What is the significance of the song Vande Mataram? - letsdiskuss
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Rohit Valiyan

Cashier ( Kotak Mahindra Bank ) | Posted on | others

What is the significance of the song Vande Mataram?


BBA in mass communication | Posted on

With the increasing controversy of India’s national song, Vande Mataram, it is important we know about its significance in historical and contemporary India.

Letsdiskuss (Courtesy: indianexpress.com)

Let’s start from the start, and see the patriotic song just as a song instead of as the national song of India. Vande Mataram was composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, before he wrote his magnum opus, Anandamath. He then included the verse in the novel.

Bankim Chandra, while writing the song, was inspired by the natural beauty of Bengal. In the song, he visualizes Mother Bengal as the supreme goddess, Durga. The novel, Anandamath is about the historical event of the Sanyasi Rebellion of 1763-1800, and hence the song fits perfectly for it on the grounds of patriotism.

The song can be translated into English as:

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

Rendered by Sri Aurobindo (Source: knowindia.gov.in)

The song gained popularity and a national significance during the Freedom Struggle, and mainly during the partition of Bengal. It was Rabindranath Tagore who gave a tune to the song and popularized it, as the perfect expression of nationalist and patriotic sentiments.

Vande Mataram was sung first time in the 1896 National Congress Assembly’s session in Calcutta. The fact that it also glorifies the martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Independence Struggle, made it a suitable choice for the National Song.

The song, however, had a controversial position as per the secular and Muslim leaders. As the nation, in the song, is depicted as an embodiment of a Goddess, which is required to be worshipped, problematized the matter for the followers of Islam. Seeing the discord, some leaders thought of singing Saare Jahan Se Accha, composed by Muhammad Iqbal in the Congress Assembly sessions.

The religious controversies around the song made the then Congress leaders adopt Jana Gana Mana as the National Anthem of India, and not Vande Matram.

The controversies and debates, it seems, have still not settled after all these years.


online journalist | Posted on

The title 'Vande Mataram or Bande Mataram' signifies "I acclaim thee, Mother" or "I commendation to thee, Mother". The expression "mataram (माताराम)" in the principal line implies the homeland of India or the Bangamata (Mother Bengal) and Bharat Mata (Mother India).


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