New Delhi, Dec 27 (): Be proud to be Indian! This is the day when India’s national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, completes 100 years.
It was first sung during the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911. Decades later, after Independence, the Constituent Assembly adopted the song as the national anthem on January 24, 1950.i-Written by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in highly Sanskritised Bengali, the passages eulogizes the immense power of India’s diversity in unity.
A handwritten translation in English which Gurudev called ‘The Morning Song of India’ is available online, so inspiring for its cursive beauty as well as lyrical thought.
Rabindranath Tagore is the only individual in the world credited with the national anthem for two nations, the other being ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ that was adopted by Bangladesh. The song has been as feted as it has been vilified. Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem, has seen millions on their feet, standing to reverential attention, every time it is played.
Interestingly, the entire song is of five stanzas, however, the formal rendition of the anthem which we sing and ideally takes 52 seconds, is only the first paragraph of it. The anthem, very beautifully, praises God Almighty and at the same time conveys the message of India being a land of ‘unity in diversity’.
However, since the poem was composed at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V, some people mistake it to be in praise of King George V and not God.
Written in Sanskritised Bengali, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ ran into controversy when in year 2005, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court demanding the inclusion of the word Kashmir and the deletion of Sindh, which became a part of independent Pakistan after the 1947 partition. However, the Supreme Court ruled against the petition stating that the national anthem is “a hymn or song expressing patriotic sentiments or feelings” and “not a chronicle which defines the territory of the nation”.