Facts About the National Anthem of India: Jan Gan Man, Written By and Significance| UPSC

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : November 4th, 2022

The Important Facts About the National Anthem of India should be known to every Indian. ‘Jan Gan Man’ is officially recognized as a song with poetic lyrics, written by Rabindranath Tagore, as the Indian National Anthem. The Anthem, in its present form, was first sung on the 27th of December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The National Anthem of India, originally a creation in Bengali, is in a lengthy form. In the 1950s, Jan Gan Man was adopted as India’s national anthem, and we sing the trimmed/shorter version today.

As the issue of the National Anthem of India remains in the news nowadays, a UPSC aspirant needs to know all the important facts about the same. The article covers all the essential details about Jan Gan Man, such as the lyrics, significance, etc.

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National Anthem of India

The National Anthem of India (Bharat Bhagya Bidhata) is a patriotic song composed by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. The song is a poem that consists of thirty-two stanzas arranged symmetrically into eight sections of four lines each. The poem is a prayer for "the welfare of India" and all its people, without distinction of caste or creed.

The first line of the anthem has been interpreted to mean different things: it can be read as asking for "Blessings on my countrymen" or as reminding people that they are granted freedom by God as their birthright and urging them to make good use of it (a reference to "Vande Mataram").

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National Anthem of India: History

The song "Bharat Bhagya Bidhata" was originally performed on Day 2 of the Indian National Congress's annual meeting in Calcutta, India, on December 27, 1911. The niece of Tagore, Sarala Devi Chowdhurani, and a group of schoolchildren gave a song performance in front of Bishan Narayan Dhar, the president of the Indian National Congress, and Ambika Charan Majumdar.

  • On August 14, 1947, at midnight, the Indian Constituent Assembly convened for the first time as a sovereign body to celebrate India's liberation. The session was adjourned by a unanimous performance of Jana Gana Mana.
  • The national song of India, Jana Gana Mana, was played by the Indian Delegation before the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1947.
  • The Constituent Assembly of India formally declared Jana Gana Mana to be the national anthem of India on January 24, 1950.

Jan Gan Man: Lyrics of the National Anthem of India

Only the first verse of the parent song, "Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata," a Brahmo hymn of five verses, has been designated as the national anthem. The National Anthem, when expressed clearly, embodies the spirit of pluralism, or in more common terms, the idea of "Unity in Diversity," which is at the heart of India's cultural history. 

The lyrics of the Indian National Anthem have significant cultural and religious significance. It is said that the first stanza of the anthem is based on a hymn from the Rig Veda, which was eventually included in the Atharva Veda when it was revised. The National Anthem of India lyrics are as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he

Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.

Punjab-Sindh-Gujarat-Maratha 

Dravida-Utkala-Banga

Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga 

Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.

Tava shubha name jage, 

Tava shubha asisa mage, 

Gahe tava jaya gatha, 

Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he 

Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.

Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he, Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

Facts about the National Anthem of India

Some of the lesser-known Facts about the National Anthem of India are as follows:

  • The "Jana Gana Mana" was originally performed at a meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in 1911.
  • In 2015, the governor of Rajasthan ordered that the word "Adhinayaka" be changed to "Mangal," basing his request on a fallacy that Tagore debunked in 1939.
  • Law requires the official rendition of India's national anthem last 52 seconds, not 54.
  • The Sanskritized Bengali version of the Indian National Anthem was freely translated into a well-known Hindustani version with Subhas Chandra Bose's permission. The "Subh Sukh chain" variant was created by Captain Abid Ali of the Indian National Army (INA).
  • The song "Jana Gana Mana" was first performed (not sung) in Hamburg in 1942.
  • On January 24, 1950, the Jana Gana Mana was designated as India's National Anthem.
  • The National Anthem of India was initially composed in the raga Alhaiya Bilawal, though it is currently sung with a few minor deviations from the raga's traditional form.
  • Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel Prize winner, composed India's National Anthem. Additionally, he is the author of Bangladesh's National Anthem.

Significance of the National Anthem of India

The song is a prayer to Goddess Bharatavarsha (Mother India) for her guidance and blessings for her children (the citizens of India). The first two lines are written in Bengali, followed by a shloka in classical Sanskrit. It is written as an ode to Lady Justice, embodying all that is noble in our motherland.

  • Jana Gana Mana is officially the national anthem of India. It was adopted in its original Hindi version when Britain gained independence in 1947. 
  • Translated as "Janani" (Mother), "Gana" (Sanskrit for group, community or nation) and "Mana" (mind), it is usually rendered in English as "Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People."

Thus our National Anthem has a note of universality and all-inclusiveness; it is not parochial in its outlook. The ideals expressed in this song are worth attaining by all people.

National Anthem UPSC

The topic of the National Anthem of India is important from the Current Affairs view. Descriptive types of questions can be asked from the topic in UPSC Mains. Candidates preparing for any competitive exam must know all the Facts about the National Anthem of India. 

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Facts About the National Anthem of India FAQs

  • The National Anthem of India was written by Rabindranath Tagore. The song celebrates India's cultural history and exemplifies patriotism and loyalty to one's nation. The song "Jan Gan Man" depicts India's diverse history, customs, and culture.

  • Our National Anthem is a song of praise and thanksgiving. It appropriately opens with the salutation' Respect to thee our motherland'. The first verse notes humility and love, while the second is a prayer of aspiration, delivered with a great feeling. The third verse glorifies the nation's struggles and seeks strength from God to carry on that battle. The last stanza signifies the resolve to be worthy of freedom and act worthy of independence, not for ourselves alone but for all humanity.

  • The National Anthem of India was first sung by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911. Download National Anthem of India UPSC Notes from here.

  • The 1911 composition "Jan Gan Man" by Rabindranath Tagore is India's National Anthem. The National Song is "Vande Mataram," written in the 1870s by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

  • The National Anthem of India contains 20 Lines, and the total playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds.

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