Missing “Satyameva Jayate”-Petition filed against GOI

via Narain Kataria published on November 7, 2007

A Writ Petition No. 13991/2007 was filed by the Indian American Intellectuals Forum, a New York based organization of Indians against the Ministry of Culture, Union of India, New Delhi, on September 29, 2007, in the High Court of Jabalpur,M.P., India.

In that petition, the Forum’s Director of Research Wing, Mr. Ramesh Chandra Gathoria urged the Government of India to restore the phrase “Satyameva Jayate” underneath the country’s National Emblem.

Relief Sought

The petitioner prayed to the Hon. Court to issue the following writ/direction/ order(s).

This Hon. Court may please direct the respondents to show cause for the omission of historic phrase “Satyameva Jayate” from the country’s National Emblem and also take appropriate action against the persons who
deliberately or unknowingly omitted the same from the National Emblem.

To Command the respondents to direct all the concerned departments to restore the phrase “Satyameva Jayate” underneath the National Emblem as provided in the Act and correct all the Government Websites and documents accordingly.

To direct the respondent No. 1 to find out as to who violated the specific provisions of the law enacted for the National Emblem and punish them.

And, this Hon. Court may further issue any other writ/direction deemed fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.

Government of India Directed to Respond in 10 Days

A hearing was held in this case on October 15,2007. Taking a serious view in this matter, a division bench comprising Justice Deepak Verma and Justice Kedar Chouhan, directed the Government of India to respond in 10 days, and the Cultural Ministry in four weeks.

Petitioner’s Argument

The Petitioner identified more than 150 important government documents from which the familiar phrase “Satyameva Jayate” was missing.

The petitioner further argued that the truncated national symbols purveyed by various government officers are both an affront to the original intent and significance of the symbols as well as a reminder of the lack of care and attention to the details — the hallmark of unethical and lethargic nations. It is a very serious omission.

The National Emblem is a very sacred symbol and represents the country’s great past and its glorious heritage. It is the basic responsibility of the Government to safeguard the sanctity and sacredness of such symbols and ensure that these are never violated; even inadvertently.

Brief History of the National Emblem

The emblem “Satyameva Jayate” was adopted by the Government of India on 26th of January, 1950. Narrating further the history of the National Emblem, the Petitioner said that the National Emblem of India was an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka. In the emblem, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus.

Narain Kataria
Indian American Intellectuals Forum

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