This is not worship. Apostle Peter rebuked Cornelius because the latter exceeded the level of greeting and literally "worshiped" Peter (Acts 10:25,26). What the three Hebrew young men sternly refused was the "worship" of the gold "image" set by the King (Dan 3). The National Flag represents the Nation. When we salute the flag, we publicly declare our love and respect for the Country.

Christians may not be nationalistic but they must be patriotic. The Bible has nothing to say against patriotism, which means love and dedication to one's country. Apostle Paul was proud of his Roman citizenship even though the Roman empire was pagan (Acts 22:25-29). The Jews became homesick when they were scattered all over the world. Read Psalm 137 to understand how much a Jew loved his homeland. Jerusalem was his "chief joy" and as dear as his "right hand" (vv 5,6). Our ultimate citizenship in Heaven does not negate our present citizenship on earth.

In the Western world there's a custom of keeping the national flag inside the Church buildings. This is perfectly in order. Are not all governing authorities from God? (Rom 13:1). Why should we not hoist our national flag atop our Church steeples or inside Church compounds, at least on the Independence Day and the Republic Day? We can have special prayers for the Nation on these days.

Look forward to the next flag-hoisting ceremony with enthusiasm. Our National Flag is simple yet attractive. To guard ourselves from the disrespect that comes from ignorance, an understanding of the symbolism would be helpful. The deep saffron colour at the top speaks of valour and sacrifice. White stands for truth, purity and simplicity. The green represents our fertile land with vast natural resources. The wheel with 24 spokes signifies motion, progress and dynamism. As you salute the Flag, rededicate yourself to these lofty values so the Nation may be blessed and God glorified!

R. Stanley


The Indian National Anthem - Jana Gana Mana

Today India celebrates 63 years of independence from British rule.

The national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, an anthem in praise of God Almighty, was penned by Rabindranath Tagore in a highly sanskritised from of Bengali. Because of this, much of the anthem is not readily understood by most Indians. I think schools have failed to teach us the meaning of the words and make the anthem something that we can sing meaningfully.

However, in all the schools, the anthem was given due respect, and emphasis was placed on respectful posture and correct pronunciation. The emotions that I feel when listening to the anthem are hard to explain and include pride, patriotism, gratitude, and nostalgia.

Indian National Anthem - Jana Gana Mana Translation into English
English: Jana Gana Mana (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People)

Thou Art The Ruler Of The Minds Of All People,
Dispenser Of India's Destiny.
Thy Name Rouses The Hearts Of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat And Maratha,
Of The Dravida And Orissa And Bengal;
It Echoes In The Hills Of The Vindhyas And Himalayas,
Mingles In The Music Of Jamuna And Ganges And Is
Chanted By The Waves Of The Indian Ocean.
They Pray For Thy Blessings And Sing Thy Praise.
The Saving Of All People Waits In Thy Hand,
Thou Dispenser Of India's Destiny.
Victory, Victory, Victory, Victory To Thee.

*The following translation, attributed to Rabindranath Tagore, is provided by the Government of India's national portal.

Jana Gana Mana (Bengali: জন গণ মন, Jôno Gôno Mono) is the national anthem of India. Written in highly Sanskritized (Tatsama) Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911. Jana Gana Mana was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the Indian national anthem on January 24, 1950.

A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally.[1] Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Margaret Cousins (an expert in European music and wife of Irish poet James Cousins), set down the notation which is followed till this day.[8] It is of interest that another poem by Tagore (Amar Shonar Bangla) is the national anthem of Bangladesh.

English Composition in Madanapalle, Andra Pradesh

Rabindranath Tagore translated Jana Gana Mana from Bengali to English and also set it to music in Madanapalle, a town in Andhra Pradesh.

Code of Conduct

There are few set rules about reciting the Jana Gana Mana which includes not singing it under any cover or under any imperfect state of mind.[citation needed] Not doing so is to show disrespect to the national anthem. Rule related to not singing Jana Gana Mana under any cover corresponds to the freedom of yourself and hence of your country while the other rule justifies that not being in proper state of mind may lead in incorrect recitations which is again a disregard to your country.

National Anthem of India - Jana Gana Mana
Performed by Various Artists * Musicians Celebrating 50 years of Independence.

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia