Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Truth Regarding India's National Anthem

There's an email forward going around telling that India's national anthem was composed praising King George and his queen. I don't want to thrash this view. I just want you to hear all the facts behind it, and then decide how wonderful a poet Rabindranath Tagore is...

The email forward says these things:

To begin with, India's national anthem, Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919. To honour their visit Pandit Motilal Nehru had the five stanzas included, which are in praise of the King and Queen.
 Well this IS right... But you have to read this after hearing what Rabindranath Tagore himself said about this:
"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."
 And just that clarification is enough for anyone to understand what Tagore really meant.

But the email continues:
In the original Bengali verses only those provinces that were under British rule, i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha etc. were mentioned. None of the princely states were recognized which are integral parts of India now Kashmir, Rajasthan, Andhra, Mysore or Kerala. Neither the Indian Ocean nor the Arabian Sea was
included, since they were directly under Portuguese rule at that time.
Well, he mentioned "Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha, Dravida and Orissa and Benga." What more would you except from a poet who was writing a poem, all the states of India? (and their capitals too?) Hey! When did Kerala come into existence?

And then the mail continues to give some snippets of translation from all the stanzas of the whole Jana Gana Mana

The intention of that article is clear. And that explains why only parts of the following stanzas were translated, and not the complete translation [well, if you haven't read that article yet, go here and read it, I don't want to disgrace my blog copy pasting the thing here]

Click here to read the real and complete translation of all the five stanzas of Jana Gana Mana

When you read that you can find these phrases:
Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!
 The way of life is somber as it moves through ups and downs.
But we, the pilgrims, have followed through ages.
Oh! Eternal Charioteer, the wheels of your chariot
echo day and night in the path

Oh! You who guide the people through tortuous path!
Through nightmares and fears
You protected us on Your lap
Oh Loving Mother.

 By the halo of Your compassion
India that was asleep is now waking
Now tell me, was Tagore referring to King George or mother India? He got Nobel Prize not for nothing.

Be proud to be an Indian
(I hereby permit to make this an email forward provided that the whole text remains including this link to the blog Blissful Life @ http://asdofindia.blogspot.com)

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