India National Anthem: Jana Gana Mana

Jana Gana Mana is the India National Anthem. It was composed by Rabindranath Tagore, a poet, and musician, in 1911. The song was adopted as the national anthem by the Constituent Assembly of India on January 24, 1950. Jana Gana Mana is sung in the Bengali language, and its lyrics were inspired by Tagore’s love for his country and its people. This article will delve into the history, meaning, and controversy surrounding India’s national anthem.

History of India National Anthem

The poem that would later become India’s national anthem was first published in 1910 in Tagore’s book, “Gitanjali.” It was set to music by Tagore himself, and the song quickly became popular in India. In 1919, the Indian National Congress adopted the song as a rallying cry for the independence movement. Over the next few decades, the song became an important symbol of India’s struggle for freedom.

After India gained independence in 1947, the Constituent Assembly tasked a committee with selecting a national anthem. The committee chose Jana Gana Mana, and it was officially adopted as India’s national anthem on January 24, 1950.

The Meaning of Jana Gana Mana

The lyrics of Jana Gana Mana are a tribute to India’s diverse and rich cultural heritage. The song celebrates the beauty and unity of India’s people and its land. The first stanza of the song is a prayer for the blessings of the Almighty on India. The second stanza describes India’s natural beauty, with references to the Himalayas, the Ganges river, and other iconic landmarks. The third stanza is a tribute to the people of India, who are described as being “brotherly.” The fourth stanza celebrates India’s rich cultural heritage, with references to its ancient traditions and languages.

Controversy Surrounding the India National Anthem

Despite its status as India’s national anthem, Jana Gana Mana has been the subject of controversy over the years. Some critics have argued that the song’s lyrics are difficult to sing, particularly for those who do not speak Bengali. Others have argued that the song is exclusionary, as it is sung only in one language, and that it does not represent the diversity of India’s many cultures and languages.

Another source of controversy surrounding Jana Gana Mana is its use in schools and public gatherings. Some individuals have refused to stand or sing the anthem, arguing that it goes against their religious beliefs or political views. In 2017, the Supreme Court of India ruled that it was mandatory for all movie theaters to play the national anthem before each film screening, a decision that sparked widespread debate.


Jana Gana Mana is a powerful symbol of India’s national identity and its struggle for independence. The song’s lyrics celebrate the beauty and unity of India’s people and its land, and it has played an important role in shaping the country’s history and culture. While controversy surrounding the song remains, it remains an important and beloved part of India’s national identity.


  • What language is Jana Gana Mana sung in?

Jana Gana Mana is sung in Bengali.

  • Who composed Jana Gana Mana?

Jana Gana Mana was composed by Rabindranath Tagore.

  • When was Jana Gana Mana adopted as India’s national anthem?

Jana Gana Mana was adopted as India’s national anthem on January 24, 1950.

  • Why has Jana Gana Mana been the subject of controversy?

Jana Gana Mana has been the subject of controversy over its lyrics being difficult to sing for non-Bengali speakers, its perceived exclusionary nature, and its use in schools and public gatherings.

  • Is it mandatory to stand and sing Jana Gana Mana in India?

Yes, it is mandatory to stand and sing the national anthem in certain settings, such as movie theaters before film screenings, according to a Supreme Court ruling in 2017. However, some individuals have refused to do so, citing religious or political reasons.


  • “Jana Gana Mana – History and Evolution of the Indian National Anthem.” Cultural India.
  • “National Anthem of India.” Know India.
  • “The National Anthem of India.” Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

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