[ RN Koley ]
Another death anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore is being observed on 22nd Shraban (8th August) as per the Bengali calendar. Tagore is the creator of National Anthem as his song “Jana-Gana-Mana-Adinnayaka-Jaya-He-Bharate-Bhagya-Bidhata” is going to complete 107th year in 2018. On 15th August 2018, the Nation will celebrate 71st Independence Day to pay rightful tribute to our front rank national heroes who sacrificed their lives to liberate our motherland after 200 years of foreign rule. Therefore it is pertinent to remember national poet Rabindranath Tagore for his invaluable contributions for the country which is ever-to-be-remembered by the people.
The world poet Tagore had composed the song sometime in 1911 and sang the same on 27th December in that year at the Calcutta session of Indian National Congress, presided by Pandit Bishan Narayan Dar. At that moment, Tagore did not aware of the fact that his song would be adopted as National Anthem for Independent India in course of time.
The song, ‘Jana-Gana-Mana’, adopted as the National Anthem of India by the Constituent Assembly after threadbare discussion on 24th January, 1950, came into force on 26th January, 1950 with the adoption of new Constitution.
The song originally composed in Bengali was taken from the poem-‘Bharata Bidhata’, which contains five stanzas. The first stanza containing 13 lines was adopted as National Anthem. Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is 52 seconds approximately. A shorter version consisting of the first and last lines of the stanza takes 20 seconds to play on some specific occasions.
On request from his friend, James H Cousins, Rector Basant Theosophical College, Chittor (Andhra Pradesh), Tagore translated the song into English along with notation of tune for using it as prayer song of the college that is the recognized notation of this song. In this song, words are harmonized with magic of melodious tune as divinely orchestrated which signifies his greatness in composition of tune. It is assumed that behind the creation of majestic tune, there was inspiration of Beethoven’s ninth symphony “Ode to Joy”.
The English version of National Anthem of Tagore follows:
“Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
Dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thou name rouses the hearts of the Punjab,
Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal.
Its echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and
Himalayas, mingles in the music of the
Jamuna and the Ganagas and is chanted by
The waves of the Indian Sea.
They prey for the 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”.
Tagore, a versatile creator, is also the composer of National Anthems of Bangladesh and Shri Lanka. In ‘Jana-Gana -Mana’, the world poet’s boundless love for the country and the essence of true spirit of patriotism has been articulated during 1911, the country swelled with the freedom movement. This superb song added to the patriotic emotions of the Indians living under bondage.
The national anthem is a solemn patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression on national identity, features, ideal, dignity distinguishingly.
Adoption of national insignia through different means such as national emblem, national anthem, national song and own Constitution has hundred years of history, originated from western cultural heritage of self sacrifice and greatness. It is the manifestation of self belief and self sacrifice for the cause of nation. The tradition of adoption national insignia started with the formation of nation building from city state, small state and kingdoms to big state in the western countries during the 18th -19th centuries after glorious revolution of England in 1688. After that, nation state evolved with the American war of independence in 1776-78, French revolution of 1789 and finally unification of Germany in 1870 and Italy 1871 as newly developed concept. It led the merger of small states and formation of big nation. Besides, Bolsevik movement and writings of intellectuals and thinkers like Rousseau, James Mill and other moulded the people of favour of Parliamentary Democracy and also to adopt Constitution, national emblem, anthem and song for establishing rule of laws as essential ingredients of nation state.
The concept of ‘right’, ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’ were emphasized. This Western renaissance had its foot print in the lately started freedom struggle in India had its impact on nationalist leaders and writers also. Thus the ethos of adoption of National Anthem was envisaged as weapon of nation building essentially.
There is some distrustful question to criticize the version of national anthem that representation of all communities, states and ethnic groups are lacking in it. Actually Tagore composed the song not as National Anthem, but as prayers song. In his composition the specific name of community or state or ethnic group is not mentioned, rather geographical areas stretches all sides of the country in greater canvas is denoted. Besides, it is impossible to think, how an individual will guess geo-political boundary of present India in 100 years ago. Moreover, our national leaders and members of constituent Assembly were wise enough to adopt this song as National Anthem for Independent India. It had been well thought decision by them to inculcate patriotic ethos and spirit among the country men through this National Anthem. (The contributor has been serving the people of Arunachal Pradesh since 1988 as a passionate sociologist.)
[ RN Koley ]