Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram?

An issue that has rocked the Indian intellectual community - since the popular email forward - "Vande Mataram" for National Anthem - tunneled its way into our mail boxes. Though many people accept the popular notion that Tagore the wrote the poem in praise of the Almighty, there are many who still feel that the poem, written just before the coronation of King George V, is not 'indigenous' enough to be recognized as our National Anthem.
Here's a quote from the Indian Express (1968): "He (Tagore) got up very early in the morning and wrote a very beautiful poem.... When he came down, he said to one of us, 'Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them."
Personally, I'm biased in favour of Vande Mataram. Here, I feel it is important for me to state my stand on Jana Gana Mana, before I start my ramblings. It is a very beautiful song as well. I'm recently into Rabindranath Tagore's works (and that's how this blog came about) and I realized the beauty of this song while studying an English translation (how ironic!) of this poem. It is our National Anthem, and I will always take the words with the respect it deserves. I will always sing it, in praise of India.
In short, I love Jana Gana Mana too, but somehow, 'Vande Mataram' gives me a very simple way to relate to my country - the one which I know and love! From when I was a III std kid, I've heard Vande Mataram every morning on DD Metro!! And yes, it being one of the first ever poems I've read and appreciated (because of Anandmath - the book in which this poem was first published - being one of my all time favourites) I'm inclined to be a little emotional about this issue!
Most importantly though, Vande Mataram was, has and will always be sung in praise of India and India alone. No imprints of a colonial rule. The 2 words that will always remind us that we are a free and proud country. A song that hails our Motherland's beauty and bounty!
Our Country has recognized Vande Mataram as our National song. Infact, I think we are one of the very few countries in the world to make a distinction between 'national song' and 'national anthem'
What I'm advocating is for Vande Mataram also to be sung at our National festivals - for it to be recognized on par with Jana Gana Mana.


Bala said...

Good one. One must try and understand who made the choice and why? After all it is just about 60 years ago this choics has been made to have one as National Anthem and the other as National Song.

Archun said...

@ Balakrishnan
yep! I just learnt that the Constitutional Assembly made this decision around 1950. " The composition consisting of words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations as the Government may authorise as occasion arises, and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honored equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it. (Applause) I hope this will satisfy members. (Constituent Assembly of India, Vol. XII, 24-1-1950) " But in 2006, after several debates in the Lok Sabha, it was decided not to make the singing of Vande Mataram 'compulsory'