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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our national anthem - a different view

An interesting and shocking view about our national anthem, which every one of us should know. I got this confirmed from a Bengali relative of mine
Facts about "Jana Gana Mana" - Just a thought for the National Anthem! How well do you know about it?

I have always wondered who is the "adhinayak" and "bharat bhagya vidhata", whose praise we are singing. I thought might be Motherland India! Our current National Anthem "Jana Gana Mana" is sung throughout the country.

Did you know the following about our national anthem, I didn't.

To begin with, India's national anthem, Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919.

To honour their visit Pandit Motilal Nehru had the five stanzas included, which are in praise of the King and Queen. (And most of us think it is in the praise of our great motherland!!!)

In the original Bengali verses only those provinces that were under British rule, i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha etc. were mentioned. None of the princely states were recognised which are integral parts of India now Kashmir, Rajasthan, Andhra, Mysore or Kerala. Neither the Indian Ocean nor the Arabian Sea was included, since they were directly under Portuguese rule at that time.

The Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka implies that King George V is the lord of the masses and Bharata Bhagya Vidhata is "the bestower of good fortune".

Following is a translation of the five stanzas that glorify the King:

First stanza: (Indian) People wake up remembering your good name and ask for your blessings and they sing your glories. (Tava shubha naame jaage;tava shubha aashish maage, gaaye tava jaya gaatha)

Second stanza: Around your throne people of all religions come and give their love and anxiously wait to hear your kind words.

Third stanza: Praise to the King for being the charioteer, for leading the ancient travellers beyond misery.

Fourth stanza: Drowned in the deep ignorance and suffering, poverty-stricken, unconscious country? Waiting for the wink of your eye and your mother's (the Queen's) true protection.

Fifth stanza: In your compassionate plans, the sleeping Bharat (India) will wake up. We bow down to your feet O' Queen, and glory to Rajeshwara (the King).

This whole poem does not indicate any love for the Motherland but depicts a bleak picture. When you sing Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, whom are you glorifying? Certainly not the Motherland. Is it God? The poem does not indicate that.

It is time now to understand the original purpose and the implication of this, rather than blindly sing as has been done the past fifty years.

Nehru chose the present national anthem as opposed to Vande Mataram because he thought that it would be easier for the band to play!!! It was an absurd reason but Today for that matter bands have advanced and they can very well play any music. So they can as well play Vande Mataram, which is a far better composition in praise of our dear Motherland India.

Wake up, it's high time! Shouldn't Vande Mataram be our National Anthem.

Sent by Rajkumar Singh


Srinivas said...

Glad to see you posting after such a long time, mama.

Lakshman said...

Here are the five stanzas that Tagore composed:

janagaNa mana adhinAyaka jaya hE bhArata bhAgyavidhAtA

panjAba sindhu gujarAt marAThA drAviDa utkala vangA
vindhya himAcala yamunA gangA utkala jaladhi tarangA
tava shubha nAnE jAgE tava shubha Ashisdha mage gAhE tava jaya gAtA
janagaNa mangala dAyaka jaya hE bhArata bhAgya vidhAtA
jaya hE jaya hE jaya hE jaya jaya jaya hE

aharaha tava AhvAna pracArita shuni tava udAra vANI
hindu bauddha sikha jaina pArasikha musalmAna kristAnI
pUraba paschima AsE tava simhAsana pAshE prEma hAra haya gAnthA
janagaNa aikya vidhAyaka jaya hE bhArata bhAgya vidhAtA
jaya hE jaya hE jaya hE jaya jaya jaya jaya hE

patana abhyudaya bandhura panthA yuga yuga dhAvati yAtrI
hE cira sArathi tava ratha cakrE mukharita patha dina rAtrI
dAruNa viplava mAjhE mI tava shankhadvani bAjE sankaTa duhkka trAtA
janagaNa mana patha paricAyaka jaya hE bhArata bhAgya vidhAtA
jaya hE jaya hE jaya hE jaya jaya jaya jaya hE

dhAra timira Ghana nibiDa nishithE pIDita mUrchita dEshE
jAgrta chila tava avicala mangala nata nayanE animiSE
duhsvapnE AtankE raskSa karilE ankE snEhamayI tumi mAtA
janagaNa duhkka trAyaka jaya hE bhArata bhAya vidhAtA
jaya hE jaya hE jaya hE jaya jaya jaya jaya hE

rAtri prabhAlita udila ravicchavi pUrva udayagiri bhAlE
gAhE vihangama puNya samiraNa nava jIvana rasa DalE
tava karuNAruNa rAge nidrita bhAtara jAgE tava caraNE nata mAtA
jaya jaya jaya hE jaya rAjEshvara bhArata bhAgya vidhAtA
jaya hE jaya hE jaya hE jaya jaya jaya jaya hE

cvsmuthy said...

Dear Sir,

I had the pleasure of learning English under one Rev.Fr. Bernard Jerome Coyle, an Irish priest who was a faculty in Loyola college, Chennai, then Madras, who pointed out that we should not sing the Sind as Sind was not in India and instead he suggested 'Punjab Assama Gujarat...'.

kesava said...

Genesis of Jana Gana Mana
Note : Jana Gana Mana.. India's Nationnal Anthem was written by Rabindra Nath Tagore)
W.B. Yeats was a great Irish poet. He was a friend of Tagore's, and a great admirer of his works. He wrote a beautiful introduction to Tagore's Gitanjali.
Once an Indian disciple of Tagore met Yeats. In a letter to Lady Gregory in America, Yeats mentioned that he had told him that Sarojini Naidu's brother was unhappy that Tagore wrote a poem welcoming King George V. He also narrated to her an appetising story he had from the disciple warning her that it was strictly off the record. It concerns the circumstances in which Janaganamana was composed:
"The National Congress people asked Tagore for a poem of welcome. He tried to write it, but could not. He got up very early in the morning and wrote a very beautiful poem, not one of his best, but still beautiful. When he came down, he said to one of us, 'Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them. They will think it is addressed to the King.' All Tagore's own followers knew it meant God, but others did not." (The Indian Express, June 3, 1968)
The Calcutta Congress session began on December 26, 1911. The proceedings on the first day began with Vandemataram. The second day was entirely devoted to things connected with the welcoming of King George V, and this day the song Janaganamana was sung, and at the closing ceremony Rajbhuja Dutt Choudhary's 'Badshah Hamara' was sung. On the third day Saraladevi sang her own composition 'Namo Hindustan'.
The news papers reports had the following comments on Janaganamana:
"The Bengali poet Babu Rabindranath Tagore sang a song composed by him specially to welcome the Emperor." (Statesman, Dec.28, 1911)
"The proceedings began with the singing by Babu Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor." (Englishman, Dec.28).
"When the proceedings of the Indian National Congress began on Wednesday 27th December 1911, a Bengali song in welcome of the Emperor was sung. A resolution welcoming the Emperor and Empress was also adopted unanomously." (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911)
In the eyes of many leaders of the day, loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the Emperor were identical. King George V had proclaimed on Dec.12 the annulment of the partition of Bengal. There was therefore nothing unnatural or extraordinary in a Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore, composing or singing a song in praise of the Emperor out of gratitude. But differences of opinion were bound to arise when the question of its adoption as the national anthem came up. The choice of a national anthem should undoubtedly be one which can be a fountain of inspiration by the sanctity of its origin.
Rabindranath Tagore did not contradict newspaper reports which characterised Janaganamana as a song composed in honour of King George V. Gradually the tide of nationalism began to affect the old values. Loyalty to the country and loyalty to the King became irreconcilable. Honour, devotion and love of the country not only ceased to co-exist with honour, devotion and love of King Emperor, but mutually antagonistic.
Also the British government which was charging people with sedition for singing Vande Mataram extended high regard to Janaganamana. It was sung in Government schools, and in scout groups which fostered loyalty to the British throne. At the time British quit India, a fighter plane was presented by England to India, and on this occasion Janaganamana was sung. The British also praised the song.