Dec 05, 2023
Dec 05, 2023
by V. Sundaram
Dr Rajendra Prasad, while presiding over the Constituent Assembly on 24 January, 1950, made the following statement which was also adopted as the basis for the final decision on the issue:
'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. (Applause) I hope this will satisfy members.' (Constituent Assembly of India, Vol. XII, 24-1-1950)
It will be clear from Dr Rajendra Prasad's declaration that Vande Mataram is equal in status to our National Anthem of Jana Gana Mana.. When he made this declaration on 24 January, 1950, all the Muslim Members of the Constituent Assembly including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad also gave their full approval to the proposal. It is not now open to anyone in India to question the constitutional or the legal status of this great National Song of Bankim Chandra Chaterjee. If they are given that freedom or latitude, that means they are questioning the Constitution of India. Petty and self-seeking men like Arjun Singh and Priyaranjan Dasmunsi dressed in brief authority today are creating a communal wedge between Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram only for sordid vote-bank and narrow political reasons. Their pernicious Anti-Majority political philosophy on this issue can be summed up in a laconic limerick:
Vande Mataram is not mandatory
Even Jana Gana Mana need not be involuntary
Vande Mataram can be secularly mandatory
Vande Mataram can be communally non-mandatory
In our official Non-Government
Sacred things often become sacrilegious
And sacrilegious things become sacred
Things sublime will be viewed as subversive
Things subversive will shine as jewels sublime
Pray don't dismiss us as dubiously dilatory
By temperament and training, we are suavely soaked in sophistry
We are not steeped in 'communal' stupidity
Is it not almost a pity?
Nobody understands our poor pseudo-secular ditty
That we often sing with Sonia-reverence alacrity
With such non-constitutional clarity
And with known and authentic Anti-Hindu acerbity!!
With total dedication to absolute communal minority!!!
Virulent controversy is now raging in the Lok Sabha over the recital of Vande Mataram and yesterday there was a pandemonium in the House. Arjun Singh made a great declaration that singing the Vande Mataram song is purely a voluntary affair. He can now add that respecting the National Flag is also a purely voluntary and private affair. He can also add that political chastity is communal and political prostitution is secular, constitutional and cosmopolitan. Another great national hero famed in modern song and legend called P.R.Dasmunsi, Parlimentary Affairs (Pseudo-Secular and Non-Communal and Non-Saffronized!!) made the historic declaration: 'The BJP does not even know the meaning of the Vande Mataram song. This song was composed even before the BJP was born and this was sung by the Indian National Congress. The BJP does not even know the meaning of this song. The BJP is only giving a communal color to the issue to divide society'.
The BJP leader V K Malhotra has covered himself with glory by saying,' It is unfortunate that some people are objecting to the singing of Vande Mataram which is most condemnable. At the time of the centenary of the Vande Mataram song in September this year, singing of this song should be made compulsory and those who do not wish to do it, can leave the country', I am quite sure that many known anti-national and anti-Hindu quislings in the UPA Government will go to the extent of proposing the 'constitutional' withdrawal of citizenship rights from those 'communal' citizens who will dare to sing the Vande Mataram song with gusto and enthusiasm on 7 September 2006!! This dastardly proposal will be pushed to another pseudo-secular JPC of the Lok Sabha for its careful consideration! Nothing unfair is impossible and nothing fair is possible.
P R Dasmunsi may be 'voluntarily' ignorant of the fact that Vande Mataram (in Bangla: Bônde Matorom) is the National Song of India and that it was first written in 1876, nine years before the birth of the Indian National Congress in Bombay in December 1885. When it was composed, neither the Indian National Congress nor the BJP or for that matter any political party of today existed. This song was composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in a highly Sanskritized form of the Bengali language. The Vande Mataram a poem known for sublimity of thought dedicated to the glory of motherland was composed by late Shri Bankim Chandra Chatterjee on 7 November, 1876 at the Kantal Pada village of Bengal. This song was published in Bang Darshan magazine from 1880 to 1882. The song first appeared in his immortal novel Anandamatha, published in 1882 amid fears of a ban by British Raj. H V Sheshadri has rightly observed: 'It was a hymn of love of motherland sublimated into an ecstatic devotion to the DIVINE MOTHER-BHARAT. In that exalted vision was manifest the trinity of SARASWATHI (THE GODDESS OF KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE), LAKSHMI (THE GODDESS OF BEAUTY AND WEALTH) AND DURGA (THE GODDESS OF STRENGTH AND ENERGY).
' Vande Mataram became the national battle cry for freedom from British oppression during the freedom movement. In the hectic days of Swadeshi Movement following the Partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905, large rallies, fermenting initially in West Bengal, in the major metropolis of Calcutta (Kolkata), often worked themselves up into a pitch of high patriotic fervor by shouting the slogan 'Vande Mataram,' or 'Hail to the Mother(Land)!'. The British, fearful of the potential danger of an incited Indian populace, at one point banned the utterance of the motto in public forums and jailed many freedom fighters for disobeying the proscription. To this day, 'Vande Mataram' is seen as a national mantra describing the love of patriots for the Indian Nation. Rabindranath Tagore sang 'Vande Mataram' in 1896 at the Calcutta (Kolkata) Congress Session. It was the first political occasion when Vande Mataram was sung in chorus. Rabindranath Tagore also set Vande Mataram to music.
The Indian National Congress rehearsed Vande Mataram in 1901 under the guidance of Dakshanrajan Sen. Smt. Sarla Devi Chaudharani, niece of Rabindranath Tagore sang Vande Mataram at the Benares Congress Session in 1905 despite the ban on its singing by the British Government. Lala Lajpat Rai started a journal called VANDE MATARAM from Lahore in 1906.
To quote the appropriate words of R Pandya and Somkuwar : 'Vande Mataram had become an expression of nationalism for the patriots and revolutionaries who launched several movements and agitations against the oppressive British Rule drawing inspiration from the magic words of Vande Mataram song. In fact, Vande Mataram had become a symbol of India's freedom struggle. Great exponent of Indian classical music Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar played an important role in popularizing Vande Mataram during the glorious days of our freedom movement. He began public recitation of Vande Mataram from Lahore and sung it at many places all over the country. His presentation of Vande Mataram was so charged with sublime emotions that it used to thrill the listeners and arouse feelings of nationalism among them making them feel proud of the mother nation'.
In 1905, the freedom movement had taken an organized shape and in the same year our national politics took a new turn with the announcement of Swadeshi Movement on 7 August, 1905 at Calcutta. The British divided Bengal on 16 October, 1905. Vande Mataram immediately became the people's song not only in Bengal but in the entire nation. Its soul-stirring words reverberated in the streets, schools and every part and portion of India. It quickly spread throughout India and was on the lips of millions. The founder of RASHTRIYA SWAYAM SEVAK SANGH DR. KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR WAS EXPELLED FROM HIS SCHOOL IN NAGPUR BECAUSE OF HIS ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE VANDE MATARAM AGITATION. LATER IN 1925, DR. HEDGEWAR FOUNDED THE RSS. The declaration of Swadeshi movement completed its 100 years on 7 August, 2005.
After 1915, it became an established and sacred tradition to begin every session of Indian National Congress with recitation of Vande Mataram song .Subhash Chandra Bose made Vande Mataram the song of his Indian National Army and it was regularly broadcast from his Singapore radio station from 1943 to 1945. The Cambridge History of India describes Vande Mataram as, 'the greatest and most enduring gift of the Swadeshi movement'. B N Pande in his 'A Book of India' writes, 'Vande Mataram, soon became the LA MARSEILLAISE of the nationalist movement throughout India.'
It is a known fact of history that Gandhiji often extolled the grandeur of the Vande Mataram song. At Comilla in 1927, he said that the song held up before one's mind the picture of the whole BHARAT –ONE AND INDIVISIBLE. H.V.Seshadri concludes: 'Vande Mataram – these two simple words had, indeed, wrought a miracle which even thousands of speeches and articles could not have achieved in several generations. It became the cry of the awakened and resurgent national soul'.
History is philosophy teaching by example, and also by warning. History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested cease, in some sort, to be malleable. He alone reads history aright, who, observing how powerfully circumstances influence the feelings and opinions of men, how often vices pass into virtues, and paradoxes into axioms, learns to distinguish what is accidental and transitory in human nature from what is essential and immutable.
More by : V. Sundaram