BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy
BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy
File Photo

In a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramaniam Swamy on Tuesday urged the country's premier to replace the original version of the Indian National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana', as composed by Rabindranath Tagore, with a version adopted by the Indian National Army (INA) in 1943.

Swamy wrote that it was the demand of the "overwhelming majority of the youths of India" that "some of the words" in the National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' be replaced by the version that was "composed and sung" by the INA on the occasion of the Declaration of India's independence on October 21, 1943, "after Subhash Chandra Bose led capture of Imphal, Manipur".

In his letter, Swamy further cited the words of Dr Rajendra Prasad who had suggested that the words in the National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' may be amended or replaced in the future with other 'appropriate words'.

A day earlier, the BJP MP had taken to Twitter to suggest the same.

"The Subhash Bose modified Jana Gana Mana national anthem must replace the Original Tagore version adopted in 1949.The INA adopted version is more patriotic and accurate. In the Constituent Assembly while concluding Rajendra Prasad announced that its verses can be amended," Swamy had tweeted on Monday.

To give a bit of context, the anthem was penned by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905 as a poem under the title Bharat Bhagya Bidhata. It was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Congress in December 1911. On 24 January 1950, the song was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India. As the Indian Government website notes, the complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem.

Interestingly, the Anthem was taken up not in a formal manner by means of a resolution, but by a statement made by India's first President, Rajendra Prasad. As many reports quote him as stating: "The composition consisting of the words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it."

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Free Press Journal