August 15th, Indian Independence day, the day the nation passed on from the English Babu’s to the Oxford-groomed Desi Babu’s it is time we introspected.
Here I am judging the dance competition and this happens to be the fifth troupe performing Vande Mataram.
Last time as the Judge for Karnataka’s Dance India Dance it was so frustrating that some of the troupes had lifted the choreography to T. Well that I guess is a professional hazard like one year there was a surplus of Bhumroo and another Bole Choodiyan.
As a choreographer of course want to bang my head against the wall. But I came close to committing Hara-kiri, when Toastmaster Club At Goa mentioned that VandeMataram was penned Rabindranath Tagore.
Yet there was an epiphany that our national anthem was about political division and rather than eulogizing our abundance or our strengths.
Jana Gana Mana the poem by Rabindranath Tagore for King George V, became the congressmen’s choice of national anthem, it talks of political division of geographic terrain. The entire vibrant south being classified into a homologous “Dravida” Kashmir which is the bone of contention between India and Pakistan is not mentioned at all, unless we presume it included when the poet talks of moutains in “Vindya Himachal” the seven sisters of North-East are excluded too. Goa of course did not merit any acknowledgement then because it was a portuguese settlement. When it comes to water bodies the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, and all nourishing rivers are pacified with uchhala jala di taranga..
The original anthem for a proposed Independent India was “Sare Jahan Se Accha” penned by the Urdu poet Mohammed Iqbal along the lines of ghazal. The song actually eulogies the geographic entities of the political body and tries to unify the populace. The energy the poem is able to create is definitely more positive and unifying as compared to the dividing potential of Jana gana Mana or the too romantic wistfulness of Vande Mataram.
It was rather sad to see kids infuse war into a song like Vande Mataram which talks of the natural resource abundance of the country. The mood of the lyrics totally eradicated. At the cost of ruffling the feathers of A.R.Rehman’s worshippers the man could not capture the wistful romance of the lyrics either.Vande Mataram is a song of Gratitude to the abundance of the country
Since we are going berserk with nukkadgali dance competition and shows it’s time to take note of all these forgotten patriotic songs since 70yrs is the age of retirement can we propose the retirement of jana-gana-mana in favour or maybe it is time we looked Sohan lal Dwivedi’s Bade chalo or Dr.Shukla’s Hum Karein Rashtra Aradhan.
If the country is still stuck on Rabindranath Tagore Where The Mind Is Without Fear in its Sanskrit form might be a better choice. Given the thought process the country seem to develop these days.
Though my own favorite is the kannada version of the where the mind is without fear.