The National song of our country “Vande Mataram“(also pronounced “Bande Mataram”) written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay is composed in sanskrit.
The title ‘Vande Mataram or Bande Mataram’ means “I praise thee, Mother” or “I praise to thee, Mother“. The term “mataram (माताराम)” in the first line means the motherland of India or Bharat Mata (Mother India).
We all know that our National song is “Vande Mataram” and the National anthem “Jan Gan Man” we are singing since our childhood, but have we ever tried to know the meaning of our national anthem or the history and the controversy behind it. If no then today we are going to learn about all these things, so have patience and read the whole article.
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote “Aanandmath” and was published in 1882. The song “Vande Mataram” was part of this book. After reading this book people started to understand the meaning of “Vande Mataram”. This book was written to oppose the British government and also to oppose those Indian kings and leaders who were in the favor of British government.
Bankim Chandra had a daughter and she said to him that the song “Vande Mataram” is very difficult to read and understand, make it easy so that people can understand. On this he said today you think this song is difficult to read and understand but after few days this song will be sung by every citizen of this country.
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay died in 1894. After his death, her daughter and wife started to advertise his book Aanandmath on a large scale. This book started to inspire the revolutionaries. So what was in the book?
This book contained many facts, which boiled the blood of Indians upon reading. As a result British government tried to destroy this book many times, but somehow it’s original copy was preserved every time.
In 1905 Bengal was divided into two parts, East Bengal and West Bengal by British officer Lord Curzon. East Bengal was for Hindus and West Bengal was for Muslims. This was the first division in India on the basis of religion, so those who understood what else can happen in the future started to oppose this act and started a movement named “Vang Bhang“. This movement was led by Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Vipin Chandrapal. This movement had two main aims. First was to boycott all East India products and the second was to use Indian products.
In six years the sale of East India products decreased so much that they started to pressurize the British government to accept the demands of the Indians. And the demand of the Indians was to remove act that divided the Bengal into two parts on the basis of religion. So in 1911, the division of Bengal act was taken back. In these six years “Vande Mataram” was the keynote for all the volunteers and was sung in the start and the end of every program.
After this Britishers invited their king George v. And a welcome song was written for him, and the name of the song is “Jan Gan Man Adhinayak Jai ho Bharat Bhagya Vidhata”, and it was written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Now read the meaning of our national anthem and decide whether it is for our nation or not
Jana gana mana adhinayaka jaya he
bhaarata bhaagya vidhaataa
We hail you, O ruler of people’s hearts,
and the decider of India’s destiny.
Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maranatha,
draavir, utkala, banga,
[These are all states of undivided India. draavir or dravid means the southern part of India,
the dravidian areas. Utkal is Orissa, or rather Odisha.
Banga, of course, is Bengal and Maratha present day Maharashtra.]
vindhya, Himachal, Yamuna, Ganga,
uchchhala jaladhi taranga,
Vindhya (mountain ranges), Himachal (the mountains of the present day Himachal Pradesh),
Ganges and Yamuna, and the rising waves of the sea,
[uchchhala is rising, much like Hindi’s uchhalti hui, jaladhi is sea, Tarang is a wave.]
tava shubha naame jaage
tava shubha aashisha maange
gaahe tava jaya gaathaa
[now this is a continuation from the past two lines,
that is the names of the states/regions and the mountains, rivers etc.]
-all wake with your good/gracious name,
ask for your blessings,
sing the story of your victories.
[tava is tumhaara, yours, Aashish is a blessing, shubh is something like holy, gaahe is gaayein –
sing, gaatha is a story so Jaya gaatha is a story of victory.]
jana gana mangaladaayaka jaya he
bhaarata bhaagya vidhaataa
We hail you, O one-who-does-good-for-the-people,
O writer of India’s destiny.
[mangaladaayak is mangal+daayak. mangal is good, auspicious, and daayak is a giver.
So one who does good.]
jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
jaya jaya jaya jaya he.
[he or hey is quite like the English hey in the meaning, as it’s just a call sign kind of thing,
but is very reverent here compared to the English hey which is very casual.]
After listening to this song Lord George v was so happy that he decided to recommend Rabindranath Tagore for the noble prize as he was also the chairman of the Noble prize committee. Now the song which he himself didn’t consider good, how can he take the noble prize for that. So he asked them to announce in the country that he is getting the Noble prize because of Gitanjali.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote a letter to Surrendranath Banerjee in which he wrote that he was forced by British officers to write this song(” Jan Gan Man”). Song “Vande Mataram” gained the more popularity when the youngest revolutionary of India “Khudiram Bhose” sung “Vande Mataram” before he was hanged till death.
After that, every India revolutionary decided to sing “Vande Mataram” before getting hanged. Rabindranath Tagore was very close to Britishers as many of his family members had worked for the Britishers. In 1911 Rabindranath Tagore wrote a letter to Surrendranath Banerjee telling him that “I have written this song for Britishers but the meaning of the song is not good, so it must not be sung. And at last, also asked him not to show this letter until he is alive.”
So in 1941 when Rabindranath Tagore died, then Surrendranath Banerjee showed this letter to the whole country and appealed not to sing this song.
Till then Congress Party had raised a bit. While Lok Manya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Vipin Chandrapal were in the congress party ” Vande Mataram” was sung but after the fight of Lok Manya Tilak with Pandit Moti Lal Nehru. Pandit Moti Lal Nehru wanted to make a collision government with the Britisher which was not approved by Lok Manya Tilak as he said making a coalition government with the Britishers means betraying Indian citizens, so they left the party. After that Congress got divided into two parts “Naram dal” and “Garam dal” Lok Manya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Vipin Chandrapal were part of Garam dal and Moti Lal Nehru of Naram dal. Now, whenever Garam dal sung Vande Mataram, in oppose to them Naram dal started to sing Jan gan man.
Since Naram dal was in favor of Britishers and wanted Jan gan man as national anthem instead of Vande Mataram, so they told Muslims that Vande Mataram is against your culture( how? http://gestyy.com/wLmsDt). Now Muslims refused to sing Vande Mataram. In 1947 when India got independence, it was time to decide the national anthem. In the constituent assembly of 319 members only one was in favor of Jan gan man and all else were in favor of Vande Mataram.
That one was NehruJi. So they all decided to go to Gandhi Ji. Gandhi Ji said I am also not in the favor of Jan gan man and since you are not in favor of Vande Mataram, so write the third song. So they asked Gandhi Ji to give the third song.
Then Gandhi Ji gave them a song “Jhanda uchha Rahe Hamara, Vijay Vishwa tiranga pyara”. Now Nehru Ji was not in favor of this song too and the reason he gave was that it can not be played on the orchestra. So after the death of Gandhiji, Nehru declared “Jan Gan Man” as our national anthem.
Jai Hind, Jai Bharat
Also check out click here.