Jana Gana Mana: 5 facts you didn’t know about India’s National Anthem
India’s National Anthem celebrates the unity among the cultural, religious as well as geographical diversity in the country.
“Jana Gana Mana” – The National Anthem which holds the power to unite all the people living in India. Written by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the song depicts the rich history, culture, tradition as well as philosophy of the country. So, this is an expression of who we, the Indians, truly are! To be very precise, we all literally grew up singing this song on every national occasion. Whenever the anthem is being sung or played, the deep lyrics along with the soulful composition just fill our hearts with a certain sense of joy, emotion and pride. However, here comes the question, how much do we know about our National Anthem?
The anthem consists of the first stanza of the Bengali hymn “Bharata Bhagyo Bidhata” written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911. Then, it was published in the journal Tattva Bodhini Patrika in January 1912. The Hindi version of the song was adopted as India’s National Anthem by Constituent Assembly of India on 24th January 1950. On a separate note, Tagore is the only person to have written the National Anthems of two countries (India and Bangladesh).
It takes 52 seconds to sing the official version of the National Anthem of India. However, there’s also a shorter version, consisting of the first and last lines of the song, which takes 20 seconds to be sung. But the latter is rarely used in any occasion.
On 27th December, 1911, “Jana Gana Mana” was first publicly sung at the annual conference of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata). Also, the song was first performed (not sung) at the inauguration of the German-Indian Society on 11th September, 1942 at Hamburg, Germany. There, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose declared it (although informally) as the National Anthem of the Free India.
The song was originally written in Sanskritized Bengali. The Hindi-Urdu version, which we have as our National Anthem today, was commissioned by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and shaped as “Subh Sukh Chain” by an Indian National Army Officer named Captain Abid Ali. Also, Tagore himself made an English version of the song, with the help of Margaret Cousins, and named it as “The Morning Song of India”.
There have been several rumors regarding the anthem. Firstly, many thought that the song is an ode to the British King George V, as it was written just the day before the enthronement ceremony of the king. However, Tagore shut down all the rumors in a letter to Mr. Pulin Bihari Sen. Also, in recent times, there’s a FAKE message being circulated on social media, stating that the Indian National Anthem has been declared as the “best in the world” by UNESCO.