Monday, September 22, 2008

Questioning our National Anthem

This is one of the most interesting e-mails of the hundreds that are forwarded to me everyday......

'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 honor of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919. To honor 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 recognized 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 name 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 travelers 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. Come Join together to put Vande Mataram as our National Anthem.

And it makes me wonder...

Wikipedia's translation of the anthem in english:

O! Dispenser of India's destiny, thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, the Maratha country,
in the Dravida country, Utkala and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
it mingles in the rhapsodies of the pure waters of Yamuna and the Ganges.
They chant only thy name.
They seek only thy auspicious blessings.
They sing only the glory of thy victory.
The salvation of all people waits in thy hands,
O! Dispenser of India's destiny, thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
Victory to thee, Victory to thee, Victory to thee,
Victory, Victory, Victory, Victory to thee!.

Tagore is said to have written the poem in honour of God. In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore himself wrote:

"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."


Amjad Khan said...

And iRemember, whenever the nerdy kids went "Jana gana mana" during the school assembly, I usually yawned and scratched my butt at the same time. To the King and Queen, honorable enough? XD

S1NN3R said...

I did hear about this a long time ago. Yet I was always the one to sing the national at the assembly. Maybe a part of me always loved imperialism.

Death to the weak!!
(Sarcasm. No comments please.)

EccEntrIcIty pErsOnIfIEd said...

Yawning and scratching ass... Funny? I dont think so!
Dont tell me that you knew all this time what the national anthem actually means... and if you dint know all this before you actually never had any respect for the country which is sad!!!
Who knows this may be just another lame fwded e-mail... where is the proof?

Amjad Khan said...

"Wake up, it's high time! Shouldn't Vande Mataram be our National Anthem. Come Join together to put Vande Mataram as our National Anthem."


"Wake up, it's high time! Shouldn't we get rid of poverty, communal riots and corruption? Come join together to remove poverty, communal riots and corruption."

EccEntrIcIty pErsOnIfIEd said...

Yeah why not...
but atleast have some respect for the tricolors and the nation... u can atleast stand straight for the 52 seconds!!!

S1NN3R said...


Abbe stick to the topic. You can relate poverty, communal riots and corruption to anything. We are talking about a certain aspect.

About the National Anthem being in praise of the King George V it is true to my knowledge.

S1NN3R said...

Stand straight for 52 seconds because??

EccEntrIcIty pErsOnIfIEd said...

Singing the national anthem takes about 52 seconds.

S1NN3R said...

Oh ok....but again, why am I standing for 52 seconds??

EccEntrIcIty pErsOnIfIEd said...

Standing is a posture of respect, which is why we stand to sing the national anthem and honor our flag.

S1NN3R said...

So we should respect the national anthem? But you just said not to.

EccEntrIcIty pErsOnIfIEd said...

@s1nn3r: you sure are dyslexic.. have you actually read the blog post? And when did i ever say not to respect the national anthem... hell you're just another KNOW-IT-ALL faggot who thinks he knows all and hence can pwn all but dude... its time for a reality check!

Amjad Khan said...

No respect for a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

S1NN3R said...


Why are you getting emo?? I meant no harm.

But its strange isnt it? We have few of the most wealthiest people in the world and yet most of the population is under poverty line. Although I dont believe in distribution of wealth like in socialism but there is something very wrong going on that I cant put my finger on.

Amjad Khan said...

It isn't strange. It's wrong. It can be fixed though. But then again, people don't really care.

S1NN3R said...

Really?? People dont care that they are living in uninhabitable conditions?? The rich people dont care or the poor people dont care?? But then again, whats the solution ?? Even if there is.

Amjad Khan said...

Omg noob. Dyslexic noob.
There is a solution.

S1NN3R said...

And the solution lies in.....Love??



Amjad Khan said...

You are making fun of Jezuz now. x(

S1NN3R said...

Purely unintentional.