Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Jana Gana Mana" is Century Old......

It is a hundred of a different kind – more important for the Nation and do you know the Madanapalle connection to this.  Madanapalle is a town in the District of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. 

0n 27th Dec 2011, the Indian National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” completed 100 years.  It was on this day in 1911 that the song, penned by Rabindranath Tagore, was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.  Eventually, three years after India became independent, the Constituent Assembly officially adopted it as the country's national anthem - on January 24, 1950.

Have you observed that  when the National Anthem is played by a band, the Anthem will be preceded by a roll of drums to assist the audience to know that the National Anthem is going to be played.  The duration of the roll, in terms of marching drill, will be 7 paces in slow march. The roll will start slowly, ascend to as loud a volume as possible and then gradually decreases to original softness, but remaining audible until the seventh beat. One beat rest will then be observed before commencing the National Anthem.

The most reverred song “Jana Gana Mana” our National anthem is written in highly Sanskritized (Tatsama) Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.  A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally

The poem was composed at the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V. Some consider it to be in praise of King George V and not God.  Tagore, however, translated Jana Gana Mana into English as the Morning Song of India, addressing God and the motherland.

In Tagore’s own State of West Bengal, it is reported that  a  century later, a packed audience, including West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stood up in reverence to the song performed at the Town Hall, the 19th century monument that has been witness to several important meetings and gatherings.

A commentary of the events that preceded and followed the composition of the song interspersed with extracts from Tagore's reminiscences, writings and songs traced “the ideation and evolution of Jana Gana Mana.”  The hour long performance was directed  and narrated by noted filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh.

Jana Gana Mana was translated, from Sanskrit to English, by Rabindranath Tagore and the music on this English Translation was set in Madanapalle, a small town in Andhra Pradesh.  Irish poet James H. Cousin’s  wife, Margaret, who was an expert in Western music, set down the music for this English version. The framed original English translation is  reported to be displayed in the library of Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalle.  Tagore was on a tour of South India and took  rest at the Theosophical College in Madanapalle

Besant Theosophical College is one of the oldest colleges in the Rayalaseema Region of Andhra Pradesh. It was established much before Sri Venkateswara University was established. The college started on 19 July 1915. Initially it was affiliated to Madras UniversityDuring the visit of Tagore, "The Scout Movement" and "All India Women Association" were inaugurated at Madanapalle.

The National anthem of India is :

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

Whenever the Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary the Anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the Anthem.

As in the case of the flying of the National Flag, it has been left to the good sense of the people not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the Anthem.

Jai Hind

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

1 comment:

  1. We are proud of this great song in which Rabindranath has urged to the God (fate maker of India) for a united peaceful non-communal India