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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Did Karnataka Governor walk down when National anthem was played ??

“Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi" ( जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी)   ~ it translates to mean “Mother and Motherland are superior to Heaven”..  -  Valmiki Ramayana – ‘Lord Rama uttering this while addressing  Lakshmana  after their victory over (demon) king Ravana’.

For us, the Nation and its symbol – the National Flag and National anthem are of utmost importance.   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. 

A few decades earlier, in all Cinema theatres, National anthem used to be played at the end of every show - there would be mad scramble to get out of the halls and people will not stand and respect the National Anthem and in someways, it is a relief that it is not played now.  A notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Section, years ago mentions that…..:
 (1) 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.
(2) 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

Now there is news that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala walked down the stage as the national anthem was being played  at an official function at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday, landing him in a controversy. Mr Vala, who administered the oath of office to Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court, walked down the stage as the national anthem was being played as per protocol.

As the Governor, who appeared unaware of the national anthem being played, walked off, others on the dais and guests stood in attention. However, as Mr Vala was walking away, one of the Governor's aides alerted him about the lapse, following which he soon returned to the podium and stood in attention. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Mar 2015.

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