Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vande Mataram

Setting apart the controversies, the centenary celebrations of the adoption of "Vande Mataram" by the then Congress has done a lot of good. It first of all made more Indians aware of this beautiful national song. Secondly we were able to listen to the melifluous tune of "Vande Mataram" quite a few times on television today. Set in the very pleasant Des raag, Vande Mataram song gives you a kind of joy that can only be described as transcendental. It stirs up the patriotic feelings in us even today, a good 130 years after its publication. No wonder this was the theme song of our independence movement.

With due respect to"Jana Gana Mana", Vande Mataram, to me is a song that treats the nation as a whole without individually referring to states and provinces. In this way no state can feel left out in this process.

Vande Mataram is also indicative of our culture. This is a nation whose time tested culture puts the mother on a high pedestal. In accordance with this, Vande Mataram offers salutations to our nation in the form of bowing to Mother India. Being in devanagari, it is also in the language of our great epics Ramayana and Mahabaharata which undoubtedly are an invaluable contribution of India to not just world literature but also to humanity.

At the end of the day, irrespective of how high the nation scores in secularism, the national song of a nation should reflect the culture and traditions of the nation. If it invovles a bit of religious touch, so be it. A national song should be one that can spur on the nation, not one that is the product of consensus or compromise. Vande Mataram undoubtedly qualifies on all these accounts. Yet it stays religion neutral.

O Bharata Mata!, Salutations to thou! Vande Mataram! Vande Mataram!


Guru Anandh .R said...

वन्दे मातरम्
सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
बहुबलधारिणीं नमामि तारिणीम्
रिपुदलवारिणीं मातरम्॥

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
सस्य श्यामलां मातरंम् .
शुभ्र ज्योत्सनाम् पुलकित यामिनीम्
फुल्ल कुसुमित द्रुमदलशोभिनीम्,
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीम् .
सुखदां वरदां मातरम् ॥

सप्त कोटि कन्ठ कलकल निनाद कराले
द्विसप्त कोटि भुजैर्ध्रत खरकरवाले
के बोले मा तुमी अबले
बहुबल धारिणीम् नमामि तारिणीम्
रिपुदलवारिणीम् मातरम् ॥

तुमि विद्या तुमि धर्म, तुमि ह्रदि तुमि मर्म
त्वं हि प्राणाः शरीरे
बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति,
हृदये तुमि मा भक्ति,
तोमारै प्रतिमा गडि मन्दिरे-मन्दिरे ॥

त्वं हि दुर्गा दशप्रहरणधारिणी
कमला कमलदल विहारिणी
वाणी विद्यादायिनी, नमामि त्वाम्
नमामि कमलां अमलां अतुलाम्
सुजलां सुफलां मातरम् ॥

श्यामलां सरलां सुस्मितां भूषिताम्
धरणीं भरणीं मातरम् ॥

Arjun Sharma said...

You're right. 'Jana gana mana' would not have had quite the same effect on the freedom movement as 'Vande mataram.'

Though no one can be forced to sing the national song, it isn't too much to expect from them to show respect to one of the few things that seem to be able to spur us on towards a goal. As a rule, Indians seem to be very reluctant to be united over anything.

Rajeev Dhavan's article today in the ToI(beside the editorial) is an example of the kind of thinking which creates such stupid controversies.