India's "Anti-Shunning" Law

by blankspace 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • blankspace

    This is not an all-encompassing law and has been introduced at the moment only in the state of Maharashtra. The Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2016 makes social boycott in the name of religion a criminal offence. Here's link to an article explaining the law:

    This may come in handy for anyone in the state of Maharashtra, who is or will in future be shunned. Attempts are being made to make this a national law.

  • Phizzy

    I hope it becomes a National Law, and that many other Governments follow India's lead. If that happens, it will spell the end of the JW Org's chief weapon of Control, and cause a huge Exodus no doubt.

  • RubaDub

    Not to pee on the parade, but from a practical standpoint, how does a government ever enforce such a law?

    There is an old expression (now not politically correct) that referred to a person as the "black sheep" of the family. It didn't necessarily have anything to do religion but could be the person's personality, habits, attitudes, lifestyle, activities, etc. That person was, in JW lingo, "marked" by the family. Often limited or no communication with the person.

    Sometimes people are just unfriendly and not easy to get along with. Not the kind of person or family that you care to be around. Does that mean you would be shunning them if there was limited communication with them?

    Again, I don't see how this could be enforced legally in any reasonable way.

    Rub a Dub

  • Hairtrigger
    Removed by poster
  • blondie

    Don't some Indian people have a history of shunning certain people of other religions, and also the Untouchables? Perhaps that is the reason for this law. But, yes, it is hard to regulate people in situations like this.

  • poopie

    Organizational shunning mandated by an organization with repercussions is the problem a person can shun another person anytime anywhere but institutional shunning different its mandated.

  • Diogenesister

    Rubadub You missed the part about banning shunning in the name of religion.

    I mean racism is illegal, as it should be. But it too is very hard to enforce on an individual basis. However anti racism laws make it possible to stop organisations and individuals publicly encouraging it. I guess it would be the same for this shunning in the name of religion law.

    Yes, you couldn’t prevent individuals doing so. But you could certainly make Watchtower’s printing material encouraging shunning in the name of religious differences illegal, and punishable.

    Its about time someone takes the first step! Hooray for India!

  • blankspace

    Rubadub, good question. Well, this law has actually been used and although it's been around for a while, many actually found out about it because of a family that faced social boycott from their community because of opposing virginity tests.

    Being a black sheep is a whole different scenario. The social boycott law applies to when there is a formal announcement or resolution made to exclude a person from a community. So if the congregation was to announce that someone was no longer a JW and that led to shunning, or if there was no announcement but word got around and a person was shunned, or if there was a marking talk and a person was shunned. the congregation could be taken to court. The only proof that the courts require is that this is indeed shunning resulting from religious rules and there is ample evidence in the WT's videos and publications.

    A lawyer I spoke to said that there have been numerous other cases filed (apart from the one in the link), but none have come to the attention of the media until now. It takes activism for the media to pick up a case, and I'm sure that if exJWs go to court, the media is going to gobble up the news. From the short while I've been in India I've learned that if you want courts to move fast and if you want a case resolved, take the media with you to the police station and have them follow your case. It's funny how fast people work when there's a journalist in the picture.

  • Xanthippe

    I hope this makes life better for the Dalits (untouchables). There are about 150 million of them in India. The problem is the Hindu caste system and the belief in Karma is ingrained in Indian culture. They still do all the low paid menial work.

    I was told by one Indian guide that they don't blame disabled people for having a disability they just accept it as part of them working out their Karma (from bad things they'd done in past lives). He thought we would see this as forward thinking!

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