Two national Anthems, one author: The India-Bangladesh Tagore connection

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 23, 2021, 08:33 PM(IST)

Tagore won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. (Wikipedia) Photograph:( Others )

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As Bangladesh marks 50 years of independence, the two countries rejoice about the shared love and gratitude for the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore

Bangladesh and India may be separated by borders but are united by culture, and Rabindranath Tagore.

As Bangladesh marks 50 years of independence, the two countries rejoice about the shared love and gratitude for the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

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Bangladesh’s national anthem titled “Amar Shonar Bangla” was penned by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905. The melody of the song was adopted from Gagan Harkara’s song “Ami Kothay Pabo Tare”.

The Bard of Bengal is also the author of the Indian national anthem “Jana Gana Mana”.

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“Amar Shonar Bangla” was written by Tagore in 1905 as an ode to Mother Bengal, immediately after Bengal’s first partition. Later, during the Bangladesh Liberation War, the first 10 lines of the song were adopted as the country’s national anthem in 1971.

'Jana Gana Mana', originally written as ''Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata'' in Bengali, was adopted as India’s national anthem on January 24, 1950.

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The two national anthems have unknowingly connected the people of two countries in several instances — the majority of them being cricket matches between the two countries. Be it World T20 in 2016 or the 2019 World Cup, the cricket fans of the two countries have rejoiced in the lyrics and melody of the two national anthems, composed by Tagore.

Bangladesh’s national anthem was written with the hope of rekindling the spirit of unity and love between the people divided by a politically-motivated border. The song aimed to invoke the public consciousness against the communal political divide and bring back the unified spirit of Bengal.

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The song was first heard in the periodical musical journal Shongeet Biggnan Probeshika in September 1905 when Tagore’s niece, Indira Devi, hurriedly jotted down the musical notation of the song as Rabindranath Tagore hummed the anthem.

“Jana Gana Mann” and “Amar Shonar Bangla” have received equal love as Tagore’s blissful creations from the people on the two sides of the borders.

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