Jana Gana Mana - Musical Composition and English Translation

Musical Composition and English Translation

Rabindranath Tagore translated "Jana Gana Mana" from Bengali to English and also set it to music in Madanapalle, a town located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state, India. Though the Bengali song had been written in 1911, it was largely unknown except to the readers of the Brahmo Samaj journal, Tatva Bodha Prakasika, of which Tagore was the editor.

During 1919, Tagore accepted an invitation from friend and controversial Irish poet James H. Cousins to spend a few days at the Besant Theosophical College situated at Madanapalle of which Cousins was the principal. On the evening of 28 February 1919 he joined a gathering of students and upon Cousins' request, sang the Jana Gana Mana in Bengali. The college authorities, greatly impressed by the lofty ideals of the song and the praise to God, selected it as their prayer song. In the days that followed, enchanted by the dreamy hills of Madanapalle, Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Cousins' wife, Margaret (an expert in Western music), set down the notation which is followed till this day. The song was carried beyond the borders of India by the college students and became The Morning Song of India and subsequently the national anthem.

Today, in the library of Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalle, the framed original English translation of Jana gana Mana, titled as The Morning Song of India in Tagore's handwriting, is displayed.

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