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Indian National Anthem

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The song "Jana-gana-mana", composed by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on 24 January 1950. It was first sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. The First stanza consists of the full version of the National Anthem. It reads:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Punjaba-Sindhu-Gujarata-Maratha
Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga
Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya, jaya, jaya, jaya he!

Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions. The following is Tagore's English rendering of this stanza:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas,
Mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
Chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.


National Emblem


The national emblem of India is a replica of the Lion at Sarnath, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation. The national emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.

The four lions (one hidden from view), symbolising power, courage and confidence, rest on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals, that are considered guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. The abacus rests on a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. The motto 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari script means 'truth alone triumphs'.

National Flag


The Indian flag was designed as a symbol of freedom. The late Prime Minister Nehru called it "a flag not only of freedom for ourselves, but a symbol of freedom to all people."

The flag is a horizontal tricolour in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is 2:3. In the centre of the white band, there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion Capital. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The saffron stands for courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation; the white, for purity and truth; and the green for faith and fertility.

National Animal - Tiger

 

The large Asiatic carnivorous feline quadruped, Panthera tigris, maneless, of tawny yellow colour with blackish transverse stripes and white belly, proverbial for its power and its magnificence, is the national animal of India.

There are very few tigers left in the world today. A decade ago the tiger population in India had dwindled to a few hundreds. The Government of India, under its Project Tiger programme, started a massive effort to preserve the tiger population. Today, thanks to Project Tiger, India's population of tigers is in a comfortable position.

National Bird - Peacock

 

The male bird of species Pavo cristatus, the peacock is a native of India, with striking plumage and upper tail converts marked with iridescent ocelli, and able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. Peacocks are related to pheasants.

Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. The peahen has no plumage. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look - they have a harsh call.

National Flower - Lotus


The lotus or waterlily is an aquatic plant of Nymphaea family with broad floating leaves and bright fragrant flowers that grow only in shallow waters. The leaves and flowers float and have long stems that contain air spaces. The big attractive flowers have many petals overlapping in a symmetrical pattern. The root functions are carried out by rhizomes that fan out horizontally through the mud below the water. Lotuses, prized for their serene beauty, are delightful to behold as their blossoms open on the surface of a pond. In India the sacred lotus is legendary and much folklore and religious mythology is woven around it.

Nationa Tree - Banyan

 

The Banyan tree is the Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, whose branches root themselves like new trees over a large area. The roots then give rise to more trunks an branches. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India. Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village life and the village council meets under the shade of this tree.

National Fruit - Mango

 

A fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles, of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are over 100 varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes, have been cultivated in India from time immemorial. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhi Bagh.

National Calendar

 The national calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:

    (i) Gazette of India,
    (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio,
    (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India and
    (iv) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.

Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.

National Song

Click here for the national song.

 The song Vande Mataram,  composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-man a. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:

        Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!
        Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
        Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
        Vande Mataram!
        Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
        Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
        Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
        Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
        Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!
 

The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose 1 is:

        I bow to thee, Mother,
        richly-watered, richly-fruited,
        cool with the winds of the south,
        dark with the crops of the harvests,
        The Mother!
        Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
        her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
        sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
        The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.