Vande Mataram – The Patriotic Passion

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Rise India thy millions lead
With flag aloft unfurled
From Comorin point to Everest peak
Stand free before the world

Millions of Indians from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) to Everest peak (Mount Everest), from arid Rann of Kutch to the rich deltas of Bengal stand together and share the patriotism when their hearts beat as one, their passion for the nation unites. There seldom might be an Indian who doesn’t get goosebumps while singing the National Anthem. For if he doesn’t, he’s not a true Indian at heart. Another such song which sets an Indian heart on a patriotic frenzy is the National song – Vande Mataram!! The mere words give a patriotic swelling in your heart. When BBC had conducted an online poll for the best patriotic song, several years ago, Vande Mataram stood second only to the Irish National Anthem A Nation Once Again. And such popularity for a song which was written 140 years ago!! How powerful its lyrics must be, for it has been recorded and re-recorded by various musicians in different languages including Hindi and the original Sanskrit version. There have been gramophone records from as early as 1905. From Rabindranath Tagore to A.R.Rahman, all the versions convey one message, one feeling, one passion – Patriotism.

The original version was written by Bankimchandra Chatterjee on 7th November 1875. It was then included in his novel Anandmath (1882). An Ode to the Mother (Goddess/Motherland), it was written in Sanskrit and Bengali. It was later translated by Sri Aurobindo in English.
The original lyrics –

Vande Maataram, vande maataram
Sujala sufala malayaja-shitalaam
Shashya-shyaamala maataram
Vande maataram

Shubhra-jyotsna-pulakita yaamini
Phulakusumati-drumadala shobhini
Suhaasini sumadhur bhaashini
Sukhada varada maataram
Vande maataram

Koti Koti Kantha Kalakalaninada Karaale
Koti Koti Bhujaidhritakharakaravale
Abalaa Keno Maa Eto Bale
Bahubaladharinim Namami Tarinim
Ripudalavarinim Maataram
Vande Mataram

Tumi Vidyaa Tumi Dharma
Tumi Hridi Tumi Marma
Tvam Hi Pranah Sharire Baahute Tumi Maa Shakti
Hridaye Tumi Maa Bhakti
Tomaara Pratima Gadi
Mandire Mandire
Vande Mataram

Tvam Hi Durga Dashapraharanadharini
Kamala Kamaladala Vihaarini
Vani Vidyadayini Namami Tvam
Namami Kamalam Amalam Atulam
Sujalam Suphalam Maataram
Shyaamalam Saralam Susmitam Bhushhitam
Dharanim Bharanim Maataram
Vande Mataram

In 1950, the song’s first 2 verses were given the official status of National song of Republic of India. It is amazing and overwhelming to find numerous versions of this song, which played an important role in the Indian Independence. Vande Mataram was the whole nation’s thought and motto for independence during the Indian independence movement and it is still our thought and motto for independence.

Here’s a quick glance of its various versions, including some non-film and of course film, which brings out a patriotic passion of every Indian heart!!

Rabindranath Tagore (1905) – In Gurudev’s own voice, which was recorded in 1905, it has been sung in Desh Raag!!

We have another non-film version rendered by Geeta Dutt, G M Durrani and Pramodini Patkar. It was recorded in 1950s.

Anand Math (1952) – The film which is itself based on the novel Anand Math by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, had the music scored by Hemant Kumar. It was his debut as music director in Hindi. The song had 2 versions – Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar.

But before this, there was another version by Pannalal Ghosh in Aandolan (1951). The film is considered as Kishore Kumar’s first film as an actor. The singers are Sudha Malhotra, Parul Ghosh and Manna Dey.

Besides the above film versions, Vande Mataram also featured at the beginning titles of Leader (1964) starring Vyjayantimala and Dilip Kumar. Shyam Benegal’s film The Making of the Mahatma (1996) had a version scored by Vanraj Bhatia. There’s another Usha Uthup version in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001).

Amongst the non-film versions, Vande Mataram rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and A R Rahman happen to be the most famous of all.

Last, but not the least. The version which will make every one of us become nostalgic. The All India Radio version which was recorded in the 50s.

Vande Mataram!!!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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