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February 13, 2011

Meaning of Jan Gan Man

Many people think that India's national anthem was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919.  Infact it was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911 but it was never meant to honour any king or queen (though their sycophant may have given them a english version suited to their feeders).
Tagore’s poem (which was later adopted as National Anthem) indicates actual thinking and mentality of Indian People

Read Carefully this poem Again. I have translated it to English also

"Jan Gan Man Adhinayak Jai He"
( I Pray the leader who is leaving and rule in the mind of common and urban people )
--- Here Tagore indicate not only to the prime power but to the Most popular and ancient kings of India Like Ram who are still in Indian peoples thinking.

"Bharat Bhagya Vidhata"
( Builder of Indian future )
--- No any poet of India can give so much respect to any of emperor that he is builder of future of any country. It can only be the prime power i.e God.

If you look at Tagore’s work you’ll find that the metaphor “King” represents God. This can be seen in his book "Gitanjali" (an offering of songs to the God):-
Poem #50: "I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all Kings!"
Poem #51: "The King has come- but where are lights, where are wreaths? Where is the throne to seat him?….. Open the doors, let the conch-shells be sounded!"

Punjab Sindh Gujaraṭ Maraṭh
Draviḍa Utkala Banga
Vindhya Himachala Yamuna Ganga

Were only provinces under British rule were added? .
No, the fact is that only the borders states of India were included to represent complete India. ‘Punjab’ represented the North, Sindh’, ‘Gujarat’ and ‘Maratha’ the western border, ‘Dravida’ represents the south, ‘Utkal’(Orissa) and ‘Banga’ marks the eastern border.  Even North-East, which was under British, was not mentioned. Nor are rivers apart from Ganga and Yamuna, to keep the flow of the song.

"Tav shubh name jage
tav shubh ashish mange
gahe tav jay gatha"

( We wake up at morning by remembering your name,
We want your order to do any work,
We sing ur stories)

--- Now this is common habit of an Indian people at early morning that each Indian remember his/ her Mother and father, respected persons and God. Never did any Indian remembered British ruler at morning even in pre independence era. We have always sought blessings of God and "tav shubh ashish mange " indicate this opinion.
Also the original phrase "Nidrito Bharato Jaagey" (Sleeping India awakens) has been used by many nationalist poets to awaken the masses for revolution against British Imperialism.

"gahe tav jai gatha "
indicates common habit of Indian that they pray to God by singing and remembering his ascent stories like Geeta and Ramayan.

" Jai he Jai he Jai he
Jai Jai Jai Jai he"

This also is an Indian Aarti rule that at the end of Aarti, people call Jai-jaiKar at loud volume.
Jai he Jai he and Jai he is "Victory, Victory, Victory to India".And he here represents Hind i.e India
It could not mean to pay tribute to any Britisher in any way.

The English newspapers carried the following report about the event:

"The Bengali poet Babu Rabindranath Tagore sang a song composed by him specially to welcome the Emperor." (Statesman, Dec. 28, 1911)
"The proceedings began with the singing by Babu Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor." (Englishman, Dec. 28, 1911)
"When the proceedings of the Indian National Congress began on Wednesday 27th December 1911, a Bengali song in welcome of the Emperor was sung. A resolution welcoming the Emperor and Empress was also adopted unanimously." (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911).

News Report About the Event as reported in the Indian newspapers 

"The proceedings of the Congress party session started with a prayer in Bengali to praise God (song of benediction). This was followed by a resolution expressing loyalty to King George V. Then another song was sung welcoming King George V." (Amrita Bazar Patrika , Dec.28,1911)
"The annual session of Congress began by singing a song composed by the great Bengali poet Babu Ravindranath Tagore. Then a resolution expressing loyalty to King George V was passed. A song paying a heartfelt homage to King George V was then sung by a group of boys and girls." (The Bengalee, Dec. 28, 1911).

Report of the annual session of the Indian National Congress

"On the first day of 28th annual session of the Congress, proceedings started after singing Vande Mataram. On the second day the work began after singing a patriotic song by Babu Ravindranath Tagore. Messages from well wishers were then read and a resolution was passed expressing loyalty to King George V. Afterwards the song composed for welcoming King George V and Queen Mary was sung."

Small but Substantial proofs
A month after Jana Gana Mana was sung at the Congress session, a circular was issued by the Director of Public Instructions for East Bengal that banned Government servants from sending their children to Shantiniketan- a school run by Rabindra Nath Tagore. Doesn’t that prove that Rabindra Nath Tagore and the British were not best of friends?

On 10 November 1937 Tagore wrote a letter to Mr Pulin Bihari Sen about the controversy. That letter in Bengali can be found in Tagore's biography Ravindrajivani, volume II page 339 by Prabhatkumar Mukherjee.
"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."

Again in his letter of 19 March 1939 Tagore writes,
"I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity as to sing in praise of George the Fourth or George the Fifth as the Eternal Charioteer leading the pilgrims on their journey through countless ages of the timeless history of mankind." (Purvasa, Phalgun, 1354, p738.)

Moreover, Tagore was hailed as a patriot who wrote other songs too apart from "Jana gana Mana" lionizing the Indian independence movement.He renounced his knighthood in protest against the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. The Knighthood i.e. the title of 'Sir' was conferred on him by the same King George V after receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature for "Gitanjali" from the government of Sweden. Two of Tagore's more politically charged compositions, "Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo" ("Where the Mind is Without Fear" :Gitanjali Poem#35) and "Ekla Chalo Re" ("If They Answer Not to Thy Call, Walk Alone"), gained mass appeal, with the latter favoured by Gandhiji and Netaji.

So to hell with the translation given at Wikipedia, I think it’s the feeling for own mother land that actually matters and if the feeling is not there no poem/national anthem can invoke that in you.

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  1. thank brother for giving such a valuable information about our nation anthem.u know i was in deep confusion since i heard that i was related to a british i got the point and cleared that it is only narrasion of great india.thanx a lot from the core of my heart.

  2. Hey dude kindly read the whole Poem again by yourself. It was meant for George V obviously. Ravindranath Tagore was calling George V as "Bharat Bhagyavidhata" nobody else. In other words I can say it is by Congress and innoocent people meant to be a patriotic song what the hell god needs to do anything with this. It was all done by Cogress to gain confidence rahter votes from Muslims. During our freedom fight of long 100 years only two slogans were extreamly famous "Inqualab Jhindabad" and "Vande mataram". Not only Hindus but many muslims died yelling these slogans. At that time Muslims didnt think Vande Mataram as a slogan is not secular as it represents Maa Durga as per idiotic Congress. Then from where the hell Jan Gan Man came?? Who knew it? was more popular and more patriotic than Vande Matram?? Ans as you are defending and interpreting this meaning I am now thinking as Jan Gan Man is not a national Anthem but a god's praise. Com out of Congress's Trap my friend. No Indian Hindu or Muslim thought Vande mataram as Religional song or slogan but congress made it religional...

    1. true and i would support that! Vande mataram is about saluting the glories of the mother(land. vande-pray mataram -mother. since bharta was always considered as mata... so is prithvi (earth). Rabindernath got a nobel prize hahah when we were slaves...but jan(peple)gan(groups/masses)man(heart/soul)adhinayak(ruling lorad/hero)jai hey( we praise you) bharat(india) bhagya(desitnity) (vidhata(lord) and you missed the stanza after that.. punjab sindh gujrat marath dravid utkal banga.vindhya himachal yamna ganga uttchal jaladhi-taranng...from punjab to sindh to dravid(southern penensula) to maratha to bengal to utkal (orrisa), in gangaa and yamuna and rises beyond the shoes through resonate... Tav shubhname jagein tav shubh ashish mangein. ( when we get up on the this auspicious day we ask for your kind favours/blessings(tav shubh ashish mangein. gaye tav jayagaathaa ( then we sing to your stories and glories) jan gan mangaldayak jai hey bharat bhagya vidhata jaihe jai he jai he....blah blah ( this once tops it up with praising the lord of individuals, masses who will bring happiness to them (mangal-dayak jai he)the ruler of the desitiny of India. jai he jai he...oh shit we were rigged. I prasie thajur for making great art and shantiniketan buit somethings
      suck and thats a fact.

    2. i think you must not be aware of what you have done by giving the exact picture .......
      Thanks Boss really it was a great confusion.

  3. Dear Suyog,
    I will try to answer your queries point-wise:-

    1) Your interpretation that it was meant for George V has got no strong logic/argument/basis except for the word OBVIOUSLY. So that means that you are interpreting the same as for George V (Which makes me wonder whether you relate all the poems/aarti's/prayers to some British Ruler and not to divine power). Anyway that's your OBVIOUS interpretation and nothing can be done about it.

    2) No doubt that historically Muslims LEADERS were against " Inqualab Jhindabad" and "Vande mataram" for National Anthem. But as you yourself have told that many Muslims died yelling these slogans moreover even today in Indian Army no Muslim would have any hesitation in having these slogans as praise for their motherland. So it was not common Muslims who was against it, it was some handful so called leaders who opposed it.

    3) The origin of Jan Gan Man has been clearly been spelt out in first para of my post.

    4) The purpose of National Anthem was to unite a country, so i would say it was the need of the hour to have a National Anthem that everyone feels connected to and has wider acceptability.

    5) It is not a Song/poem my dear, its an effort to invoke patriotic feeling in a person towards his motherland.

    6) No one has made it anything, it is the way the one look at it like you look George V in Bharat Bhagyavidhata and i look god in it.

    And Brother has it been any foreigner i would have never take pain to explain it to him, but your name indicates you being my countrymen, i take it as pride to discuss/express my views.

  4. It is indeed written by Rabindranath Tagore to felicitate George V, there are many written proofs for that in many news papers of that time. I am as well proud to be an Indian but not for any false reasons. Keep your eyes open and do not follow anybody blindly. Dont call anybody great as people call them so. Whatever you have written above is the explaination given by Mr. Rabindranath Tagore to defend himself. These are all afterstatements and explanation of Tagore to save himself from criticism. We follow everything as an Indian with closed eyes and blind faith. Dr. Rajedraprasad said this will be our national anthem from today we followed him blindly nobody asked a single question, that how can a song which was sung by group of boys and girls to felicitate King George V be our National Anthem. Now we dont have pride??? We were not having any other poetris of him which we could have called as National Anthem??? What was wrong with Vande mataram?? It was the politics done by the congress at that time and one should not care to defend congress for their politics. I see it as politics and another forgery by congress. Dude I am proud to be an Indian not congressian. And yes after all I am not a typical Indian to defend everything as right as it was said as "right" thing by our ancestors.

  5. Dear Suyog, I agree with you and Support you too. Even if you translate it in Hindi it would show you the truth. It was written for a king. because the meaning of Bharat Bhagya Vidhata simply refers to the one who is ruling the country and he is taking all the decision related to to Bharat Bhagya. and the phrase Tav Shubh Ashish Mange simply refers to blessings from then King. Also aside to CA Ankit Goyal: Please do not stop them when they are trying to wake up. Earlier they were fool and illiterate however now they are not. Justify only those things which are right. Even if you refer this poem to a leader it doesn't go to any God.

  6. Suyog is rite this song was for George V, tagore was asked to write something to please the king at that time Delhi was our new Capital after Calcutta that day this song was sung by Indians. for this song tagore got award from Britishers then he asked to change it for other song.

  7. The real meaning!

    Thou are the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny.

    The name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujurat and Maratha. Of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal.

    It Echoes in the hills of Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Yamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

    They pray for your blessing and sing thy praise. The salvation of all peaople is thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny. Victory, Victory, Victory to thee

    1. i think Rajinder g has just copied the english version of our National Anthem from wikipedia without any interpretation.. whereas the whole debate is on the meaning of Jan gan man i.e whether it is in praise of god or in praise of some king.

  8. In my view a poet Ankit is right and I second his views. Tagore has composed many poems and most of them are addressed to God or motherland (Where the mind is without fear; Ek la chlo re etc)

    Jana Gana Mangal was neither meant for King George nor it was sung as welcome song at Delhi Darbar.

    Below is the link:


    1. Thank you PCCZB for restoring my faith in humanity.. you remind me of purpose for which i created this blog entry..

  9. Nice dude ... it's really a nice fact just got to know through you. thanks

  10. Rabindranath Tagore gave clarification. So let us beleive him. There are other incidents associated with this great soul to believe him. I have no problem if our National Anthem is changed to Vande Mataram or something else; but let us not discredit what we have. Jai Hind!

    1. I totally agree with " Our National Anthem is changed to Vande Mataram or something else; but let us not discredit what we have. Jai Hind! "

  11. Good work ! Keep it up ! Thank you very much !

  12. Subtantial proofs are not listed pointing whether it is for GOD or George V. Ankit cites extracts from biography and not autobiography. That is to say someone else wrote and not poet himself. Secondly newspapers from that time indicate that song of praise was sung but do not indicate it was "Jan Gan Man". Why song mentions only few states (on country's periphery) .. maybe to cover whole of India, or regions under control of Britishers.

    1. Dear Apollo,
      The Letter (from which extracts has been cited) has been collected in Biography but THE SAME WAS WRITTEN BY TAGORE HIMSELF. SOMEONE ELSE DID NOT WRITE THE LETTER BUT HE MERELY COLLECTED IT IN BIOGRAPHY.

  13. ye stuti gaan rastra gaan kadapi nahi ho sakta.........

  14. Moreover guys, we would also like to inform you all that Late Mr Nehru was the person who makes all trouble for India. For the hungry of PM ship, he sold the nation to the Britishers

    We as the citizen of india has right to get the copy of agreement signed between Mr Nehru and So called Late Mount barrel on 15 aug 1947. But this government does not provide to the citizen of india. You all are requested to try to get from RTI route ( i am also trying).

    Before independence, nehru and other great leader makes a rule that wiothin congress, we all vote for the president of congress and the president of congress will be the PM of Independent India. And in that time, there were 15 predesh members are there. 14 out of 15 vote in favor of Sardar Ballabh Bhai patel and nehru got only single vote and it decides that after independence, Sardar will be the PM of India. But Nehru cant digest it so he go with Late Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and told that if congress will not make me president and PM of India, i will end the congress and Britishers will get the reason of not leaving the india. They will argue that to whom we will give the leadership and so called mahatma gandhi wrote a letter to Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel and request him to leave the presidentship of congress and also the PMship of India for Nehru. (this letter we can read in the book "Purna Aahooti) Sardar ji do as per wish of Late Mr gandhi and therefore Late Sh. gandhi told everytime to end the congress but it is still there. See even in todays scenario, congress is doing same dirty politics. they never cares country they are bunnch of selfish persons only

  15. Since it is not mentioned in the favor of whom (God or george V) jan gan man was composed . It is our duty to consider it w.r.t God. But I don't know why it is related to God while It must be related with our janmbhoomi( Bharat Mata).

  16. if it is true that our national anthem was written to honour george V some steps should be taken to make every Indian aware of the true meaning and we must vote to change " National Anthem"

  17. Why is everyone Fighting..... Its on us how we accept the facts, and how we take the meaning. negative minded people take Jan Gan Man as a song in praise of king, whereas positive ones sees this as a hymn in praise of God, Goddess and the avatars of God in form of the kings of ancient time.
    so please don't fight. don't give a shit what intentions writer had. just see it as a prayer to our God and Goddess :-)
    well i also agree that Vande Matram is also a very nice song and is solid enough to be the National Anthem.

  18. A truely beautiful piece of art can be completely corrupted with distorted references.
    It is only natural that Rabindranath Tagore's family being the founder of the "Brahmo Samaj",he would invoke Lord Krishna or the Supremely Devine being in innumerable songs and poetry written by him..
    The Eternal Charioteer sounding the conchshell ,refers to Lord Krishna sounding his conch shell marking the commencement of the battle of Mahabharata.
    "Khelichho kon Bishyaloye ,Ogadho Shishu, ano mone."-again one song singing the praises in simple amazement of the infinite child playing by himself in his nursery of the universe..this conjures in mind the image of baal Gopal...the universe is his playground.
    The mother referred to towards the end is Motherland "Bharat Mata".

    Again Ravindranath in innumerable songs, have sung of the beloved, fertile "mother land" whose complexion is "golden" as her plenty harvest (wheat, rice) ripens under benevolent gaze of the Devine.
    The stanzas also vividly describe the condition and the circumstances of the Indian people at the time of the Bristish Rule.

    Literatures of Great authors have layers and layers of meaning.
    The levels of great art always go deeper and higher.

  19. Whatever the f***ed u talk...but the real truth is that....he wrote that song for George 5 for which he got nobel prize...but he insist that the prize could be given for other poem ...then comes the gitanjali.....don't act ur work smartly...ok

    1. Dear Ravi
      As per following link

      Gitanjali was composed in 1910 and translated English Version in 1912. As per my knowledge Tagore was not an astrologer who could predict Kings visit in 1911 in 1910 itself.

      Also as referred here

      The idea of a direct, joyful, and totally fearless relationship with God can be found in many of Tagore's religious writings, including the poems of Gitanjali.

      For Tagore it was of the highest importance that people be able to live, and reason, in freedom. His attitudes toward politics and culture, nationalism and internationalism, tradition and modernity, can all be seen in the light of this belief.11 Nothing, perhaps, expresses his values as clearly as a poem in Gitanjali:

      Where the mind is without fear
      and the head is held high;
      Where knowledge is free;
      Where the world has not been
      broken up into fragments
      by narrow domestic walls; ...
      Where the clear stream of reason
      has not lost its way into the
      dreary desert sand of dead habit; ...
      Into that heaven of freedom,
      my Father, let my country awake.

      When the noble prize giving agency itself acknowledges that Gitanjali was written in the honor of God and his Mother Land, i believe some loyal pets of King are still left in India to twist/shout things in his favor :)

  20. After reading this poem again and again... I feel that... This might be a good poem... But it does not deserve to be selected as national anthem.

    I believe national anthem should praise motherland... Maa Bharati. But I do not of find anything like that in lyrics.

    I do consider Maa Bharati herself as Goddess. She does not need blessings from anyone. In fact she has blessed us and all ancient Indian kings(We worship some of them as God now). I consider Maa Bharati above them all. Infact They have also worshiped Maa Bharati(motherland) as Goddess.

  21. I am asking everyone. Do you know how many Indians were killed every year by british imperialist government ???

    answer is about 2 million or 20 lakh indians were killed or murdered by british imperialist government.

    want a source for this ??
    see the link below, it is the last court statement by shaheed Madan Lal Dhingra, the man who killed british official Sir William Hutt Curzon in London. he shot about 5 bullets in the face of that british. then he was hanged by british court to death. read his last Court statement in London

  22. As per my knowledge King George V and Queen Mary visited India in 1911. (Ref They never visited in 1919. It is true that Rabindranath Tagore had written 'JAN GAN MAN' our national anthem in honour of King George V and the Queen of England.

  23. Sir what about the clarification given by Tagore on 10 November 1937 in a letter to Mr Pulin Bihari Sen