Jana Gana Mana
|English: Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People|
|Jônô Gônô Mônô|
Sheet music for "Jana Gana Mana".
National anthem of India
|Lyrics||Rabindranath Tagore, 1911|
|Music||Rabindranath Tagore, 1911|
|Adopted||24 January 1950|
|Music of India|
A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Jana Gana Mana|
"Jana Gana Mana"[α] is the national anthem of India. Written in highly Sanskritised (Tatsama) Bengali, the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was falsely propagated by colonial authorities that the song was written and first sung to praise and felicitate King George V and Queen Mary on their visit to India in 1911. The rumours gave way when Tagore wrote a letter to the Emperor, stating the mentor and creator of Bharath (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) . "Jana Gana Mana" was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the Indian national anthem on 24 January 1950.
The original poem written by Rabindranath Tagore was translated into Hindi-Urdu by Abid Ali. The original Hindi version of the song Jana Gana Mana, translated by Ali and based on the poem by Tagore, was a little different. It was "Subh Sukh Chain Ki Barkha Barse, Bharat Bhaag Hai Jaaga....".
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. Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Margaret Cousins (an expert in European music and wife of Irish poet James Cousins), set down the notation at Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, which is followed only when the song is sung in the original slow rendition style of singing. However, when the National Anthem version of the song is sung, it is often performed in the orchestral/choral adaptation made by the English composer Herbert Murrill at the behest of Nehru. An earlier poem by Tagore (Amar Sonar Bangla) was later selected as the national anthem of Bangladesh.
The text, though Bengali, is highly sanskritised (written in a literary register called Sadhu bhasa). The song has been written almost entirely using nouns that also can function as verbs. Most of the nouns of the song are in use in all major languages in India. Therefore, the original song is quite clearly understandable, and in fact, remains almost unchanged in several widely different Indian languages. Also as quasi-Sanskrit text, it is acceptable in many modern Indic languages, but the pronunciation varies considerably across India. This is primarily because most Indic languages are abugidas in that certain unmarked consonants are assumed to have an inherent vowel, but conventions for this differ among the languages of India. The transcription below reflects the Bengali pronunciation, in both the Bengali script and romanisation. The following are officially recognised versions of the national anthem by the Indian government, in some of the officially recognised languages.
|জন গণ মন (Bengali)||Bengali romanisation|
জনগণমন-অধিনায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
Jônogônomôno-odhinayoko joyo he bharatobhaggobidhata!
जनगणमन-अधिनायक जय हे भारतभाग्यविधाता!
पंजाब सिंधु गुजरात मराठा द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग
विंध्य हिमाचल यमुना गंगा उच्छलजलधितरंग
तव शुभ नामे जागे, तव शुभ आशिष मागे,
गाहे तव जयगाथा।
जनगणमंगलदायक जय हे भारतभाग्यविधाता!
जय हे, जय हे, जय हे, जय जय जय जय हे।।
The following translation (edited in 1950 to replace Sindh with Sindhu as Sindh after partition was allocated to Pakistan), attributed to Tagore, is provided by the Government of India's national portal: 
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Odisha and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Yamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.
Musical composition and English translation
Jana Gana Mana was written on 11 December 1911. Rabindranath Tagore translated the song from Bengali to English and also set it to music in Madanapalle, a town located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state, India. Though the Bengali song had been written in 1911, it was largely unknown except to the readers of the Brahmo Samaj journal, Tatva Bodha Prakasika, of which Tagore was the editor.
During 1919, Tagore accepted an invitation from friend and controversial Irish poet James H. Cousins to spend a few days at the Besant Theosophical College situated at Madanapalle of which Cousins was the principal. On the evening of 28 February 1919 he joined a gathering of students and upon Cousins' request, sang the Jana Gana Mana in Bengali. The college authorities, greatly impressed by the lofty ideals of the song and the praise to God, selected it as their prayer song. In the days that followed, enchanted by the dreamy hills of Madanapalle, Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Cousins' wife, Margaret (an expert in Western music), set down the notation which is followed till this day. The song was carried beyond the borders of India by the college students and became The Morning Song of India and subsequently the national anthem.
Code of conduct
The National Anthem of India is played or sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, and about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions. The substance of these instructions has been embodied in the information sheet issued by the government of India for general information and guidance. The official duration of the National Anthem of India is 52 seconds.
Controversy shadowed Jana Gana Mana from the day of its first rendition on 28 December 1911 at the twenty-seventh session of the Indian National Congress at Calcutta. Emperor George V was scheduled to arrive in the city on 30 December and a section of the Anglo-Indian English press in Calcutta thought – and duly reported – that Tagore's hymn was a homage to the emperor.
The poet claims in a letter written in 1939: "I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity." In another letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore later wrote, "A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata (ed. God of Destiny) of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."
In Kerala, students belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses religious denomination were expelled by school authorities for their refusal to sing the national anthem on religious grounds, although they stood up respectfully when the anthem was sung. The Kerala High Court concluded that there was nothing in it which could offend anyone's religious susceptibilities, and upheld their expulsion. The Supreme Court reversed the High Court and ruled that the High Court had misdirected itself because the question is not whether a particular religious belief or practice appeals to our reason or sentiment but whether the belief is genuinely and conscientiously held as part of the profession or practice of a religion. "Our personal views and reactions are irrelevant" The Supreme Court affirmed the principle that it is not for a secular judge to sit in judgment on the correctness of a religious belief.
Supreme Court observed in its ruling
"There is no provision of law which obliges anyone to sing the National Anthem nor is it disrespectful to the National Anthem if a person who stands up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung does not join the singing. Proper respect is shown to the National Anthem by standing up when the National Anthem is sung. It will not be right to say that disrespect is shown by not joining in the singing. Standing up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung but not singing oneself clearly does not either prevent the singing of the National Anthem or cause disturbance to an assembly engaged in such singing so as to constitute the offence mentioned in s. 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act".
- Jana Gana Mana (hymn) for lyrics of all 5 stanzas and controversies in detail
- Subh Sukh Chain national anthem (Qaumi Tarana) of the Provisional Government of Free India
- Bengali: জন গণ মন, Jônô Gônô Mônô
- Monish R. Chatterjee (13 August 2003). "Tagore and Jana Gana Mana". http://www.countercurrents.org.
- Volume XII. Tuesday, 24 January 1950. Online Transcript, Constituent Assembly Debates
- National Anthem – National Symbols – Know India. Nation Portal of Government of India.
- "The Morning Song of India". K. Ramanraj. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
- "English Translation of the anthem as meant by tagore". www.poetandpoem.com. 11 Feb 2015. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi (2011). Rabindranath Tagore : an interpretation. New Delhi: Viking, Penguin Books India. p. 206. ISBN 978-0670084555.
Incidentally a myth regarding this song needs to be refuted and laid to rest. It is on record that the song was written on 11 December 1911. On December 12 1911 the Delhi Durbar met to honour King Emperor George V. Obviously a poem written on 11 December could not be intended for an event the following day. The song was actually sung at the twenty-seventh session of the Indian National Congress, Calcutta on 28 December 1911 as the opening song at the beginning of the day’s proceedings. Thereafter it was also sung at the foundation day anniversary of Adi Brahma Samaj in February 1912 and included in their collection of psalms, Brahma Sangit.
- Vani Doraisamy (19 March 2006). "India beats: A Song for the Nation". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
- "English Translation of Janaganamana". Manjula Bose. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "BBC News – Indian anthem Jana Gana Mana turns 100". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Controversy Surrounding The Indian National Anthem". Rare India Fact. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- "To sing or not to sing Vande Mataram". Indian Express. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- "Bijoe Emmanuel & Ors V. State of Kerala & Ors  INSC 167". indiankanoon.org. 11 August 1986. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
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Jana Gana Mana
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|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Database entry Q83099 on Wikidata|
- Know India: National anthem, Government of India website
- The Morning Song of India. Wikisource. English translation of the of hymn "Jana Gana Mana" in Tagore's handwriting