• Google+ icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • You Tube icon

    Search  

Sikh National Anthem

The Sikh national anthem was written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sikhism is the only religion with it’s own national anthem.

This is one of the most celebrated and widely quoted hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. He shows in the following Shabad the qualities that makes one fit to become part of his world mission called the Khalsa Panth - To live with courage and bravery to the highest levels of righteousness.

One must never shirk from conducting oneself in the most upright and considerate possible manner. The Khalsa has to be prepared at all times to willingly and consistently behave in the most impartial and just manner and to always undertake to carry out righteous and Gurmat acts; to never have any fear or show even the slightest hesitation when taking such actions; to never flinch from stepping in front of the enemy to protect the poor, weak and needy of the world - to never have any apprehension or anxiety from the righteous fight ahead.

To give no consideration or thought as to the size, strength or magnitude of the enemy in front of you - It may be 1 opponent or 125,000 opponents – the Khalsa's faith and trust is only with Waheguru and no one else. And to always know and be certain that Waheguru will always be their support and that victory in the end will without doubt be theirs:

ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਭ ਕਰਮਨ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਟਰੋਂ ॥
ਨ ਡਰੋਂ ਅਰਿ ਸੋ ਜਬ ਜਾਇ ਲਰੋਂ ਨਿਸਚੈ ਕਰਿ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਜੀਤ ਕਰੋਂ ॥
ਅਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਹੋਂ ਆਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਕੌ ਇਹ ਲਾਲਚ ਹਉ ਗੁਨ ਤਉ ਉਚਰੋਂ ॥
ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤਿ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋਂ ॥੨੩੧॥

Deh siva bar mohe eh-hey subh karman te kabhu na taro.
Na daro arr seo jab jaye laro nischey kar apni jit karo.
Arr Sikh ho apne he mann ko, eh laalach hou gun tau ucharo.
Jab aav ki audh nidan bane att he rann me tabh joojh maro.

देह शिवा बर मोहे ईहे, शुभ कर्मन ते कभुं न टरूं
न डरौं अरि सौं जब जाय लड़ौं, निश्चय कर अपनी जीत करौं,
अरु सिख हों आपने ही मन कौ इह लालच हउ गुन तउ उचरों,
जब आव की अउध निदान बनै अति ही रन मै तब जूझ मरों ॥२३१॥

Translation: Dear God, grant my request so that I may never deviate from doing good deeds.
That, I shall have no fear of the enemy when I go into battle and with determination I will be victorious.
That, I may teach my mind to only sing your praises.
And when the time comes, I should die fighting heroically on the field of battle.||231||

~ Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Context

The Shabad (hymn), written in the 17th century, is a part of Chandi Charitar Ukti Bilas, a section of the Dasam Granth. Here the word "Shiva" may be taken to mean Lord Shiva but this is incorrect. In Sikh tradition uses the terms Shiva, Hari, Rama etc. in a nirguna sense to mean the One Lord Almighty.

The language used is Braj Bhasha which along with Awadhi (a variety of eastern hindi) was one of the two predominant literary languages of North-Central India before the switch to hindustani (khariboli) in the 19th century. Much of the traditional literature in this region was developed in Braj during the medieval period.

The entire 'Chandi di vaar' is a graphic violent battlefield scene written with the primary intent of desensitizing the docile Sikh population to horrific scenes they would experience in forthcoming battles to defend their human rights and Dharma, the path of righteousness.



Indian National Anthem

India's national anthem has a controversial history in which millions of Indians have been deceived. Many say that the Indian National Anthem is in praise of a former British King and Emperor of India and that the anthem fails to fully reflect India's races and regions.

Background

Firstly, it is worth mentioning that the current land of India was relatively recently created (in 1947) by the British. There were several other kingdoms which ruled over parts of India prior to the British occupation including the Sikh Empire. In 1617 the British East India Company was given permission by Mughal Emperor Jahangir to trade in India. By the 1850s, the East India Company controlled most of the Indian subcontinent. Their policy was sometimes summed up as Divide and Rule, taking advantage of the enmity festering between various princely states and social and religious groups.

However, after the Indian rebellion of 1857 all power was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown, which began to administer most of India as a number of provinces. The Crown controlled the Company's lands directly and had considerable indirect influence over the rest of India, which consisted of the Princely states ruled by local royal families. There were officially 565 princely states in 1947.

The British Raj was the rule of the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called 'India' in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called 'British India'. The name of India has been kept by the former slaves to the British. The British monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was often used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches. The passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. The Empress or Emperor of India were treated like Gods.

History

Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of 'British India'. Written in Sanskritised Bengali as an Indian language was not suitable, the first of five stanzas of the Brahmo hymn titled Bharot Bhagyo Bidhata are attributed to nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Jana Gana Mana was composed by Tagore wrote the song on 11 December 1911. On the following day, the Delhi durbar - or mass assembly when George V (the British King) was proclaimed Emperor of India - was held. Emperor George V who was scheduled to arrive at Calcutta on 30 December 1911.

At the time of the Coronation Durbar of George V, and 'Bharat Bhagya Bidhata' and 'Adhinayaka' was in praise of King George V as reported by British newspapers. The composition was first sung during a convention of the then loyalist Indian National Congress in Calcutta which began on 27th December 1911. It was sung on the second day of the convention on 28th, and the agenda of that day devoted itself to a loyal welcome of George V on his visit to India. The event was reported thus in the British Indian press;

"The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore sang a song composed by him specially to welcome the Emperor." (Statesman, Dec. 28, 1911)

"The proceedings began with the singing by Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor." (Englishman, Dec. 28, 1911)

"When the proceedings of the Indian National Congress began on Wednesday 27th December 1911, a Bengali song in welcome of the Emperor was sung. A resolution welcoming the Emperor and Empress was also adopted unanimously." (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911)

Wording

The english translation of Jana Gana Mana follows;

Thou (Emperor George V) art the ruler (directing the nation for farewell) of the hearts of all people, dispenser of India's fortune.

Thy name (Emperor George V) rouses the hearts of the Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, and Maratha, of the Dravida, and Odhisha and Bengal.

It echoes in the hills of Vindhyas and, Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Yamuna and the Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian sea.

We pray for your blessings (Emperor George V), and sing by your praise, The saving of all people waits in thy hand (Emperor George V).

Thou (Emperor George V) dispenser of India's fortune, Victory, victory, victory to thee (Emperor George V).

The Indian National anthem was clearly created as an act of flattery to Indian Emperor George V, the only British King-Emperor to travel to India. The song was 'composed at precisely the time of the visit' of the British King in December 1911, it does not 'indicate any love for the motherland', the 'lord or ruler' and the 'dispenser of India's destiny' (another phrase in the song) in 1911 were the British rulers, and it was sung for the first time at a conference in Calcutta of the Congress party, which was held to welcome the king.

The song, written in Sanskritised Bengali, has had its fair share of controversies: some say it is deferential to the British monarchy; others say it fails to fully reflect India's races and regions. However, it is worth noting that after independence in 1947, India retained a British Emperor so the choice of national athem was no surprise. Oblivious to their history, countless Indians still sing 'Jana Gana Mana' in memory of their former master, Emperor and King. Incidently, the grandson of Emperor George V, named 'Emperor George VI' became the Indian Emperor after 1947. Indian Emperor George VI was the first and last King Emperor of India as it is now.

What Indians Say

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, while speaking at the 26th convocation ceremony of Rajasthan University, is reported to have said that the national anthem should be amended, with the words "adhinayak jai ho" removed. As the Indian Express reported, "Jan gan man adhinayak jai ho kiske liye hai? It is to praise the 'angrezi shaasak'…the British. It is about time that it amended and replaced by 'jan gan man mangal gaye'. I do have full faith in Rabindranath Tagore and respect him but still feel the national anthem should drop the word 'adhinayak'," Singh said.

Others say;

A few things must be noted about this song:

1. The song was composed at precisely the time of the visit of the British King George the fifth and Queen Mary in December, 1911.

2. The poem does not indicate any love for the motherland.

3. The "Adhinayak" (Lord or Ruler) is being hailed. Who was the ruler of India in 1911? It was the British, headed by their King-Emperor.

4. Who was the "Bharat Bhagya Vidhata" (dispenser of India's destiny) at that time ? It was none but the British, since they were ruling India in 1911.

5. The song was sung for the first time in India on the second day of the Calcutta Conference of the Congress party in December 1911. This conference was held specially to give a loyal welcome to King George the fifth, and to thank him for annulling the Partition of Bengal in 1905.

6. The agenda of the second day of the Calcutta Conference, in which the song was sung, was specially reserved for giving a loyal welcome to George the fifth, and a resolution was adopted unanimously that day welcoming and expressing loyalty to the emperor and empress.

7. It was only as late as in 1937, when he wanted to show himself as a patriot, that Tagore denied that he had written the song to honour the British king. The above facts almost conclusively prove that "Jana Gana Mana" was composed and sung as an act of sycophancy to the British king.

And we have proudly adopted this song as our national anthem?

Jai ho!



Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram is a poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870s, which he included in his 1881 novel Anandamath. The lyrical poem is sung in praise to Durga (the multi-armed hindu mother goddess), it was written in Sanskrit and Bengali. The title 'Vande Mataram' literally means "I praise thee, Mother" or "I bow to thee, Mother".

Controversy

Parts of the Vande Mataram were chosen as the 'national song' in 1937 by the Indian National Congress as it pursued independence of India from the British colonial rule, after a committee consisting of Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subbash Bose, Acharya Deva and Rabrindanath Tagore recommended the adoption.

Vande Mataram was orginally considered for the Indian National anthem however the song was not selected by hindu leaders in order to respect the sentiments of non-hindus. The Muslim League and Muhammad Ali Jinnah opposed the song. Thereafter, with the support of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru, the Indian National Congress decided to adopt only the first two stanzas as the national song to be sung at public gatherings, and other verses that included references to Durga and Lakshmi were expunged.

Religious response

Many Imams and muslim organisations in India have declared fatwas against singing Vande Mataram. According to Asia News, the Islamic clerics "banned their followers from committing a sacrilege against Allah, the one god", by singing a song that describes "India as a god to adore".

According to a statement in 2004 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Sikhs should not sing Vande Mataram. In 2006, the DSGMC called singing of 'Vande Mataram' against Sikh tenets. "Vande Mataram would not be sung in the DSGMC-run educational institutions tomorrow on its first centenary as it is against the tenets, principles and philosophy of Sikhism," said Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, president of the Sikh body.

He said the Sikhs in their prayer wish for "Sarbat Da Bhala" (welfare of the whole community). They believe in one Almighty God and do not have belief in any devi-devta. Mr Sarna said the national anthem was sung in all educational institutions run by it with great respect. "But, we cannot allow the singing of Vande Mataram in our schools," he said, adding that it had been rejected by the veteran Akali leaders, Baba Kharak Singh and Master Tara Singh, long ago during the freedom struggle.

Hindutva

Unfortunately, the 'hindutva' (fanatical hindu fundamentalists) are seeking to promote Vande Mataram as the Indian national anthem. The hindutva is a nationalist ideology, based on a modern day version of centralized intolerant hinduism. It has nothing to do with a historical tradition of spiritual practices that is called hinduism.

Such a centralized and chauvinistic hinduism – hindutva – has been brought to the forefront today by a group of political organizations called the 'Sangh Parivar' (Sangh Family) – consisting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers Association – the mother organization after which the label Sangh Parivar is coined), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP – hindutva’s constitutional front that fights elections etc.), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP – World Hindu Council – the formations activist front), the Shiv Sena (the fascist front), the VHP of America (hindutva’s overseas arm) and the Hindu Students Councils (VHP of America’s student wing).




Guide To Discover Sikhism