Mehfil Mastee

Swar Baaware

  August 22 2017

Hymn of India!

National Anthem- One song that every citizen is proud of! An anthem is sung by all the citizens of a country and neither caste nor creed, not even the social status cannot divide it! Like all the nations, every national anthem is very unique and distinct from each other and sometimes even has a story behind it!

As every Indian knows it that “Jana Gana Mana”, our national anthem was written by one of the greatest poet, a Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. But do you know “Jana Gana Mana” had a competition! Yes, another very strong contender for our the position of our national anthem was “Vande Mantram” which was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay but instead won the status of our national song instead.  


Jana Gana Mana was not written in Hindi or even as a national anthem. It was written in “Sadhu Bhasha” (a literary variation of Bengali) by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905 which was later translated into Hindi by Abid Ali. It was first sung in Indian National Congress annual conference’s second day in Calcutta on 27th December 1911, and soon after in January 1912 it came out in front of public view at the annual event of the Adi Brahmo Samaj.

On 11th September 1942, in Hamburg for the first time, and Gana Mana was performed. But in 1947, in New York where the United Nation’s General Assembly was taking place, the Indian delegates were asked for their national anthem on which they submitted Jana Gana Mana’s recording. According to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter, it was played with the orchestra in front of the world gathering and it was highly appreciated.

On 24th January 1950, the Indian assembly gathered for the signing of the Constitution of India, and there our first President Rajendra Prasad officially declared our national anthem as Jana Gana Mana and our national song as Vande Mataram. Vande Mataram was not selected as our national anthem because it affected the religious sentiments of Muslims.

The Law:

The government of India stated some rules while singing national anthem so that a proper and correct manner is maintained throughout and by every Indian citizen. According to the law full version of the anthem should take 52 seconds to complete, whereas the shorter version (only first and last lines of the anthem) will take 20 seconds are to name a few.

We are uploading a very rare version of our Indian National that was recorded for All India Radio (A.I.R.) a bit prior to January 26, 1950 and it comprises of few more stanzas. Following, this was released on 78 RPM Gramophone Records and one of the members of “THE SOCIETY OF OLD RECORD COLLECTORS IN INDIA” was fortunate enough to get a copy of this rare version. Watch it here.

You must have noticed that whenever you hear the national anthem goose bumps appear automatically. This shows that how much we are attached to our nation. So come on, let’s take a chance and owe to all the great personalities who made India free from British rule and also made a lovely country with diverse cultures having unity.

Until next time, stay tuned for many such new facts and contact us at if you know about any interesting fact about music! 

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About the Author

Biren Shah

Biren Shah, member of Mehfil Mastee team and a Hindi film music lover.


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