Vandemataram – 1875 November 7, a young man sitting in his home in ‘Kanthalpura’ composed the patriotic song Vandemataram. The song was written in highly sanskritized form of Bengali language and was part of his book Anandamatha. The song touched the heart of millions at that time. It became the national cry for freedom from them. 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 because of objections of particular community.
As said by Rabindranath Tagore on Vande Mataram – “Vande Mataram! These are the magic words which will open the door of his iron safe, break through the walls of his strong room, and confound the hearts of those who are disloyal to its call to say Vande Mataram.”
Dr. Rajendra Prasad who was chairman of Constituent Assembly in 1950 made the statement which was also adopted as the final decision. “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. I hope this will satisfy members”. (Constituent Assembly of India, Vol. XII, 24-1-1950)
Vande as word means – वन्दना which is not the same as Puja-पूजा or even Archnaa–आर्चःना. It does not mean worshipping your motherland in the way you do to god, but means singing praises and paying your respect to motherland. If the interpretation of the song is drawn out with clear thoughts and right attitude, there would be no controversies.
Not to mention that our National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was also shrouded in controversies, as mentioned by Indian press that the song was composed by Rabindranath Tagore to welcome George V on his visit to India. Though once adopted and given the status as National Anthem and National song, everyone should respect the song those who are a part of that country. Though nobody can be forced to play our National game-Hockey neither people can be forced to sing our National Anthem, or even stand up while the National Anthem is being played. These things are done as a mark of respect to the nation and form the ingredient part of School and Colleges, where we come to know about them and learn to pay respect to our national symbols/song/personalities.
Being an admirer of Atal Bihari Vajpai, I wish to quote him as well “It’s about respect, not worship, The song is a symbol of devotion towards the motherland, We do not aim at idol worship (through rendition of Vande Mataram). Those who do not believe in idol worship are free to pray in their own way. But when it comes to worshipping India, our motherland, there should be no controversy“.
Watch and listen again.