India will celebrate its 71st Independence Day on Aug 15 and the countrymen shall pay tribute to its martyrs and freedom fighters. When we talk about our freedom struggle, the national anthem rings a bell in the hearts and mind of all Indians as a symbol of nationalism and unity. 'Jana Gana Mana' our melodious national anthem reminds us of one of our heroes of the independence movement who also made a mark for himself through his literary work and music. Rabindra Nath Tagore Popularly known as "Gurudev" composed the national anthem for the motherland.
Here are some lesser known facts about "Jana Gana Man"- the song whose every line fills our heart and soul with love and pride for our nation.
1. The national anthem of India is praising "the god(bhagya vidhata) of the minds of the people (Jana Gana)"; which pronounce the full essence of the secular national spirit.
2. The musical notations for the English translation of our national anthem were set by Margaret, wife of poet James H.Cousins, who was the principal of Besant Theosophical College
3. J.L.Nehru chose the present national anthem as opposed to Vande Mataram because he thought that it would be easier for the band to play.
4. While most Indians know the national anthem was written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the language of its composition is not clear to many. Although composed in Bengali, the vocabulary used was heavily inflected by Sanskrit, giving it a flavor that is universal and easily adaptable across the nation
5. The lyric is originally set in Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, though it is sung with minor variations to the classical form of the raga.
6.After Independence, 'God Save the King' was abandoned. But Indian delegates to the United Nations were asked for India's own national anthem to be played on occasions. In a quick decision, a record of 'Jana Gana Mana' was handed over and played by the UN orchestra. As the tune was highly appreciated by all, it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on January 24, 1950. However, the first stanza of the five stanza poem, 'Bharat Vidhata' (published in Tattvabodhini Patrika in 1911) was first sung on the second day of the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911.
7. The song was not written and/or sung to praise and felicitate King George V and Queen Mary on their visit to India in 1911, as rumored earlier.The rumors gave way when Tagore wrote a letter to the Emperor, stating the mentor and creator of Bharat (India) mentioned in the song is not King George V but God himself. The copy of the letter can be found in his autobiography and Jana Gana Mana (hymn).
8.On the 11th of September 1942, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg played the national anthems of Germany and the Free India Centre. This was the birth of “Jana Gana Mana” as the national anthem of independent India. Mr. N. G. Ganpulay, a close associate of Netaji and an active member of the Free India Centre, recorded the performance on tape. After his death, this tape was handed over to All India Radio, which broadcast a program in 1980 called “National Anthem Born in Exile.”
9. There is no law that compels anyone to sing the National Anthem. But, as per the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971, if someone intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term extending up to three years or fine, or both.