Title: Vande Mataram
Written by: Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Featured in: Anadamath
Written on: November 7, 1875
Published on: 1882
Music : Jadunath Bhattacharya
First publication of translated version on: November 20, 1909
English Translation : Sri Aurobindo Ghosh
First Performed on: 1896
First Performed by: Rabindranath Tagore
Adopted : January 24, 1950
वंदे मातरम् ।
हे माँ मैं तेरी वन्दना करता हूँ
My dear mother, I praise you!
The National Song of India, Vande Mataram was by one of the greatest novelists and poets of India, Shri Bankimchandra Chattyopadhay, on 7th November, 1875, which was KarthiK Purnima according to the Hindu calendar. This song was featured in the novel Ananda Math by Shri Bankim Chandra. Shri Rabindranath Tagore gave the song its glorious tunes, and the essence of the song was kept intact while the translation was done into English by Shri Aurobindo.
Shri Bankim Chandra conceived the idea of the song Vande Mataram 7 years before he wrote the novel Ananda Math. Shri Bamkim Chandra was on a train journey in 1875. The scenery outside the window of the train with lush green foliage, and rainbow coloured flowers, the beautiful lakes and the hurrying streams nourishing the plants enthralled Shri Bankim Chandra. He was absolutely captivated by the magical spell of nature in all her splendour, and the poet in him was awakened to write the exquisite verses of Vande Mataram, depicting his land, his country, his mother divine, India.
Shri Bankim Chandra found an ideal place for the song in his historical novel Ananda Math based on the Sanyasi Rabellion and the song became public on April 14th 1906, in Barisal.
The cry of Vande Mataram became a weapon for the freedom fighters that shook the very foundation of the British Raj. In fact the freedom fighters that were sent to the gallows had the Bhagwad Gita in one hand, and the words Vande Mataram on their dying lips.
Originally Vande Mataram was considered for the status of the National Anthem but the inclusion of the Hindu Goddess Durga in the song as well as the communal angle to it deterred the leaders from making it the anthem. The first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad adopted the first paragraph of the beautiful verses of Vande Mataram as the National Song on January 24th, 1950.
The song eulogizes India, and lends the country a divine stature by depicting it as a Goddess. India is described for her beautiful traditions and rich cultural heritage, and the wealth of natural resources that are available. India has been portrayed as a mother, and the citizens as her children, whom she takes care of with unconditional and infinite love. In reciprocation the citizens of India are ready to lay down their lives to protect the sanctity of the mother they love.
Question. What is the meaning of Vande Mataram?
Answer. “Vande Mataram” as a phrase means “ I praise you. Mother” or “I bow to you, Mother”.
If we take the root of the Sanskrit word “Vande” which is basically Vand, the meaning comes out to praise, worship, honour, pay tribute or salute respectfully. Another word “Mataram” basically means mother but here(with reference to context) it is referred to as the “motherland” or “Mother India”
Question. Who wrote the national song of India Vande Mataram?
Answer. The national song of India “Vande Mataram” was written by Bengali poet, writer and journalist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee during the freedom struggle of India. There was a Bengali poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1870 which was included by him in his novel “Anandmath”. The poem was later composed into the song by Rabindranath Tagore. The first two verses of the song were adopted as the national song of India.
Question. What is the difference between national song and national anthem?
Answer. The national song of India is “Vande Mataram” and was composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, a famous Bengali poet, author and journalist while national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” was written by Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel prize laureate.
The national anthem of India has some privileges as it is one of the national symbols, and has found a place in the fundamental duties of Indian constitution. It was adopted by the constituent assembly as the national anthem while the national song of India is a song to which country's population can relate very strongly. It is not mandatory to sing the national song of India.