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National Anthem of India – Jana Gana Mana controversy

April 7, 2013

The definition of a national anthem according to Wikipedia is – “A national anthem (also national hymn, song etc.) is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogises the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognised either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.”

One school of thought in India believes that our national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was written down to praise King George V. Jana Gana Mana written by Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore is considered to be penned down to pay homage to the Emperor. He sang the song on 27 December 1911 at Calcutta on the day of Indian National Congress Convention that was also attended by the King. There were few more poets who sang songs at convention to praise George V.

But following the same belief just by seeing word to word meaning of national anthem on facebook or other social media is not logical. One should look back into the history and get full insight before jumping to any conclusion. If you check the news of the earlier times then it becomes clear. You will read news stating that Gurudev had refused such claims and said that national anthem was the product of turmoil running in his mind after his official friends asked him to write down something to felicitate the King. I think such will be thoughts when you were asked to go against your conscience. Jana Gana Mana was written by keeping ‘Divine God in Mind’ not George, as God is the Real Monarch. The personality of Gurudev becomes clearer after knowing that he had also returned the Knighthood recognition given to him by British just to protest the Jallian Wala Bagh massacre. Even in his other work Gitanjali (that won him the Nobel Prize) he had called God as the “divine monarch”. I think our National Anthem has all praise for God not the King.

What so ever may be the story but singing national anthem do evokes the feeling of patriotism. It connects you to your motherland and let you understand what it means to you.

Even if you think that it had been written for the King and should not be our national anthem, then there are many other things especially almost all the monuments in India which were built by British or Muslim invaders and today we are so proud of these. The most prominent shopping place of today’s time in Delhi, Connaught Place was named after the Duke of Connaught. It was the central business district and masterpiece of Lutyens Delhi. Then we have Parliament House in Delhi, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Teen Murti Bhawan, Gateway of India and so on which tell the saga of British in India. Will you consider these as a part of praise or part of India?

Before British, Mughals ruled India. I think that they were also not Indians but foreigners. Taj Mahal that is the most visited tourist destination in India was constructed by Mughals. If we go by the same thought of Jana Gana Mana then these monuments including all other such monuments and buildings should be demolished and constructed just to replace with the one which are truly for India and by India. But we won’t do this. So let us believe in what we feel not what other wants us to feel.
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I am a mother. A wife. And daughter of my loving parents by heart with passion for creativity, zeal to achieve something big in life but want to live life to its fullest.


Showing 7 Comments :

Then why Muslims have problem. with this


BTW, who r u 2 decide whether its d national anthem or not..
no matter 4 whom it was written it IS titled as our national anthem and u must accept it wid dignity.. i wonder how can people c d song as a praise to king goerge V or VI or IX or XI.!!


We, Indians, are very sentimental people. Then, and now… we seem to act emotionally more than rationally.

Do not take this argument as something against Tagore. This is not a question about whether or not the song was written for a Brit or to praise the lord Krishna albeit in protest.

This argument is – why select this song to be a national anthem.

There are numerous evidences, parliamentary meeting briefings etc which record that there was overwhelming support for Vande Mataram song to be adopted as national anthem.

It is unfortunate that Nehru was the only politician playing dirty politics – be it appeasing Muslims or serving his masters – the Brits – among emotional Indians. Mr Prasad must have been his chosen Lieutenant who carried over the task of declaring that Jana Gana Mana is national anthem.

If Muslims did not like Vande Mataram because it is singing praise of Durga Mata (Bharat Mata seen as Durga mata) then, why did they accept Jana Gana Mana song as national anthem which is praising lord Krishna?

May be Nehru was using multiple cards and just pushing Brits order to use a song they consider to praise a Brit ..

Personally, I am willing to credit Tagore and consider the song to be a gem in literature. But it is never going be national anthem for me. I will never sing it as such … for me Vande Mataram is national anthem.


This is somehow a good document to the people who do not want to acknowledge the credit of Rabindranath but only seek to dehumanize him.

SANJEEV BHATNAGAR December 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Sorry to know about your wisdom to compare a poem and monuments like Red Fort, Taj mahal. Please donot befool yourself for the slavery of our great poets,who despite knowing the fact had given this jana gana mana poem to National Congress people, who were in frontline to welcome the visiting king in 1911 to thank him and sung his praises. Ok ,if you are claiming this song to be patriotic then indicate a single word which indicate motherland. May god bless you


    this song was written way before king’s visit was planned. Just that the song was used that time. And people started the propaganda.
    Toda when we sing the song, we do for the pride we feel for our motherland, not for the english king


I think that Tagore has definately written about God in the song. Tagore was a great personality and would never harbour thoughts about praising the British King. India is a great country, but now certainly ruled be selfish people. We have to become like Tagore or else suffer at the hands of selfish people. Sacrifice is a great quality which people like Tagore embody.