We have been reciting our National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ since we were kids. It evokes a sense of pride and nationalism when we listen to it on a public platform. It is such a soulful composition by Rabindranath Tagore and is bound to make you feel patriotic. But here are some other interesting facts about our anthem which you may not have known:
1. The anthem was written on December 11, 1911, and just a day later, there was a rumour surrounding the anthem as being a praise to British monarch George the Fifth. Rabindranath Tagore himself had to write a letter to put this strong rumour to rest.
2. The National Anthem was first performed at during a convention of the Indian National Congress on December 27th, 1911 at Calcutta. The first musical composition was performed in Hamburg on September 11, 1942. Netaji Subhas Chandra Boss declared it as the anthem of ‘Free India.’ It had not received any formal status though.
3. The anthem was originally written in Bengali and had many Sanskrit words in it. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose commissioned a free translation into Hindi-Urdu. The Hindi translation was done by Captain Abid Hasan Safrani of the Indian National Army. Captian Ram Singh Thakur gave the melody to this song. There is also an English version of it written by Tagore himself and it is called ‘The Morning Song of India.’
4. The Hindi version of the written composition got its status as India’s National Anthem on January 24, 1950.
5. A formal rendition of the anthem should take just 52 seconds. A smaller version of 20 seconds is also staged occasionally which includes just the first and last lines.
6. The anthem that we sing today is just one stanza of the original version. The original song is Brahmo hymn which has five stanzas. The song reflects our country’s independence struggle, culture, and values.
7. The meaning of the lyrics states the greatness, the blessings and praise of the nation. The name of dispenser of India's destiny echoes in hills and valleys, mingles in the river waters, pray for our blessings and sing our praises. The saving of all people waits in our hands and asks victory to us.
8. The composition is set to the Raag Alhiya Bilawal.
There is no law which makes singing the national anthem mandatory. But if someone is intentionally causing disruption while the anthem is being played then the person could face punishment. There have also been some controversies recently regarding standing for the National Anthem played during the start of movies. The Supreme Court gave a judgment that it is not a must to play the anthem in cinema halls.