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Vande Mataram
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vande Mataram (in Bangla : বন্দে মাতরম Bônde Matorom ) is the national song of India . The song was composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in a highly Sanskritized form of the Bengali language . The song first appeared in his book Anandamatha , published in 1882 amid fears of a ban by British Raj , though the song itself was actually written six years prior in 1876 . "Vande Mataram" was the national cry for freedom from British oppression during the freedom movement. Large rallies, fermenting initially in West Bengal , in the major metropolis of Calcutta (Kolkata), would work themselves up into a patriotic fever by shouting the slogan "Vande Mataram," or "Hail to the Mother(land)!". The British, fearful of the potential danger of an incited Indian populace, at one point banned the utterance of the motto in public forums and jailed many freedom fighters for disobeying the proscription. To this day, "Vande Mataram" is seen as a national mantra describing the love of patriots for the country of India. Rabindranath Tagore sang 'Vande Mataram' in 1896 at the Calcutta (Kolkata) Congress Session. Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang 'Vande Mataram' in the Benares Congress Session in 1905. Lala Lajpat Rai started a journal called Vande Mataram from Lahore.

While Vande Mataram was treated as the national anthem of India for long, ultimately Jana Gana Mana , was chosen as the national anthem of independent India. The choice was slightly controversial, since the Vande Mataram was the one song that truly depicted the pre-independence national fervour. The song was rejected on the grounds that Muslims felt offended by its depiction of the nation as "Ma Durga "—a Hindu goddess— thus equating the nation with the Hindu conception of shakti , divine feminine dynamic force; and by its origin as part of Anandamatha , a novel they felt had an anti-Muslim message (see External links below). There has also been some controversy around Jana Gana Mana as the national anthem. In recent times, famous music composer A. R. Rahman , in association with Bharat Bala Productions released a successful album with the title Vande Mataram.

Dr Rajendra Prasad , who was presiding the Constituent Assembly on January 24 , 1950 , made the following statement which was also adopted as the final decision on the issue:
The composition consisting of words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations as the Government may authorise as occasion arises, and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honored equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it. (Applause) I hope this will satisfy members. (Constituent Assembly of India, Vol. XII, 24-1-1950)

On 22nd August 2006, there was a row in the house over Vande Mataram. Ruling coalition and Opposition members slugged it out in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday over the Government's statement that singing the national song Vande Mataram on September 7 was voluntary, leading to the house being adjourned twice. Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh had said last week that it was not binding on citizens to sing the song, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1876, on September 7, the day marking the culmination of yearlong celebrations of the song. Arjun Singh had earlier asked all state governments to ensure that the first two stanzas of the song were sung in all schools on that day. BJP Deputy Leader V K Malhotra wanted the Government to clarify whether singing the national song on September 7 in schools was mandatory or not.


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