Lesser known facts on Jana Gana Mana, India’s National Anthem

Hearing the words Jana Gana Mana on Republic Day and other days fills our heart with the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. As Indians we all feel proud and privileged to sing the National Anthem with all the emotions in our heart for the country.

National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana‘ was first sung on December 27, in the year 1911 at the Indian National Congress in the present day Kolkata.

LISTED BELOW ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE NATIONAL ANTHEM THAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

  • It was written by Nobel laureate and poet Rabindra Nath Tagore in Bengali, although the vocabulary used was majorly inflicted by Sanskrit
  • The words ‘Jana Gana Mana‘ were first written on December 11, 1911
  • Formal rendition of the National Anthem takes about 52 seconds by law
  • There is a popular misconception which says ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was actually written in honour of King George V and the Queen of England for their 1919 visit to India. But in reality, this was a false rumour spread by newspapers of the time which said that Tagore had sung this song composed “in honour of King George V”
  • The anthem consists of five stanzas of which only the first stanza is popularly known and sung across the country
  • Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha–mentioned in the Bengali verses of the anthem are provinces under the British rule. Princely states such as Kashmir, Mysore and Kerala were not included as they had been under the Portuguese rule at the time
  • Pandit Motilal Nehru chose ‘Jana Gana Mana’ over ‘Vande Mataram’ as India’s National Anthem as it would be easier for the band to play the tune!
  • The lyrics of the National Anthem was originally set in Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, though it is sung with minor variations to the classical form of the raga
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had commissioned a free translation of the National Anthem from Sanskritised Bengali to a more familiar form in Hindustani. Captain Abid Ali of the Indian National Army (INA) had created the version called ‘Subh sukh chain‘ and Captain Ram Singh Thakur given music to it
  • It was only on January 24, in the year 1950 that this song was officially declared as India’s National Anthem

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