In wake of the recent controversy about a family being dragged out of a movie theatre for not standing up for the National Anthem, the real question remains unanswered. How many of us really know our National Anthem well? Here are a few facts of the National Anthem that will blow your mind
There was a false myth that Jana Gana Mana was written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore to praise George the Fourth, who visited India in 1911.
Clearing the air
However, in a letter dated 19th March, 1939 Tagore cleared the air saying that it would be an insult if he was considered to sing in praise of George the fifth.
Recently, a hoax message spread rapidly across social media that UNESCO has announced our anthem as the ‘Best National Anthem’ in the world. UNESCO intervened and denied any such declaration.
The first rendition
The first rendition of the song was during a convention of the Indian National Congress on December 16th, 1911. Jana Gana Mana was performed for the first time in Hamburg on 11th September, 1942.
However, It was only on 24th January 1950 that this song was officially declared as India’s National Anthem.
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.
Translation of the Anthem
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose commissioned a free translation of the national anthem from Sanskritized Bengali to Urdu-Hindi.
Who wrote it?
The translation was written by Captain Abid Ali, composed by Captain Ram Singh Thakur and was called Subah Sukh Chain.
Singing not mandatory
There is no provision of law which compels anyone to sing the National Anthem.
It is not considered disrespectful to the nation or to the Anthem if a person chooses only to stand up in respectful silence.
Formal rendition of the anthem should take 52 seconds by law, and not 54 seconds.
Written for Bangladesh too
Interestingly, Rabindranath Tagore has written the National Anthem of Bangladesh as well.
Replacing Sindh arguement
In 2005, many protested and called for deleting the word Sindh and to replace it with the word Kashmir.
The arguement was that Sindh is now a part of Kashmir.
Call for change
On 7th of July, 2015, Rajasthan Governor, Kalyan Singh had called for replacing the word Adhinayaka with the word Mangal, basing his arguement on the myth Tagore himself busted back in 1939 itself.