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BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTAPADDHAY
Dr. Sushil Rudra
Once the British government banned this song, and later a debate and controversy took place within the Congress party leaders about the inclusion of the song “Vande Mataram” as the national anthem.
However, this song was a source of inspiration to the freedom fighters during the Indian freedom movement. Still, it’s a powerful instrument to the patriotic people of our country. So I think it should be further debate and discussion.
Table of Contents :
- Composer Of Vande Mataram & Ananda math
- Author’s bio: Family, Education & Service
- Bankim Chandra as an Author
- Anandamath & Vande Mataram
- The Musicians of Vande Mataram
- Vande Mataram as a Lyric
- Why this song was banned?
- Indian National Congress & The Vande Mataram Song
- Vande Mataram Song as a national anthem?
1. Composer Of Vande Mataram & Anandamath:
The Bengali author, and the pioneer of Bengali novel, Bankim Chandra Chatterji (1838–1894), composed “Vande Mataram” (Hail to thee, mother/ Salutation to the Mother) lyric in 1875.
It is a poem consisting of twelve lines in two stanzas. It was expanded when it appeared in his Bengali-language novel Anandamath (Abbey of bliss) in 1882.
The novel came to light first serially in the literary journal Bangadarshan. This was a literary magazine and Bankim Chandra founded it in 1872, between 1880 and 1882.
2. Author’s Bio: Family, Education & Service
Bankim Chandra Chattapaddhay came from an orthodox Brahman family. He took his education at Hooghly College, Presidency College, and the University of Calcutta.
He studied law and was one of the first graduating scholars at the University of Calcutta. He was a deputy magistrate.
From 1858 until his retirement in 1891, he was a member of the Indian Civil Service. He retired as a deputy magistrate.
3. Bankimchandra as an Author :
Bankimchandra Chatterjee was the author of over a dozen novels and numerous essays. He wrote first in English (Rajmohan’s wife)and afterwords, in his native Bengali language.
When Bankim had finished the highly influential novel ANANDAMATH, he inserted this Vande Mataram lyric within the story and vested it with highly significant narrative functions.
4. Anandamath & Vande Mataram :
Anandamath was a patriotic tale of Hindu rebellion against the British. Ultimately, it is by the Sannyasis (Shudras who usually worshipped Shiva) in Bengal and Bihar between 1762 and 1774.
Their slogan was “Om Vande Mataram.” Anandamath turns into a play in 1883 and translated into Hindi in 1905. Afterwards, in 1906, Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) translated this song in English. However, it’s before being translated into other Indian languages.
5. The Musician of Vande Mataram:
Judanath Bhattacharya, the great classical singer and musician of then Bengal, composed music for the poem. He was famous as Jadu Bhatta.
Most probably, Bankim Chandra used to learn classical music to him. Besides, we know that he was the music teacher of future Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941).
Tagore himself, and we usually credit Rabindranath Tagore with composing the music in 1882. He sang it on a phonograph record. The All India Redio first produced this song in 1905.
6. Vande Mataram as a Lyrics?
The Vande Mataram lyric begins in Sanskrit. Then it turns into Bengali and ends with Sanskrit passages again.
However, it begins with an evocation of the bounteous, lovely land that generously nurtures its children. Then bounty and physical richness turn into an image of latent strength. It came from the image of Durga, the demon-slaying goddess.
” It is your image that we worship in all temples.” The land, for a while, is at one with the icon of Durga.
The image of Durga then quickly and insidiously transforms itself into that of Kali, another manifestation of the Mother goddess, but as a destructive, angry force.
It ends with a reiteration of the original sense of bounty and nurture, and an exhortation to her children to enrich her strength with their own.
In between, there is just a suggestion of her present weakness – ” with such strength, why are you helpless?” – but the overwhelming sense is one of power.
Therefore, the power is undifferentiated and flows back and forth from the mother to the sons, though it certainly originates with the mother.
The song encapsulates, in an unbroken musical flow, the three distinct images of the nurturing mother of the past, the dispossessed mother of the present. And the triumphant mother of the future.
As a result, these are developed at much greater length within the novel. For Bankimchandra, Hinduism and nationalism were synonymous.
Therefore, his novels and essays became an inspiration to nationalists at the turn of the century, especially at the time of the partition of Bengal in 1905.
7. Why this Song was banned ?
Sir Bampfylde Fuller (1854–1935), the lieutenant-governor of East Bengal and Assam (1905–1906), on 7 November 1905, banned this song in Bengal. Because it was considered an incitement to violence.
The ban was imposed until 1911 and it was reimposed between 1930 and 1937. It was first sung by the Indian National Congress at their twenty-first annual meeting held in 1905 at Benares (Varanasi).
So the song became exceedingly popular among Hindus and was described in 1907 by Sri Aurobindo in the journal Vande Mataram as a “mantra”:
“The mantra had been given and in a single day a whole people had been converted to the religion of patriotism.”
It was sung outside the courthouse by supporters at the sedition trial of Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856–1920) in 1909 and Indian nationalist, obviously saw the demon slayer as pitted against the colonial exploitation and the patriotic struggle for liberation.
8. Indian National Congress & Vande Mataram Song:
The song became the national anthem of the Indian National Congress during the nationalist struggle for independence and was sung at its meetings.
As a result, its author, Bankimchandra Chatterjee is considered one of India’s nationalist heroes.
Muslim leaders made a protest against this song as the national anthem. The controversial nature of the song lay in the fact that the identification of the “mother” with India, which was redolent of Hinduism. It was the cause why they did not agree.
The Indian National Congress had to face criticism at a time when there was a great deal of discussion about what should be the national anthem.
At Calcutta on 28 October 1937, the Congress Working Committee recommended this song. But they took only the first two stanzas of “Vande Mataram” at national gatherings.
Further, the organizers of the conference could substitute or add any other song that was “of an unobjectionable character.”
Nonetheless, “Vande Mataram” continued to offend Muslims and constituted one more piece of evidence that Congress rule would mean “Hindu rule” in an independent India.
It, therefore, played a role in the Pakistan movement. When it came time for India to decide on a national anthem, “Vande Mataram,” despite its popularity and its role in the freedom movement, unfortunately, some leaders rejected it .
Instead, Rabindranath Tagore composed “Janaganamana Adhinayaka” (The morning song of India) in 1911 and the members sang it on the second day’s sitting of the Indian National Congress Annual Session.
This Session took place at Calcutta the same year. And published in 1912. It became India’s national anthem in 1950.
9. Vande Mataram Song as National Anthem ?
Read more: The Banned Books In India
Subhash Chandra Bose adapted this song as (1897–1945) Indian National Army, founded in 1943.
Ironically, we came to know that Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Janaganamana” to commemorate the visit of King George V to India in 1911 and sung this song to at his durbār.
But Rabindranath refuted this claim. The song “Bande Mataram” was, however, according to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) in a speech in 1950, honoured equally and accorded equal status.
As a result, this decision was met with considerable opposition at the time by people who favoured “Bande Mataram” as the national anthem.
Fortunately, in the 1990s, Bharatiya Janata Party called for its adoption as India’s national anthem. And it’s a good decision.
Hence, Vande Mataram song was the inspiration of thousands of freedom fighters. They used this song to be inspired.
As a result, these compatriots sacrificed their lives for the independence of the motherland from the chain of British Raj. Naturally, this song had acted like powerful mantra.