Monday, November 27, 2006

Our National Anthem - Embarassing to know its real meaning!

Are you aware of the genesis of our national anthem and its true meaning therefore. If you know, you will cringe from singing it again... and acknowledge it as our national anthem.

Our National Anthem was composed as a poem 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.

Look at how the event was reported in the Indian press then:
"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, 1911)

"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 unanimously." (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911)

So naturally the poem was more as a praise for the English monarch and acknowledging that he holds the destiny of India. Read the literal english translation of the same...

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka jaya he ________Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata ________ dispenser of India's destiny.
Punjaba-Sindhu-Gujarata-Maratha _____ Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
Dravida-Utkala-Banga _________ Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga _____ It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges,
Uchchhala-Jaladhi-taranga _________ and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea
Tava Subha name jage ___________ They pray for thy blessings
Tava subha asisa mage ___________ and sing thy praise.
Gahe tava jaya-gatha.
Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka jaya he ________The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata ________thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jayahe. __________Victory, victory, victory to thee.

Rabindranath Tagore is quoted saying "Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them."

It pleased them so much that they made it our National Anthem.

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