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An alternative national anthem for India

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The so-called National Song, “VandE mAtaram” written by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay in 1876 was set to music by Tagore. When that was originally proposed as the national anthem, the Muslims in the Congress Working Committee objected because parts of the song contained the names of Hindu goddesses, Durga and Lakshmi and that would violate their religion if they sing it since India itself was being deified in the song. So the proposal was dropped. The first two stanzas alone were sung at various sessions at the discretion of the local committees.

The national anthem of India, “Jana gana mana..” written by poet-laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali was adopted in its Hindi script version by the Constituent Assembly on January 24, 1950 on the eve of India being declared a Republic. It was first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta (now Kolkata) session of the Indian National Congress. There were 5 stanzas in the song of which only the first stanza is used for the National Anthem. Tagore himself rendered it in English which starts as “Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India’s destiny”. It goes on to say “thy name” rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Orissa, and Bengal. It talks about the Vindhya and Himalaya Mountains, the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and the Indian Sea.

The poem was composed in December 1911, about the time George V and his Queen visited India for Delhi Durbar after coronation the year before. Some people consider that it was a paean in praise of “the overlord of India’s destiny”. It was sung at the Indian National Congress session at Calcutta and the agenda of that day included a loyal welcome to George V. It was reported by the British Indian Press at that time as a welcome song to the Emperor. However, Tagore was reported to have repudiated such an assumption and insisted that he was approached by a British official to do so but resisted that effort. Instead he wrote the song declaring “victory to BhAgya Vidhata (God of Destiny) of India”. However, others felt uncomfortable about the mention of throne, King, Queen, and Rajeshwara in the latter part of the song (although that is not sung as part of the anthem). In 2005 there was a clamor to drop “Sind” from the anthem and substitute it with Kashmir since “Sind” went with Pakistan. Some opposed that measur
e as well claiming that “Sind” is still part of Indian culture. The Supreme Court refused to let the anthem be modified.

So at this point “Jana gana mana” is the national anthem. Since there is still some lingering dissatisfaction in some quarters about “BhArata bhAgya vidAtha”, the situation calls for a change. Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi was no less a patriot in India than any other of his time. He wrote several patriotic songs some of which do not refer to the nation as God or goddess and hence overcome the objection of Muslims. I am suggesting the following song “PArukkuLLe nalla nADu” in an abbreviated form be adopted as the national anthem. When set to proper musical score by someone of the caliber of A. R. Rahman, it could be very melodious and sung under one minute per the current requirement. Only a portion of the song written by Bharathi is reproduced below. Bharathi himself suggested that it be sung in the rAgam HindustAni tODi.


  • பாருக்குள்ளே நல்ல நாடு – எங்கள் பாரத நாடு
    ஞானத்திலே பர மோனத்திலே உயர் மானத்திலே அன்னதானத்திலே
    கானத்திலே அமுதாக நிறைந்த கவிதையிலே உயர் நாடு – இந்தப் (பாருக்)
    தீரத்திலே படை வீரத்திலே நெஞ்சில் ஈரத்திலே உபகாரத்திலே
    சாரத்திலே மிகு சாத்திரங்கண்டு தருவதிலே உயர் நாடு –இந்தப் (பாருக்)
    நன்மையிலே உடல் வன்மையிலே செல்வப் பன்மையிலே மறத் தன்மையிலே ...
    பொன்மயில் ஒத்திடும் மாதர்தம் கற்பின் புகழினிலே உயர் நாடு –இந்தப்
    பாருக்குள்ளே நல்ல நாடு –எங்கள் பாரத நாடு.




The song is given below in transliterated Roman script.
PArukkuLLE nalla nADu – engaL BhAratha nADu
GnAnaththilE para mOnaththilE uyar mAnaththilE annadhAnaththilE GAnaththilE amudhAga niRaindha kavidhaiyilE uyar nADu – indhap (pAruk) dhIraththilE paDai vIraththilE nenjil IraththilE upakAraththilE SAraththilE migu sAththirang kaNDu tharuvadhilE uyar nADu –indhap (pAruk) nanmaiyilE uDal vanmaiyilE selvap panmaiyilE maRath thanmaiyilE Ponmayil oththiDum mAdhartham kaRpin pugazhinilE uyar nADu –indhap
PArukkuLLE nalla nADu –engaL BhAratha nADu.


The version in Devanagari script is given below.
पारुक्कुळ्ळे नल्ल नाडुऎङ्गळ् भारत नाडु
ग्नानत्तिले पर मोनत्तिले उयर् मानत्तिले अन्नदानत्तिले
गानत्तिले अमुदाग निऱैन्ध कविदैयिले उयर् नाडुइन्दप् (पारुक्)
धीरत्तिले पडै वीरत्तिले नॆञ्जिल् ईरत्तिले उपकारत्तिले
सारत्तिले मिगु सात्तिरङ्ग् कण्डु तरुवदिले उयर् नाडुइन्दप् (पारुक्)
नन्मैयिले उडल् वन्मैयिले सॆल्वप् पन्मैयिले मऱत् तन्मैयिले
पॊन्मयिल् ऒत्तिडुं मादर्तं कऱ्पिन् पुगऴिनिले उयर् नाडुइन्दप्
पारुक्कुळ्ळे नल्ल नाडुऎङ्गळ् भारत नाडु.


Here is the meaning:
Our land, BhArath, is a great country in the world!

In wisdom, composure, dignity, (food) charity, nectar-filled poetry and song, our land has it all.

In courage, martial valor, mercy, mutual help, and resplendent scriptures, our land has it all.

In benevolence, physical strength, abundance of wealth, bravery, and the famed chastity of our women (who are like golden peacocks) our land has it all.

In truth, mental stamina, equanimity, sharpness of intellect and the poets who impregnate the truth in their writings, our land has it all.

Our land, BhArath, is a great country in the world!

This religion-neutral song can be adopted as the new national anthem without any prejudice. It glorifies the land and describes the character of its citizens. It is a tribute to the country and its people. It will exhort its citizens to reach for integrity and excellence which is required of a national anthem.
 
Sounds good, but I did not quite understand the reference to women as golden peacocks...

The "golden peacock" description is just a poetic glorification similar to describing slender waist as "minnanaiya nuNNiDaiyAL" (waist as slim as a lightning). Also Bharathi used that "ponmayil" to keep the etugai in tact rhyming with "namai", "tanmai" etc.
 
Sounds good, but I did not quite understand the reference to women as golden peacocks...

You are right...peacock(male) is the one with beautiful plumage.
Peahen(female) is a drab brown.
So a peahen can never be golden and attractive.

Hey why no comment on chastity of men?

See it's not fair..men get to have all the fun!!LOL
 
Dear Mahakavi ji,

I remember reading this article sans Bharati's song in another website.
If I am not mistaken it was at Hindu Jagruti Samaj website.

Anyway why change the national anthem now?
I don't think it's fair to rest of India to have a National Anthem in Tamil..interstate fights will start.

A new Anthem should be composed in Sanskrit so that no one will fight cos there is no Sanskrit race or community.

Here in Malaysia we have National Anthem and State Anthems.

So Bharati's song can be made into Tamil Nadu State Anthem.
 
“”Sindhu” does NOT mean Sind river which is now in Pakistan.

“Sindhu” in Sanskrit means “Ocean”.

In Subramanya Bhujangam, Acharya SANKARA sings:-

“Ithi Vyanjayan SINDHU Dheeray Yayasthay”
“Thameeday pavitram Parasakthi Putram”

Here the refernce is to the Gulf of Mannar on the Bank of which Tiruchendur is situated.

Another reference is Mahaan Appaiya Dheekshidar’s “Marga Bhandhu Storam”

“Chindura Dhoora Prachaaram”
“SINDHU Rajaadhi Dheeram “
“Bhajay Marga Bahndhum”

Of course what Rabindranath Tagore means is “Sind” river (now in Pakistan) only

Becase Sind river looked like an Ocean, it got that name.

In Sanskrit “Vidhaatha” means God only—so Bharatha Baagya Vidhaatha does NOT refer to George V. King Emperor.

But in quality, and in touching the heart=> Sri.Subramanya Bharathi’s poems are much “Superior” than Tagore’s. Even Bakkim Chandra Chatterji’s “Vande Maataram” is much Superior than Tagore’s. Tagore himself has raised the question that Bengal Muslims do not like Chandra’s Vandhematatram.

Tamil Congress Leadres of that day were back-boneless. They did NOT project Bharathi as much as Tagoe was projected. Mahathma Gandhi himself was an admirer of Tagore. Tagore has NOT written even one poem praising the “Freedom Struggle” as Bharathi did.---”Nenju Porukkuthillaiye”---.So Britishers had a liking for him. His Gitanjali is more of philosophical nature. .Even the Justice Party was all praise for British rule and they only are ruling the roost. They raised even a fund in honour of George V’s visit which was recently donated to VHS, Adyar.
 
In Sanskrit “Vidhaatha” means God only—so Bharatha Baagya Vidhaatha does NOT refer to George V. King Emperor.

Dear sir,

You are right..in fact I know a Bhajan where the word Bharata Bhaagya Vidhaata(भारत भाग्य विधाता) is used to praise God.
 
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Since Hindi is supposed to be the national language of India, the song needs to be translated to Hindi.

The Tamil poet will get the 'fame' of composing the new national anthem - original.

About the word 'pon mayil':

Poets always praise the beauty of a woman by comparing her to 'mayil' ( we say peacock , though 'aaN mayil' refers to peacock)

The golden color skin is the pride of a woman. Hence the poet wrote as 'pon mayil'.

A woman with beautiful eyes is praised as 'maan vizhiyAL', 'kayal vizhiy
AL' etc!! (kayal = fish)
 
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I need to address several of the points raised in the previous posts.

1. In "Jana gana mana.." Tagore mentioned the province of Sind rather than the river. To recap again, "punjab sind gujerat marAtta, dravida, utkala vanga". These were the provinces/regions at that time. Then he mentions only two mountains (vindhya and himacala) and two rivers (yamuna ganga). If you read my first post I mentioned the objection to the retention of "sind" in the anthem by some because Sind represents the current Pakistan province of Sind with Karachi as its capital.

2. I recognize that my proposal will not leave the ground because there will be opposition to it from all regions in India. But if one could have Bengali as the medium for the national anthem why not Thamizh? Of course the times are different. Tagore commanded attention among the elite of the congress party. Bharathi was recognized by Gandhi much later. Besides, even Rajaji was not projecting Bharathi at that time. Sure enough the Thamizhnadu government can play that as a second anthem.

3. While "VidhAtA" may mean god it can also mean someone who controls. While it is second-guessing that Tagore could have meant George V by "vidhAtA" the evidence lies later in the other stanzas that Tagore wrote following the first stanza . There he mentions the queen, throne etc. God does not have "queen" or "throne" at least in the sense that is understood.
 
Dear Mahakavi ji,

I remember reading this article sans Bharati's song in another website.
If I am not mistaken it was at Hindu Jagruti Samaj website.

Anyway why change the national anthem now?
I don't think it's fair to rest of India to have a National Anthem in Tamil..interstate fights will start.

A new Anthem should be composed in Sanskrit so that no one will fight cos there is no Sanskrit race or community.

Here in Malaysia we have National Anthem and State Anthems.

So Bharati's song can be made into Tamil Nadu State Anthem.

I am not sure what you are referring to when you say that you read the article elsewhere. I wrote this article and published it in chennaionline.com a while ago. Can you please give the URL for the website where you read it?
Thanks.
 
An Alternative national anthem for India

mahakavi(quote)"If you read my first post I mentioned the objection to the retention of "sind" in the anthem by some because Sind represents the current Pakistan province of Sind with Karachi as its capital.(en-quote)

Please, Iam NOT finding "Fault"--I am just trying to explain how the names are derived ?

In that Region,the convention is Regions' names are derived from the names of the predominant water -sources-(river)


Sanskrit=>Panca+Ap=Punchaap=Punjab

Panca+Jalam=PaanJaalam--Maha Bharatham heroine "Paanchaali" is from Punjab.

Panca=5---"Ap" or "Jalam"=Water==>5 rivers that make that Region one of the most fertile land scape in the Country

My assistant useed to say "I have drank waters of 5 rivers--i won't allow that fellow to vag his tail"

Even Kaveri--Tambtaparni river basins people use to talk like that.

"Water" which is "supporter of life" has played very impotant role for the past 75 million or more years.--Region--Religion--Culture--Civilization--Natural boundaries--Wars--Peace--

"Yo Apaam Aayadhanam Vedha--Aaayathanavaan Bhavathi"

Similarly the Region which is made most fertile by SINDHU="Ocean like river" is SIND.

There is another meaning--SINDHU means "Peninsular"=3 side sorrounded by water.(Ocean--Sea-Bay)

"Peninsular India"

Sindhu=>Hindhu (because Arabs pronounce "Si" as "Hi")--HINDIA=>India.

Even "Sind" goes out of our haands,"Hind" remains with "Us" only.--"Jai Hind".

Even the name "Karachi" -Jandhar--Epistomology and Ontology can be Annotated
 
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mahakavi (quote)"While "VidhAtA" may mean god it can also mean someone who controls. While it is second-guessing that Tagore could have meant George V by "vidhAtA" the evidence lies later in the other stanzas that Tagore wrote following the first stanza . There he mentions the queen, throne etc. God does not have "queen" or "throne" at least in the sense that is understood."(en-quote)

I am NOT defending sri.Rabindranath Tagore.

I am trying to interpret the Sanskrit words.

Vid=(means) knowledge--VEDHA is derived from this "Mineral"=Dhaatu=> "Vid"

Dhaatum=Father--"Sukha Dhaatham Taponidhim"(Ref;- Vishnu Sahasranaamam)=(sri Vyaasa)Father of Sri.Sukha(in Parrot form ) and having the wealth of penece.

Vid+Dhaatha= Father of Vedham is Vidhaathaa menas God.

George V is NOT father of Vedham.

Vidhaatha is some times "derisively" used to 'mock at people like the word "Brahaspathi"..

I don't think Tagore would have done it.

God has "Queen"="Para Brahma Mahishi" (Ref:-Soundarya Lahari)

God has "Throne"="Rathnai hi Kalpitha Simhaasanam" (Ref:-Acharya SANKARA's Siva Maanasa Pooja.)

I do no know-------????!!!!!!
 
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Dear Somayaji:
I am aware of the origin of the names sindhu and punjab. However, as I said before, when Tagore uses the word "sindhu" in the anthem he means the geographical region and not the river per se. The only two rivers he mentions are: Ganga and Yamuna.
 
>>Dhaatum=Father--"Sukha Dhaatham Taponidhim"(Ref;- Vishnu Sahasranaamam)=(sri Vyaasa)Father of Sri.Sukha(in Parrot form ) and having the [FONT=inherit !important][FONT=inherit !important]wealth[/FONT][/FONT] of penece.<<

I am afraid we have a wrong word here "Dhaatham". It is actually "tAtam"
The actual 3rd slokham line (in vishnu sahasranamam) is

पराशरात्मजं वन्दे शुक तातं तपोनिधिम् (ParASarAtmajam vandE Suka tAtam tapOnidhim)

Here "tAtam" means father.
Also please note Suka means parrot while sukha means happy
vidhAta as written by Tagore must have a different meaning, I think (namely, "one who determines"). I think Tagore meant "one who determines the destiny of BhArath" by BhAratha bhAgya vidhAtA. Does vidhAta in Bengali mean something different from Sanskrit. Tagore was not a Sanskrit scholar but Bengali borrows heavily from Sanskrit. But a borrowed word may have a different contextual meaning.

Others in the know can pitch in.

 
Repudiation of Tagore's verse in the anthem

>>God has "Queen"="Para Brahma Mahishi" (Ref:-Soundarya Lahari)

God has "Throne"="Rathnai hi Kalpitha Simhaasanam" (Ref:-Acharya SANKARA's Siva Maanasa Pooja.) <<

I do not pretend to know whether God has "queen" and "throne" and if someone describes those I am not going to deny that.

Please refer to the following URL regarding repudiation of Tagore's verse and the implied meaning. Also this website has the full version of Tagore's poem (all the 5 verses). Pl read them all and decide for yourself whether Tagore meant God or George V.

'Jana Gan Man...' : Praise for Bharatmata or Glorification of British King ? - Special | hindujagruti.org
 
Here is the actual translation in English written by Tagore himself.

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Shindhu,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orisa and Bangla;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Ocean.
They
pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
victory forever.

I am a little uncomfortable with a few words here. First of all --"Thy name" ---There is no need for a name. God is God. "Thy name" could very well have meant George V. "Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people". Does God need a certificate like that? But to George V it was needed. "Thou dispenser of India's destiny"-- If God dispenses the destiny of India what use does prayer have? Irrespective of prayer or not God dispenses--right? But George V dispensed the destiny of India at that time. So a prayer is needed to get the blessings of George V.

Finally "victory forever". This slogan was meant for George V, the adhinAyaka referred to in the first line. There is no need to proclaim "jaya he" to God if He were the BhAratha BhAgya VidhAtA. The "jaya he" in the first line was meant for the "ruler" of India (George V). God does not rule over any country.
 
>>Vid+Dhaatha= Father of Vedham is Vidhaathaa menas God.<<

I am giving below the slokham #5 of Vishnu sahasranAmam and its meaning below.

Sloka 5
sri_vi2.gif
37. svayambhuh / He who manifests Himself by His own free will.38. shambhuh / One who causes happiness to everyone by the beauty of His appearance.39. Adityah / a) The purusha in the Sun. b) One of the twelve Adityas. c) One who sustains and nourishes everything like the Sun. 40. pushkarakshah / The Lotus-eyed.41. maha-svanah / He of the venerable sound (of the Vedas). 42. anadi-nidhanah / One who is without beginning or end.43. dhata / The creator (of .Brahma and others).44. vidhata / The producer (of Brahma from the fetus referred to above).45. dhaturuttamah / a) One who is far superior to Brahma (dhatr). b) The best of all basic constituents
As you see dhAtA and vidhAtA have different meanings from what you gave. Take the meaning of producer for vidhAtA. Accordingly "BhAratha BhAgya vidhAtA" becomes "creator/producer of the destiny of BhArath". I think "father of vEdam" for the word "vidhAtA" is a stretch. I am not a sanskrit scholar but you can talk to one to get clarification.

 
2. I recognize that my proposal will not leave the ground because there will be opposition to it from all regions in India. But if one could have Bengali as the medium for the national anthem why not Thamizh?

Even if it were Bengali it is the most Sanskritized version of Bengali possible. If you just take the first line:
Jana gana mana adhinayaka jaya he
Bharata bhagya vidhata.

Each and every word is a Sanskrit word, meaning that they are also present in Bengali, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Ahomiya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, possibly even in Telugu. I understand that native Tamil speakers are at a disadvantage. If however you create a national anthem in Tamil, the situation is reversed.
 
Mr Mahakavi,
I think your argument about the reference to George V will be bolstered if you quote the second verse (in English)

Your call is announced continuously, we heed Your gracious call
The Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Muslims, and Christians,
The East and the West come together, to the side of Your throne
And weave the garland of love.
Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!
Victory be to You, dispenser of the destiny of India!

Now which God sits on a throne? Most of our Gods are on a serpent, tiger skin or perhaps on a cross...

I personally have been somewhat suspicious of the "Thou" in our national anthem.
 
[h=1]Now which God sits on a throne? Most of our Gods are on a serpent, tiger skin or perhaps on a cross...[/h]

Good question. For the sake of argument the abode of Shiva can be called a throne in the HimAlayas. But all the other words are giveaways--such as "victory to you" (jaya he). We don't say victory to God. He can handle creditably by Himself. God does not have to "bring unity of the people". If at all he does, he deals only on a one-on-one basis. He does not dispense grace to a whole community en masse. To each his own according to his karma--isn't that what Hinduism is all about? God will make sure that your karma follows you inexorably. There is no socialism there to average out the total karma among all people. I understand there is more incriminating evidence in the other 3 stanzas too. But people who defend Tagore will say "look only at the first stanza" which is the national anthem. Even there, there is a tell-tale sign about "ruler of the minds" and "jaya he". The defenders can be wishy-washy about those words. But there is definitely no appeal to God there---especially no need to proclaim victory to God.
 
I agree with most of your reasoning except that in the North at least they do frequently refer to Jai for God. From Siyavar Ramachandra ki jai to Jai Matadi to Jai Bajrangbali. I think the Jai is more like a salutation rather than victory explicitly.

But your point of God unifying the masses, Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc beside his throne, is quite true.

However in spite of everything our national anthem does sound quite grand when played by a full band. In fact it gives me goosebumps of patriotism. Probably not worth abandoning at this point. However individual state anthems may also make sense.
 
Of course all national anthems are grand. When I was in India I too felt the same excitement when the national anthem was played. In fact I did not know its specific significance except for the mention of the regions, rivers, and mountains overall. Besides, it is also entrenched now and any thought of replacing it is beyond imagination. But the facts have to be presented and my point is that the anthem is somewhat tainted. In the current trend when we change old names such as Bombay, Calcutta, Madras,Benares, Trivandrum, Calicut etc., into native names, it is anachronistic to sing the national anthem which declares allegiance to a foreign sovereign. By contrast Bharathi's "pArukkuLLE nalla nADu" praises the country and extols the people. In the US the national anthem describes the features of the country and does not even pay obeisance to the leader of the country.
 
Ha ha, I personally think the Japanese national anthem is rather boring. And so is the Australian. And the US national anthem is all about their flag. How quaint!

The point I am making is that most people would be patriotically roused by their own national anthem. That is the whole purpose. The original purpose of the song is unknown and somewhat debatable. But it does serve the present purpose of making people feel patriotic.

Just like the "Star Spangled Banner" makes Americans feel patriotic even though it is about the flag flying undisturbed during the war of 1812. How many Yanks even know about that war now? It is all about the symbolism.
 
Personally, I would be happy if Bharathi’s song gets wider recognition all the more as the National Anthem of India. But I also wonder what difference it makes in a country where the rulers and the people alike cannot recite the National Anthem. I remember a recent instance in a Government function where the recorded anthem could not be played and no one on the stage could sing it for they did not know the anthem. The function started without the anthem being played. Our people would know “Why this kolaveri?” much more than our national anthem.

If one looks at Independence day or Republic day in India,
For the BPL category people, it is the day they would get some sweets.
For the working class, they get a holiday. Don’t we blame it on the calendar when these days fall on a Sunday?
For the “fun-lovers”, they would have to pay double the rate for the “kick”
For the politicians, they get a chance to display their “identity”
Such is the patriotism in India.

Besides that, I also do not understand why we must have a national song and a national anthem. Typical of India – complicating things for no valid reason.
 
Dear Mahakavi ji,

I remember reading this article sans Bharati's song in another website.
If I am not mistaken it was at Hindu Jagruti Samaj website.

Anyway why change the national anthem now?
I don't think it's fair to rest of India to have a National Anthem in Tamil..interstate fights will start.

A new Anthem should be composed in Sanskrit so that no one will fight cos there is no Sanskrit race or community.

Here in Malaysia we have National Anthem and State Anthems.

So Bharati's song can be made into Tamil Nadu State Anthem.

Hi Renuka,

Sorry have to disagree :)

first off, you are assuming the current national athem is acceptable to all ! & that Tamil National Anthem will create issues when a Bengali National Anthem did not create one ! Current National Anthem is not fair to south who have no connection to Bengali or Hindi !

By your own logic, this current National Anthem should become a Bengali State Anthem so that the rest of us spared from parroting this song !!

yes, I agree with your view that the National Anthem should be from Sanskrit, Bharatavarshe itself originates first in Sanskrit !!
PS: Sanskrit race / community are the south brahmins who read, learn, chant Sanskrit. It is our real mother tongue !!

Cheers,
JK
 
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