On the Republic Day I wish you with the patriotic song “Vande Mataram” from the film “Anand Math” (1952).
“Vande Mataram” is perhaps the oldest of all the patriotic songs of India. It was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838-1894) as a part of his novel “Anand Math” in the 19th century. This song became a national song among many nationalists, and it so alarmed the British rulers that this novel was banned.
Though the novel was originally written in Bangla, the song “Vande Matram” is almost fully in Sanskrit. Only those familiar with Sanskrit may be able to understand the meaning of the song. Thankfully, the words of the song have become so well known that many people have begun to understand the meaning of the song as well. Several people translated the song into various languages. Aurobindo Ghosh, a revolutionary leader, translated this song into English and his translated version is regarded as the most authentic English translation of this song.
Post-Independence, India’s constituent assembly adopted Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Vande Matram, as the national song. Perhaps the best musical interpretation of this song was in the 1952 release movie Anand Math, with music by Hemant Kumar. Rendered as a duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, it was enacted on screen by Geeta Bali, Pradeep Kumar and Bharat Bhushan.
Here is this song “Vande Matram” from the movie “Anand Math”. The song, as mentioned above, was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Music was composed by Hemant Kumar. The movie only contained a few stanzas of the entire song written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
Trivia : In a World Service poll conducted in 2003 across 165 countries, the Vande Mataram song written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, composed by Hemant Kumar, sung by Lata Mangeshkar was voted 2nd in the “World’s Top Ten” songs of all-time!