The era of ?remix music? seems to have touched the sphere of our national anthem Jana-Gana-Mana also. Changing the tune of country'snational anthem Jana-Gana-Mana deeply entrenched in the psyche of India, over generations may not be easily digestible.
It is reported that, one Bharat Bala Production has made a three minutes? film on ?National Integration? entitled Jana-Gana-Mana. The musical score has been assigned to the bollywood fame A.R.Rehman who some years back gave music to our national song, Bankim Chandra'sVande Mataram composed in 1882. Not only the tuning with the stench of disco was changed but also the wordings, by adding two superficial words Maa Tujhe Salam which incidentally did not figure in the original text of Bankim Chandra.
It is apprehended that, if this unhealthy trend of playing fast & loose with these sacred songs are not halted, days are not far when other musicians may jump into the fray making their experiments with Jana-Gana-Mana. They may also change a bit of the lyric of Rabindranath Tagore. Different music directors may have their own notations that may result in changing the wordings & thereby debasing the basic essence of the song.
Vande Mataram & Jana-Gana-Mana are created by the two icons, who are not alive today. They had lived, experienced and interacted with our national movement that has infused their mind with a strong sense of nationalism. They have composed numerous novels, poems and songs, that not only correspond to the euphoria of the age but also permeates the flavour of our country'sfreedom movement.
Ravindranath composed Jana-Gana-Mana during early 20th century and he could not possibly imagine that one day his song will become India'snational anthem. The nationalist leaders, scholars and the luminaries who formed the galaxy of the period had unanimously decided to exult the song to the status of a national anthem.
Then what should be the necessity and ulterior motive in changing the tune of the song by movie barons thereby wounding the feelings of Indians.
It may be noted that Tagore's(penned & tunned by him) Aamar Sonar Baangla, aami Tomai Bhalo Basi happens to be the national anthem of Bangladesh, a sovereign country with a different approach, politics, official language & religion. There have been occasions for minor disputes between Bangladesh & India but no musician of Bangladesh has ever ventured to change their national anthem created by an Indian.
The matter cannot be brushed aside as a personal choice by a film music director, for the three minutes feature film carrying the song was approved by film Censor Board whose chairman is the nominee of the Government of India. Moreover repeated projection of the song through the media smacks of, tacit approval by the Government which amounts to deceiving the people. Changing the tunning of national anthem requires the approval of parliament and also state legislature. The wordings like ?Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Marathaa, Dravid, Utkala, Banga etc. represents the geography of our country and carries the message of territorial integrity, peaceful co-existence and Indian federation, known as Bharat. Even then it may not be permissible for Jana-Gana-Mana form the part of Rabindra Sangeet, which is not subject of any alteration.
The lyric and the tuning of Jana-Gana-Mana prepared by Rabindranath are interwoven and as such cannot possibly be separated. It is being sung and played over instruments by millions not only in India in official and unofficial functions but also across the globe. Think of it if a group of Indians are singing at different places in different tuning, how does it look.
The insipidity and ephemerality of today'sfilm music has resulted in the emergence of a good number of remix songs that pays tribute to the old melodies. One is afraid that the national anthem may not become a victim of it and be sung over television screens with different acrobatics.
The movie musicians may be asked to confine themselves to the movie land and kindly spare the pious songs of the nation. It is the duty of the government to preserve the sanctity of Vande Mataram and Jana-Gana-Mana, the two most precious gifts to the Nation.
(The author can be contacted at Barkagon Road, Near T.V. Tower Hazari Bag, Jharkhand)