National Anthem played in Germany (OutlookIndia.com)
Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 14, 2008
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, way back in 1942 during an event at the Hotel Atlantic here, chose the poem penned by Rabindranath Tagore as the national anthem of the ‘Free India’ centre, predecessor of the Azad Hind Fauj that he set up a year later in Singapore.
The venue was treated to the same musical rendering last night when Surya KumarBose, grand nephew of Netaji, who is settled in Hamburg, played the tape of Tagore’s poem before a group of journalists who are here for “India Week” being organised by Hamburg city government.
Bose, who is engaged in IT business with operations in Hamburg and Kolkata had come to possess the copy of the original tape of the anthem, recorded by a close associate of Netaji.
“Not many people know how the National Anthem was born,” Bose told PTI.
Going down the memory lane, Bose recollected a programme broadcast by All India Radio on the occasion of 83rd birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose in January 1980 called “National Anthem Born in Exile”.
It said that an organisation called Indo-German Association was founded at the Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg on September 11, 1942 on the initiative of Netaji.
Among those present on the occasion were Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Mayor of Hamburg, representatives of German government and many leading personalities.
On the occasion, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg played the national anthems of Germany and Free-India Centre, which was given proper recognition by countries like Germany and Italy.
The Centre had a flag of its own but it did not had a national anthem. Netaji discussed several options and decided on ‘Jana Gana Mana’ as the national anthem of the Free India.
It was Ambik Majumdar who adapted the notations to this song written by Rabindra Nath Tagore and orchestra conductor was a German named Eigel Kruettge.
Narahari Ganpuley, a close associate of Netaji recorded the performance at the hotel on a tape. He was arrested by the British after the Second World War, but somehow managed to save the original tape of ‘Jana Gana Mana’. After his death in 1977, this tape was handed over to All India Radio.
According to the radio programme, when India became became independent, there was no National Anthem. Early in January 1950, a delegation from India attended the UN General Assembly in New York. One of the members of delegation carried a record of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ which was produced in Singapore.
He handed this record to the UN Orchestra which then played ‘Jana Gana Mana’ along with national anthems of other countries.
The delegation came back to India in the 3rd week of January 1950 and reported to Jawaharlal Nehru that ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was played at the United Nations and was highly appreciated by all those present.
As January 26 was approaching fast and no other national anthem had been found, it was decided that the Tagore’s poem should be bestowed the status of National Anthem on January 26, 1950.