Subh Sukh Chain

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शुभ सुख चैन (क़ौमी तराना)
Subh Sukh Chain (Qâumi Tarana)

National anthem of Free India
LyricsCapt. Abid Ali, Mumtaz Hussain, 1943
MusicCapt. Ram Singh Thakuri
Adopted2 November 1941

Subh Sukh Chain (Hindi: शुभ सुख चैन) was the national anthem of the Provisional Government of Free India. The song was based on a Bengali poem Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata by Rabindranath Tagore. After Subhash Chandra Bose shifted to Southeast Asia from Germany in 1943, he with the help of Mumtaz Hussain, a writer with the Azad Hind Radio and Colonel Abid Hassan Saffrani of the INA, had rewritten Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana into Hindustani Subh Sukh Chain for being used as the national anthem.[1]

Bose attached great significance to music as a source of inspiration for a force that was being prepared to fight till the finish. Bose came down to the then INA broadcasting station at the Cathay Building in Singapore and asked Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri[2] to compose music for a song translated from Rabindra Nath Tagore's original Bengali score. He asked him to give the song a martial tune that would not put people to sleep but awaken those who were sleeping. India attained Independence on 15 August 1947, and the next morning Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the Tricolour on the ramparts of the Red Fort and addressed the nation. It was on this occasion that Capt. Thakuri was especially invited to play the tune of Subh Sukh Chain of the INA along with the members of his orchestra group.[3]


During the Indian independence movement, the song Vande Mataram was frequently sung at protest meetings. At the proclamation of the Provisional Government of Free India in Singapore in October 1943, Vande Mataram was sung by the crowd. Muslims were, however, not comfortable with the expressly Hindu metaphors used in the song, and disliked the rabidly communal anti-Muslim tenor of the book, Anandamath, in which it had been first published. The leaders of the Indian National Army in Singapore were aware of this problem, and hoped that Subhas Chandra Bose, the head of the INA and the Provisional Government, would settle it. Lakshmi Sahgal, who was an INA member, favoured the selection of Jana Gana Mana, which was composed by Rabindranath Tagore and had been sung at sessions of the Indian National Congress. She arranged to have it sung at a women's meeting attended by Bose. Bose was taken by the song, which he thought was nationally representative. However, he did however, like that the song was in Sanskritized Bengali and commissioned a free translation in Hindustani.[4]

The translation, Subh Sukh Chain, was written by Capt. Abid Ali, and its score composed by Capt. Thakuri.[3] It took Vande Mataram's place as the official national anthem of the Provisional Government, and was sung at all meetings, including at the final assembly before Bose's departure.[5] It is sometimes considered an Urdu version (Urdu: شاخ سکخ چین) of the national anthem of India, Jana Gana Mana, though its meaning varies from the latter and it is therefore not a true translation.

On 24 January 1950,[6] President Rajendra Prasad announced the final decision that Jana Gana Mana would be the national anthem of India.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Morning Song of India". Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri's interview". Rediff on NET.
  3. ^ a b "A tribute to the legendary composer of National Anthem", The Tribune, 4 May 2002, retrieved 10 November 2008, Snippet: ... Capt Ram Singh would be remembered for his composition of Jana Gana Mana, the original script of which was a little different. It was Sukh Chain Kee Barkha Barse, Bharat Bagiya Hai Jaga. ...
  4. ^ Fay, Peter Ward (1995), The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence 1942-1945, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-08342-2, pp. 230-234
  5. ^ Fay, Peter Ward (1995), The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence 1942-1945, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-08342-2, p. 380
  6. ^ Volume XII. Tuesday, 24 January 1950. Online Transcript, Constituent Assembly Debates Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine