Raising a citizen!

Ten year old daughter discussing her Geography with mother.

“Amma, what is AP?”

“Andhra Pradesh”

“What is UP?”

“Uttar Pradesh, MP is Madhya Pradesh”

“What is Telengana?”

“Oh that……You see dear, the state of Andhra Pradesh was divided into two states. The new state formed is Telengana.”

“Why did they split AP? Doesn’t India already have too many states? Don’t they all still speak the same language?”

“Yes, they speak same language of Telugu. But the dialects maybe different and also the state was split due to infighting for territory and thereby wealth.”

“But the Government has to agree, right?”

“Yes, it was done with the approval of the Government.”

“Really? Why would the Government agree to do this? Don’t they know that more states is more difficult to manage?”

Mother paused, stopped folding the laundry and started thinking about how to answer the question.

“You know what amma –  We need a good Government. That’s what we really need.”

Mother happy about the citizen with awareness that is growing up in front of her eyes and also of course that she didn’t have to answer many more such questions!!!!!




Jana gana mana

India Flag

All countries have a National Anthem. National Anthems symbolise the values of the country it represents and are as sacred as the National Flag. Jana gana mana is the National Anthem of India. It was authored by the Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. The music score to the poem that was originally written in Bengali was also composed by Tagore. It was instituted as the national anthem of India in 1950. It is interesting to note that another poem by the legendary Tagore is the National Anthem of Bangladesh.

Jana gana mana describes the vastness of India and hails victory to India’s destiny. In India, the Anthem is sung in schools before the bell rings to mark the end of the school day. The Anthem concludes all public events. Movie theatres and theatrical plays used to play the National Anthem after the show is over. People would raise and sing along and then leave the hall. Today, nobody even cares to stay back for the credits at the end of the movie. Youth festivals conducted every year for school kids even have competitions in rendering of the Jana gana mana. Different countries follow different traditions when the Anthem is played. In Canada and US, you put your palm on your chest and sing. In India, you have to raise, stand in attention with arms on the side and look ahead with your head held high.

The poem was written before the partition of India. There are references to the Sindh regions in the poem which are now part of Pakistan. There have been pressures to remove references to these regions from the Anthem and substitute them with Kashmir. But the Supreme Court of India ruled rightly that the wordings of the poem cannot be changed. There are other controversies too surrounding the national anthem regarding whom the poet dedicates the poem to. Those are subject to lengthy discussions on their own entirety.

Indians are said to be most patriotic when watching Cricket matches and when they are watching movies related to the subject. All jokes and controversies aside, the National anthem stirs something inside you, pulls a string or two in your heart and fills your mind with patriotism when you hear it or sing it.

Jana gana mana has been adapted in several ways in bollywood movies, dramas and albums. You can watch a beautiful adaptation of the song in Google produced by Bharat Bala productions and A R Rahman. You can watch this star studded historic album here


A bollywood adaptation of the song can be watched here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2564318558656235140&q=jana+gana+mana

Jai Hind