National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted on Jan 24th, 1950

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National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted on Jan 24th, 1950

All of us have sung the national anthem and since school, stood up every time we heard it . But do we know enough about our anthem other than that it was written and composed by Nobel laureate and mystic poet Ravindranath Tagore? Here are some interesting facts about our anthem which you probably were not aware of:

1.    The false myth that Jana Gana Mana was written and composed by Tagore to praise George the Fourth, who visited India in 1911.

2.    A hoax message spread like wild fire across e-mail, Whatsapp and social media, that UNESCO announced our anthem as the 'Best National Anthem' in the world. UNESCO intervened and denied any such declaration from their end.     

3.    The first rendition of the song was during a convention of the Indian National Congress on December 16th, 1911. 'Jana Gana Mana' was performed for the first time in Hamburg on 11th September, 1942. It was only on 24th January 1950 that this song was officially declared as India's national anthem.

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

5.    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.

6.    There is no provision of law which compels anyone to sing the national anthem. It is not considered disrespectful to the nation or to the anthem if a person chooses only to stand up in respectful silence.  

7.    Formal rendition of the anthem should take 52 seconds by law, and not 54 seconds.

8.    Interestingly, Rabindranath Tagore has written the national anthem of Bangladesh as well.

9.    In 2005, many protested and called for deleting the word Sindh and to replace it with the word Kashmir. Argument was that Sindh is now a part of Kashmir.