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Jana Gana Mana

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Jana Gana Mana

"Jana Gana Mana"
জন গণ মন
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 sample

"Jana Gana Mana"[lower-greek 1] is the Queen Mary on their visited to India in 1911.[1] "Jana Gana Mana" was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the Indian national anthem on 24 January 1950.[2]

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.[3] Tagore wrote down the English translation[4] 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 romanization. The following are officially recognized versions of the national anthem by the Indian government, in some of the officially recognized languages.

জন গণ মন (Bengali) Bengali romanization

জনগণমন-অধিনায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
পঞ্জাব সিন্ধু গুজরাট মরাঠা দ্রাবিড় উৎকল বঙ্গ
বিন্ধ্য হিমাচল যমুনা গঙ্গা উচ্ছলজলধিতরঙ্গ
তব শুভ নামে জাগে, তব শুভ আশিষ মাগে,
গাহে তব জয়গাথা।
জনগণমঙ্গলদায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় জয় জয় জয় হে।।

Janagaṇamana-adhināẏaka jaẏa hē bhāratabhāgyabidhātā!
Pañjāba sindhu gujarāṭa marāṭhā drābiṛa uṯkala baṅga
bindhya himācala yamunā gaṅgā ucchalajaladhitaraṅga
taba śubha nāmē jāgē, taba śubha āśiṣa māgē,
gāhē taba jaẏagāthā.
Janagaṇamaṅgaladāẏaka jaẏa hē bhāratabhāgyabidhātā!
Jaẏa hē, jaẏa hē, jaẏa hē, jaẏa jaẏa jaẏa jaẏa hē..

English translation

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:[3]

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida, Utkala and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Yamuna and Ganga and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Ocean.
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

Courtyard in Madanapalle where Jana Gana Mana was first sung.

Rabindranath Tagore translated "Jana Gana Mana" from Bengali to English and also set it to music in Madanapalle,[5] 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[4] and subsequently the national anthem.

Today, in the library of Theosophical College in Madanapalle, the framed original English translation of Jana gana Mana, titled as The Morning Song of India in Tagore's handwriting, is displayed.[6]

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.[3]

Controversy shadowed Jana Gana Mana from the day of its first rendition in 1911 at the Congress session in Calcutta. Anglo-Indian English press in Calcutta thought – and duly reported – that Tagore's hymn was a homage to the emperor.[7]

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."[7] 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."[8]

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.[9]

Supreme Court observed in its ruling[10]

See also


  1. ^ Bengali: জন গণ মন, Jônô Gônô Mônô


  1. ^ Monish R. Chatterjee (13 August 2003). "Tagore and Jana Gana Mana". 
  2. ^ Volume XII. Tuesday, 24 January 1950. Online Transcript, Constituent Assembly Debates
  3. ^ a b c National Anthem – National Symbols – Know India. Nation Portal of Government of India.
  4. ^ a b "The Morning Song of India". K. Ramanraj. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  5. ^ Vani Doraisamy (19 March 2006). "India beats: A Song for the Nation". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  6. ^ "English Translation of Janaganamana". Manjula Bose. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  7. ^ a b "BBC News – Indian anthem Jana Gana Mana turns 100". 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  8. ^ "Controversy Surrounding The Indian National Anthem". Rare India Fact. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "To sing or not to sing Vande Mataram". Indian Express. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bijoe Emmanuel & Ors V. State of Kerala & Ors [1986] INSC 167". 11 August 1986. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 

External links

  • Know India: National anthem, Government of India website
  • Wikisource link to The Morning Song of India. Wikisource.English translation of the of hymn "Jana Gana Mana" in Tagore's handwriting
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