Today is the Birth Anniversary of Shri Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay – Composer of our National Song – Vande Matram
Sadly the song that inspired Millions of Indians to march for freedom is mired in unseemly controversies ,with Muslim and ‘secular’ parties refusing to sing it,often walking out when its sung. Such actions in Independent India are condoned by so called ‘liberals’ and ‘seculars’ . A lot of misconceptions persist because there is no effort to educate Indians about the history of this great Composition
History of ‘Vande Matram’
Bankim Chandra was a Civil Servant in the British Government.The Government was trying to promote ‘God save the Queen’ as an anthem for their Indian Subjects.It is believed Bankim chandra wrote Vande Matram in response to this in 1876 The poem was published in his Book Anandmatha -a book written about the sanyasi revolt during the 1857 war of Independence in 1878. The song caught the public’s Fancy and it soon became a song sung by freedom fighters all over India
Congress and Vande Matram
Sri Aurobindo translated the song in English though he claimed that no translation could do it justice. Jadunath Sarcar put the poem to music . Rabindra nath Tagore sang it in 1896 congress session in Kolkata . In 1901 Dakhina Charan Sen sang it at another congress session .Poetess Sarla devi sang the song in Benaras congress session in 1905. Lala Lajpat Rai started a journal named Vande Matram in Lahore. Hiralal sen made a movie in 1905 that ended with this song. Matangini Hazra’s Last words were ‘Vande Matram ‘ when she was Shot dead by crown police. Bhikhaji Cama contructed the first Indian flag in 1907 in Germany with Vande matram written in its middle line .
In 1937 congress adopted the first two verses as the national song of congress party .
British reaction to Vande Matram
The Song had captured the imagination of the nation and the song became the battle cry and inspiration for freedom fighters . The Britishers banned Anand math and made singing the song a crime .Many people were jailed for singing the song but its popularity continued unabated. That is why it is an aberration that a song which was banned by the British is also opposed by elected representatives of Independant India Muslim league and Vande Matram As i have discussed in a previous post , Muslim league opposed Vande Matram .It is due to pressure from Jinnah that only the First 2 stanzas of the poem were adopted by congress as national song .Later Muslim league demanded Ban on singing Vande Matram . It is incomprehensible that certain sections in Independant India still echo this demand of Muslim League that caused partition of India
Gandhi ji’s views on Vande Matram
Mahatama Gandhi supported adoption and the singing of the Vande Mataram song. In January 1946, in a speech in Gauhati,Assam, he urged that “Jai Hind should not replace Vande-mataram”. He reminded everyone present that Vande-mataram was being sung since the inception of the Congress. He supported the “Jai Hind” greeting, but remanded that this greeting should not be to the exclusion of Vande Mataram. Gandhi was concerned that those who discarded Vande Mataram given the tradition of sacrifice behind it, one day would discard “Jai Hind” also.
Vande Matram in Independent India
On 24 Jan 1950,inspite of opposition from many Quarters-Rajendra prasad ji Declared the First Two Stanzas of Vande Matram as the National song of India
…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 honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it. (Applause) I hope this will satisfy members.
The Song Vande Matram is our proud heritage .The schools should teach students the whole poem as it will instill patriotism in the heart of young children .The historical significance should also be explained to the people of India to counter the false propaganda against its singing
The complete original lyrics of the Vande Mataram song including the first two verses forming the National Song are as follows.
Devanagari script বন্দে মাতরম্৷
সুখদাং বরদাং মাতরম্৷৷
অবলা কেন মা এত বলে!
তুমি বিদ্যা তুমি ধর্ম্ম
তুমি হৃদি তুমি মর্ম্ম
ত্বং হি প্রাণাঃ শরীরে৷
বাহুতে তুমি মা শক্তি,
হৃদয়ে তুমি মা ভক্তি,
তোমারই প্রতিমা গড়ি মন্দিরে মন্দিরে৷
ত্বং হি দুর্গা দশপ্রহরণধারিণী
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीम्
सुखदां वरदां मातरम्।। 1।।
अबला केन मा एत बले।
तुमि विद्या, तुमि धर्म
तुमि हृदि, तुमि मर्म
त्वम् हि प्राणा: शरीरे
बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति,
हृदये तुमि मा भक्ति,
तोमारई प्रतिमा गडी मन्दिरे-मन्दिरे।।। 3।।
त्वम् हि दुर्गा दशप्रहरणधारिणी
Picture Credit: Wikipedia