Re: Panjaba Sindhu Gujarata Maratha Dravida Utkala Banga...and can we add rest in our National Anthem?
The point raised by Raju Charles is not new but very important. In the past whenever this point has been raised the government has tried to explain it away but the explanations have never sounded very convincing. To anyone with even a moderate familiarity with Sanskrit, the language to which the roots of nearly all words used in the anthem can be traced, it is obvious that Bharata Bhagya Vidhata most likely alludes to the British emperor. Admitting that will of course be very embarrassing to some of the most hallowed names in the current Indian pantheon. It has also to be remembered that the novel Anand Math , where Vande Mataram first appeared, is not considered sufficiently consistent with the present secular ethos of India.
Dear Raju Charles
I am afraid you are repeating a myth created by the fundamentalists who wanted Vande Mataram to be the national anthem. There has been enough discussion on this issue and enough study has been done that show that the story that Tagore wrote this anthem in honour of the emperor is not true. There can be many criticisms of this national anthem but not that it was written in honour of the British king. One of the criticisms is that it ignores the Northeast completely. In this thinking India stops at Bengal. But then this criticism is not true of the national anthem alone but also the rest of India. For example, the Brahmaputra river is bigger than the Ganga but it is not a sacred river at the national level. That honour goes to the Ganga. Four or five years ago BSNL had a big advertisement which said that it catered to the whole country "Kanyakumari to Kolkata India is one". After the Northeast protested it was changed to "Kashmir to Kohima India is one". To go back to the main theme, I can think of many shortcomings of the national anthem but not the one spread by the fundamentalist forces that it was written in honour of the emperor.
Walter Dr Walter Fernandes Director North Eastern Social Research Centre 110 Kharghuli Road (1st floor) Guwahati 781004 Assam, India
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