Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Jana Gana Mana" : Some facts

- "Jana Gana Mana" means "The Minds of All People"

- Originally written in formal Bengali language by Rabindranath Tagore

- Was set to music by Tagore in Madanapalle, West Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh

- First sung during a convening of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in December 27, 1911

- A formal rendition of the national anthem takes approximately 52 seconds. A shortened version consisting only the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally.

- Controversy exists regarding the appropriateness of Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem of an independent India. The poem was composed in December 1911, precisely at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V, and is a paean in praise of "the overlord of India's destiny". The composition was first sung during a convention of the then loyalist Indian National Congress in Calcutta on Dec. 27, 1911 . It was sung on the second day of the convention, and the agenda of that day devoted itself to a loyal welcome of George V on his visit to India.

- In 2005, there were calls for the deletion of the word "Sindh" and to substitute Kashmir in its stead. The argument was that Sindh was no longer a part of India (it became a part of Pakistan after Partition). However , the Supreme Court of India refused to tamper with the national anthem. Opponents of this proposal say that the word "Sindh" refers to the Indus or to the Sindhi culture and people who are an integral part of India's cultural fabric.

Here is the English translation...
"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny.

Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha, of the Dravida and the Orissa (Utkalla) and Bengal;

It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny.

Victory, victory, victory to thee."

And here is the transliterated text....
"Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka jaya hai,Bharata bhagyavidhata.

Punjaba, Sindh, Gujarata, Maratha,Dravida, Utkala, Banga,

Vindhya, Himachala, Yamuna, Ganga,Uchchala jaladhi taranga

Tava shubha naamey jaagey,Tava shubha aashisha maangey,

Gahe tava jayagatha.

Jana gana mangaladhayaka jaya haiBharat bhagyavidhata.

Jaya hai, Jaya hai, Jaya hai,Jaya jaya jaya jaya hai!"

Happy Independence Day !!!


Anonymous said...


What about the controversy that the stanzas that were in praise of King George were not integrated in the anthem, as we know it today? I believe there were some stanzas that were flat out obsequious. They kept only the stanzas/lines that were truly in praise of the country.

Just wanted to throw this out there -- shouldn't Vande Mataram be made the National Anthem. There are no doubts/second thoughts in whose praise it was written or what it means. What so you guys think?


Rajni said...


The poem was first sung in the welcome ceremony of King George V, when he came to India in 1911. That is the reason it is construed by most people as being written for the Empire.

However, many writings, including those of Yeats, who was a close associate of Tagore, claim that Tagore wrote it for God and not for the Empire. It seems Tagore was approached by INC to write something for the King's welcome. Tagore was not very comfortable with this request. However, one fine day, in the early hours of the morning, he was inspired to write this beautiful poem, in the honor of God. This he handed over to the INC later. Since it was first sung in the welcome ceremony, hence the controversy of it being written for the King.

It was the term "Bhagya Vidhata" in the poem which casted a shadow of doubt as to whom the poem was written for. Some claim, it was the King Tagore was referring to, while others maintain that he referred to God, as the "Monarch” infinitely greater than any mortal King Emperor could ever aspire to be.

Vande Mataram might seem like a better choice for the national anthem, especially since it was the song our independence struggle. But it is true that it has a definite "Hindu" touch to it, which is the reason why it offends people of other religions especially Muslims.

If we claim to be a secular country, we have to keep everyone's feelings in mind.

And anyway, a national anthem is supposed to to make you feel one with your nation and its people. Whether it is Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram, really does not matter then.

Anonymous said...


What I am always bothered about is that 85% of Hindus have to accomodate the "feelings" of 10.12% of Muslims. How come no one bats for the "feelings" of the majority? And what is wrong with Bankim Da referring to Bharat Ma as Durga Ma? A lot of what he says is symbolic of Bharat Ma and if Muslims have problems with that, then too ain't always fair.


Anonymous said...

Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!
Here is my web-site

Anonymous said...

These are truly fantastic ideas in on the topic of blogging.
You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

my site -

Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here different web address and thought
I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.

Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

My site ... buy facebook likes