INDIAN NATIONAL SONG
NATIONAL SONG OF INDIA – VANDE MATARAM
The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. In 1950 (after India’s independence), the song’s first two verses were given the official status of the “national song” of the Republic of India, distinct from the national anthem of India Jana Gana Mana.
Vande Mataram (Vande Mataram : “I bow to thee, Mother”) is a poem from the famed novel Anandamath which was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1882. It was written in Bengali and Sanskrit. It is a hymn to Goddess Durga, identified as the national personification of India. It played a vital role in the Indian independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.
Here is the translation in prose of the above two stanzas rendered by Sri Aurobindo Ghose. This has also been adopted by the Government of India’s national portal. It should be noted that the original Vande Mataram consists of six stanzas.
I show gratitude to thee, Mother,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.