This is a reprint from NewsBred.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (late 19th century). Key figure in the Bengal literary renaissance.
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Just two words--Vande Mataram--by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, who has his 179thbirth anniversary (June 26, 1838) this Monday, tells a lot about we the Indians.
Dhingra, inspired by Vande Mataram,
shot dead Curzon Wyllie and embraced gallows. Veer Savarkar's Vande Mataram vow led to him being
Nivedita and Bhikaji Cama differed in their own flags about
the globe, from Lala Har Dayal's Gadar Party whose many members greeted
each other with the words; to mass of Indians in
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to say: "Bande
Mataram literally means 'I salute the motherland'. It is the
nearest approach to
Matram was not destined to be
It might make
no sense to the uninitiated readers as to why Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
thought Vande Mataram couldn't
lend itself to orchestral music or why even before an official decision was
taken by the Constituent Assembly of India, Janaganamana was played as a national
anthem in the UN General Assembly. Or why
It might make more sense to readers if they relate the opposition to Vande Mataram by a section of Muslim leaders in today's India,--on the grounds that it's an idolatrous prayer--with the one of Muslim League in blood-soaked years of pre-independent India.
Vande Mataram, a part of Bankim Chandra's celebrated novel Ananda Math, about the Sanyasi Revolt of the 18th century (1763-1800)--against the British East India Company who had just taken a foothold in India with the conquest of Bengal after the Battle of Plassey (1757)--was the battle-cry Congress had championed from the very early days of its inception in 1885..
The Vande Mataram song, which was
written at least seven years before Ananda
Math was penned in 1882, came into national consciousness due
to events in the Barisal province of Bengal. On April 14, 1906,
Indian National Congress was to meet at the venue and pledge against the
The poem spread like a wildfire. Secret societies, like the one of Ananda Math, began springing all over the country. Lala Lajpat Rai started a journal called Vande Mataram. Subramaniam Bharati brought out the Tamil verse translation of the song. Vande Mataram even soaked the army in its spirit. Twenty-four young men of the Fourth Madras Coastal Defence Battery were sent to gallows and died singing Vande Mataram.
However, Muslim League opposed Vande Mataram from the very beginning. In its 1908 session, it was deemed sectarian. In 1923, Maulana Mohammed Ali, as the president of Congress, opposed it.
Congress, in conformity with its Muslim-appeasement stance, introduced Mohammad Iqbal's Hindustan Hamaara . The Muslim leaders wanted Iqbal's song to replace Vande Mataram. The All-India Muslim League passed resolutions condemning Vande Mataram. The Congress Working Committee in 1937 maimed the song Vande Mataram to just two paras. The Muslim League wasn't satisfied still. Jinnah asked Nehru in 1938 to completely abandon Vande Mataram. To placate the Muslim League, the Congress decided to allow the singing of a song by Basheer Ahmad, Quran recital as well as a prayer in English in the assembly.
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