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Did UNESCO Declare India's 'Jana Gana Mana' the World's Best National Anthem?

Reports that India's national anthem has been declared the "world's best" by UNESCO are an old hoax.

Published March 14, 2016

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UNESCO declared India's national anthem, 'Jana Gana Mana,' to be the world's best.

In March 2016, a message claiming that UNESCO had named India's "Jana Gana Mana" as the best anthem in the world began circulating on Facebook. This rumor was a reiteration of one that originated in 2008, when it was widely shared via e-mail:

jana mana gana

According to India Today, the original e-mailed version was linked to a Yahoo Groups site called 'MumbaiHangOut' and may have been a ploy to increase membership in that group:

When India Today wrote to the UNESCO asking for details and clarifications regarding this 'announcement', Sue Williams (Chief, Editorial, Press Relations and Unesco Courier, Bureau of Public Information, Unesco) wrote back that no such award has been announced.

She wrote that the UNESCO was aware of this mail, but it was not true.

"We are aware of several blogs in India reporting this story, but can assure you that Unesco has made no such announcement concerning the anthem of India or any country," she wrote.

Regardless of the original intent behind the spreading of this rumor, there is no truth to it. UNESCO has not named India's national anthem, or any other national anthem, to be the world's best:


Sen, Elora.   "'India Anthem' Email False: Unesco."     India Today.   30 September 2008.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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