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Your 10-point guide to what makes India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ special

Currently reading: Your 10-point guide to what makes India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ special
India TV News Desk, New Delhi [Published on:30 Nov 2016, 19:24:14]

The Supreme Court today made it mandatory for all cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of a film and stipulated that people should stand up as a mark of respect. 

In its order, the apex court, while stressing that it is duty of every citizen to show respect to the national anthem and the flag, observed that ‘people must feel this is my country and this is my motherland’.

With the Supreme Court directing the Centre to bring its order into effect within a week, India TV brings to you 10 interesting facts about the national anthem that every Indian should know and feel proud of: 

1. The national anthem – ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was written in a literary register of the Bengali language called ‘sadhu bhasa’. It was penned by India’s first Nobel Prize winner (2013) Rabindranath Tagore on December 11, 1911. 

2. The song, which consists five stanzas, has almost entirely nouns that also can function as verbs. Most of the nouns of the song are in use in all major languages across the country. The original song in Bengali language is clearly understandable. The national anthem remains more or less unchanged in different languages. 

3. The national anthem is slightly based on ‘Raag Alhiya Bilawal’, a classical raga, but not entirely. It is the most commonly performed raga of a large group of ragas that are mainly based on a scale more or less identical to the western major scale.

4. As quasi-Sanskrit text, it is acceptable in many modern Indic languages. However, the pronunciation of the words varies considerably across the country. This is primarily because most Indic languages are abugidas -- a type of writing system whose basic characters denotes consonants followed by a particular vowel, and in which diacritics denote other vowels.

5. Written in ‘sadhu bhasa’, the first of five stanzas of the Brahmo hymn titled ‘Bharot Bhagyo Bidhata’ are attributed to Rabindranath Tagore. 

6. The underlying message of the ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is pluralism. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on January 24, 1950.

7. The national anthem was first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta (now Kolkata) Session of the Indian National Congress. It was performed for the first time in Hamburg on September 11, 1942.

8. The musical notations for the English translation of the national anthem were set by Margaret, wife of poet James H Cousins, who was the principal of Besant Theosophical College.

9. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose commissioned a free translation of the national anthem from Sanskritized Bengali to Urdu-Hindi. The translation was written by Captain Abid Ali, composed by Captain Ram Singh Thakur and was called ‘Subah Sukh Chain’.

10. A formal rendition of the national anthem takes 52 seconds.

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