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'Vande Mataram'- We all know that these two words transformed into a magical anthem are enough to stir the patriotic spirit of India. As we celebrate India's 75th Independence Day, the hymn Vande Mataram from one of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's greatest works, is part of his novel Anandamath which was written on 7 November, 1875, and got published in 1882. This later became the National Song of this nation. One song that captures national imagination.
The song was later translated into the English language by Aurobindo Ghosh and the first publication of the translated version came out on 20 November 1909. It was first performed by World Poet Rabindranath Tagore in 1896. It was selected as the National Song of India on January 24, 1950.
The original version of this patriotic song is in Sanskrit language, then it moves to Bengali and then again ends in Sanskrit. It shows the nation as a mother who can be protective, kind, loving and humble and yet fierce when she needs to.
'Vande Mataram': Lyrics in Sanskrit
Sujalam, suphalam, malayajasitalam
Shubhra jyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phulla kusumita , drumadala- sobhinim,
Suhasinim, sumadhura bhasinim
Sukhadam varadam mataram!
Legendary Bengali writer and novelist, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the first two verses of 'Vande Mataram' and the National Song of India shares the same status as National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' and was later adopted by the Constituent Assembly.
Vande Mataram: Lyrics And Meaning in English
"Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow."
Revolutionary turned spiritualist Aurobindo Ghosh termed it the 'Anthem of Bengal' and rendered the English translation titled 'I bow to thee, Mother' and it appeared in the weekly periodical Karmayogin on 20 November, 1909. Out of six verses, only the first two were adopted as the national song in 1950. The power-packed patriotic verses of this song had a very strong impact on contemporary nationalists and once it was translated in English, the song was popularised among international audiences as well.
Despite the complexity of the language, this song evokes the same emotion in everyone. Set into many tunes, Vande Mataram is considered as one of the most popular songs in the world. Be it Rabindranath Tagore, Ravi Shankar, A R Rahman, prominent poets and musicians have belted out their own version of this song. Cambridge scholars recognize the song as "the greatest and most enduring gift of the Swadeshi movement"