Article MT120

Vande Mataram

A most popular and evergreen Indian song

The BBC is now 70 years old.  As a part of its celebrations, an online survey of World’s ‘top ten’ songs was conducted in November 2002.  It received tremendous response from millions of Internet users from 155 countries; results were declared on December 21, 2002 and the Irish National Anthem A Nation Once Again topped the list.  An Indian song Vande Mataram acquired second position.  Although the voting was for a version with the tune set by A R Rahman, the song has been extremely popular in India for over 100 years.  Several musicians and singers have recorded it on gramophone records from as early as 1905.

This article traces back the various aspects of this evergreen, controversial and sacred song, which Bengalis would call Bande Mataram whereas Indians from other states call it Vande Mataram.

Part One

Bande Mataram - National Anthem? National song? or a Cultural song?

Sunday, 7th November 1875.  'Akshay Navami' Bankimchandra Chatterjee (1838-94) wrote his famous song Bande Mataram at his residence in Kantalpada, in Naihati village, which is just a few miles away from Calcutta.  The song is now 125 years old.  It is probably the only Indian song that is still widely popular all over India, and musicians still want to sing it again and again, and keep composing new tunes for it.  During this year of celebrations, a book in Marathi, Vande Mataram: Ek Shodh by Mr Milind Sabnis, was published in Pune.  This is a carefully researched monograph, which should be translated into Hindi and English soon.  This year, an edited Hindi version of Bankimchandra’s novel, Anandmath was published in Mumbai.  A few audio/video albums featuring Bande Mataram have been released in the last five years.  "The Society of Indian Record Collectors," a Mumbai-based organization, has traced about one hundred different versions of Vande Mataram recorded over the last hundred years.  These versions vary from the voices of Rabindranath Tagore to that of A R Rahman.  Based on available recordings, an attempt has been made to note the musical aspects of this evergreen song. 

Bankimchandra was among the first batch of graduates from Calcutta University.  Soon after he had securred his BA, he was appointed as Deputy Magistrate, and eventually became a Deputy Collector.  In his work, he had ready access to old papers and gazettes, and came across the documents related to the mutiny of Sanyasis (saints) in Dhaka, North Bengal, Nepal, Tarai, Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Purniya during the period from 1763 to 1780.  He decided to write a novel, Anandmath, based on the heroic deeds of these sanyasis.  In his youth, he had witnessed the unsuccessful mutiny of 1857.  Around 1870, the British rulers were trying hard to force their anthem, God Save the Queen, on Indians.  This made a deep impact on Bankimchandra’s sensitive mind, and he wrote Bande Mataram in one sitting, in a mood that must be called transcendental.  He wrote the song as a prayer in which the nation 'Bharat' was described as 'The Mother'.  The song was later included in his novel Anandmath, which was published serially in his magazine Bangdarshan during 1880-1882.  The song was heavily criticized by his friends, and also by his daughter, for the words were difficult to pronounce, and the song comprised of a mixture of Bengali and Sanskrit words.  He argued that he wrote it spontaneously to express his emotions and thoughts without caring for its future.  However, like a prophet, he said, "I may not live to see its popularity, but this song will be sung by every Indian like a Ved Mantra." And that is exactly what happened after the partition of Bengal in 1905.

1] Beginning of the century - The song remained in the novel Anandmath until it was sung by Rabindranath Tagore at Beadon Square in the 1896 convention of the Indian National Congress.  It soon became part of a tradition after that, and even today Congress conventions, and sessions of the Loksabha and the Vidhansabha begin with the recitation of the first stanza of Bande Mataram.  In 1905, large crowd gathered at a town hall in Calcutta to protest against the partition of Bengal, and someone from the crowd shouted Bande Mataram. It became a very popular slogan overnight.  It crossed the boundaries of Bengal and spread all over the country like a flame.  Soon the British administration banned the songs and the very slogan Bande Mataram.  Given its growing popularity it is no surprise that early recording companies like Bose records and the Nicole Record company recorded it in the voice of Rabindranath Tagore, Babu Surendranath Banerjee, Satyabhushan Gupta, R N Bose and others.  Hemendra Mohan Bose released a version commercially on his label, H Bose Records, in 1907.  The police destroyed the factory, and the existing stock of records.  However a few copies of the disc survived in Belgium and Paris (where Pathe/H Bose records were pressed).  Hence we can still listen to Bande Mataram in Rabindranath’s voice.  Unfortunately, he recites the song in a rather shrill, high pitched and nasal voice, and in extremely slow tempo.  This is the oldest recording available on a gramophone record.  It has now been released on CD and is available along with a book, Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Genius, published by All India Radio in 1999.

2] The Pre-independence period: Due to the British ban, the song became even more popular and an abiding source of patriotism.  The couplet Bande Mataram received the status of a Vedic Mantra, and served as a slogan for revolutionaries.  Pandit Visnu Digambar Paluskar sang it in Raga Kafi in congress conventions for several years.  After his death in 1931, Pt.Omkarnath Thakur used to sing it in Raga which he called Bangiya Kafi.  Paluskar did not cut any gramophone discs, but Omkarnath Thakur’s commercial recording is available and he has sung it in very slow tempo, without percussion accompaniment, and only the haunting notes of a tanpura in the background.  The rendering reminds us of his famous record Mitawa Balamva in Raga Nilambari.

In addition to its status in political contexts, several composers and singers both in Bengal and in Maharashtra considered it as a wonderful lyric for expressing devotion towards the motherland.  Around 1928, Vishnupant Pagnis (later famous for his role in Prabhat Film Company’s film Saint Tukaram) cut a record in Raga Sarang.  Sung in the very loud and clear voice of a Bhajan singer, he has even changed the order of the stanzas in the original text.  In 1910/12, another bhajan singer, Savlaramboa from Mumbai [Lalbaug/Parel], sang it in Raga Kalingada, and his rendering can touch the soul of any responsive listener.  While setting the tune to a well-known folk melody, Keshavrao Bhole [famous as a music composer for the Prabhat Film Company] cut an Odeon record in 1935 in Raga Deshkar, which is an early morning melody.  His singing is scholarly, with showers of taans which can remind knowledgeable listeners of the famous Marathi stage song Priye Paha.

During this period, Bengali composers and singers were also setting the song to a variety of different tunes, cashing in on its steady popularity.  Desh Das, Satyabhushan Gupta, Dilipkumar Roy, Bhavanicharan Das, Hemchandra Sen, and Harendranath Dutt recorded under different labels.  Typical Bengali pronunciations and mridanga accompaniment are the peculiarities of these recordings.  The style is inclined towards Rabindra Sangeet.  In the South, Smt.  D Vasanta and D Vimla have cut records, but these are no longer easily available.  M S Subbulakshmi has sung it as a duet with Dilipkumar Roy with a different Raga and tempo for each stanza.  M S Subbalakshmi has also sung a Tamil version of Bande Mataram in a translation by Subramaniam Bharati.  This recording creates a devotional mood.  Among other duets, Geeta Dutt has sung it with G M Durrani.

3] Chorus/Orchestral Bande Mataram: Several such records were made and released commercially.  These were especially used in public functions or meetings.  Rabindranath’s original tune was sung by Viswa Bharati artists, and it is available both in vocal and in instrumental form.  Upon the suggestion of Subhashchandra Bose, Timir Baran set the tune to Raga Durga in the style of a marching song.  This gramophone record was used for the parades of the Azad Hind Sena, and the record was frequently broadcast from Singapore radio.  There is a mixture of Indian and western instruments in the orchestration.  Sursagar Jagmohan, Matrusevak Dal of Kamal Dasgupta Pankaj Mullick, Aanadi Dastidar, Rajan Ssarkar and others made similar recordings. 

Several composers, musicians and singers from Bengal and Maharashtra were confident that this would become the Anthem of independent India.  Hence they set a number of tunes for the song.  Among these were Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar and Mr V D Ambhaikar.  The latter is now 90 years old and lives at Dadar.  Master Krishnarao composed it in Raga Kafi and also in Raga Jhinjhoti.  The tune is simple and could be sung easily by anyone.  He cut a gramophone record around 1935.  His radio broadcast was interrupted soon after he began to sing the banned song at the end of his program.  He then boycotted all radio programs.  He popularized his tunes through gramophone records and by singing it in his music concerts.  After Independence, he was invited to sing on All India Radio and he began his concert by singing Vande Mataram.  In 1948, when he learnt that Pandit Nehru was against the music of the song and not the contents, he volunteered to prepare tunes that would conform to guidelines similar to those laid down by the British.  He prepared several alternative versions of the song recited solo, in chorus, as a marching song, with and without accompaniment.  These recording were played to members of the Constitution Committee.

Mr V D Ambhaikar made similar efforts.  He composed a tune in the Raga Khambavati, and prepared a number of test records.  He too presented his tunes to the Constitution Committee.  Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar liked the tune very much and suggested that if a gramophone record were made in the voice of Kesarbai Kerkar, he would be the first person to buy it.  However, she refused to record the song, and finally the record was cut in the voice of Moghubai Kurdikar.  This rendering does create a serene and pious mood, however the pitch and the higher octave used is beyond the capacity of the lay person.  No wonder then that these efforts were rejected by Pandit Nehru.  Around same time, the musician Vasant Desai made records on the Young India label in which he sang the first stanza of the song.  He sings solo, and then the chorus repeats the lines after him.  There are two versions using Indian and western instruments like Shinga, Choughada, Flute and Piano, trumpet and Jhanj.  Very few copies of these records have survived today. 

Pandit Nehru of course gave the final verdict.  In a meeting of the Constitution Committee held on 24th January 1950, President Dr Rajendra Prasad announced that Jana Gana Mana would be the National Anthem of independent India and Vande Mataram would be the National song with same status as the Anthem.  With this decision, all efforts at providing new tunes ended and the recordings made up to that time have now become important documents and part of our cultural heritage. 

4] Post Independence era: In 1947, this song was included in the Hindi feature film Amar Asha (Immortal Hope).  As no gramophone record was cut and the film reels are not available, the details and the tune are lost to history.  Pannalal Ghosh set the tune in a typical Bengali folk idiom for the film Aandolan in 1951.  It is sung by Manna Dey, Parul Ghosh, Sudha Malhotra, and Shaileshkumar.  The film Anandmath was made both in Bengali and in Hindi in 1952.  The tune is still very famous and popular.  It is composed using a mixture of Ragas Malkauns and Bhairavi, and is highly inspiring.  Hemant Kumar and chorus have sung it in Aarati style with prominent mridanga accompaniment in the Bengali film Mahabiplovi Aurobindo.  The credit titles of the Hindi film Leader (featuring Dilip Kumar) had Vande Mataram sung in chorus in the background.  Naushad gave the music.  No gramophone record was cut and the singers were not identified.  This is a very simple marching tune.  In 1997, Usha Utthup sang it in Shyam Benegal’s Making of the Mahatma in the tune set by Vanraj Bhatiya.  It is set to a tune in a style that resembles Pop music, and occurs as a background score during Gandhiji’s famous long march in south Africa in the first decade of this century, where it appears a little anachronistic. 

Both Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram have five stanzas each, and generally only first stanza is sung or played.  As a result, most Indians have either forgotten, or are unaware of, the complete song.  Both the songs were recorded specially by the Gramophone Company for playing on some 800 AIR [All India Radio] stations.  It is believed that Ravi Shankar set the tune when he was a radio staff artist.  Both vocal and instrumental versions were recorded, each lasting for about 58 seconds.  This tune is very simple, and succeeds in creating a serene and solemn mood of worship of the motherland.  Every morning, all the radio stations played Vande Mataram in the vocal version immediately after the signature tune.  Later the same practice was observed on TV/Doordarshan too.  These recordings are also played in public meetings and functions, especially in the South Indian states where Hindi has not been accepted as the national language.

In 1982, Mahendra Kapoor cut one 45 rpm disc in which he has sung both the songs using a chorus.  Apart from this, no one has ventured to compose a fresh tune in the last 50 years.  It continues to be played at the opening sessions of parliament and state legislative assemblies.  Citizens are expected to stand at attention while it is sung or played in all public meetings. 

5] Golden Jubilee celebrations of India’s Independence and Vande Mataram

In 1997, India celebrated its 50th year of independence.  In celebration, G Bharatbala reviving the words Vande Mataram (in Hindi "Maa Tujhe Salam") while launching A R Rahman’s audio-video album.  This album contains the Bankimchandra original Bande Mataram, sung beautifully in Raga Desh Malhar with wonderful tone and color to the instrumental sound.  The song as played in the other tracks of the album has received widespread acceptance by the contemporary listening public, and its words have acquired a new currency all over India.  But the song text is different from the traditional Vande Mataram in some crucial respects.  The video shows citizens of all age groups with tricolor of different sizes in their hands, while some are shown trying to raise a huge flag lying on the ground.  Nobody seems to have followed the guidelines for flag hoisting during the shooting of the video.  The national flag, which is a symbol of the nation’s prestige and pride, is used in a manner that makes it into a virtual toy or accessory.  The tune shows a Western Michael Jackson type of influence, and it has become extremely popular all over the nation and in other countries where the video has been telecast.  The composer Rahman has posed, sung and danced in Michael Jackson style for the video.  On the eve and at midnight of 14th August 1997, his group gave a live performance at India gate, dancing Vande Mataram - Ma Tujhe Salam.  The event was probably sponsored by the celebration committee of the government.

At the same time, a special session of Parliament was convened.  Our MPs were to be seen standing and nodding their heads when Pandit Bhimsen Joshi sang it for over two minutes in the style of a classical music concert, with excellent accompaniment on tabla and harmonium.  One of the points about which objections have been raised before Independence, and since, is that the government-sanctioned version played on AIR is without any accompaniment.  In the following year, on 14th August 1998, Pandit Jasraj sang it at the same place, without instruments but with a chorus humming in the background while Panditji takes the centre-stage.  On both occasions, our MPs have been shown clapping enthusiastically at the end.  Do we ever clap after singing the Anthem?  Is this the way in which we respect our National Anthem?

6] Vande Mataram at the turn of 20th century

Due to the massive success of this album, the same group launched another album Vande Mataram - 2 in 1999, with a music score by Ranjit Barot, son of yesteryear's famous dancer Sitaradevi.  This album includes a reissued version of Lata Mangeshkar’s Vande Mataram from the 1952 film Anandmath.  The lyricist Mehboob wrote another lyric for Lata Mangeshkar (for the leading line, "Sujjalam, Suffalam, Malayyaj Sheetalam, Sasyya Shyyamalam Maataram") words easily borrowed - or marrowed? - from the sacred song of national pride.  The remainder of the lyric, as before, is different and Lataji has sung wonderfully to the same old Anandmath tune for "Maa Tujhe Salam, Maa Tujhe Pranam." The lyricist appears to have conjoined the words "Salam" and "Pranam," though there is a world of difference between the two.  In the same album Shubha Mudgal has sung the familiar Vande Mataram in a pop idiom, whereas Kausiki Chakravarty sings it like a lullaby. 

Several musicians, composers and singers have re-presented the song recently in different styles and forms.  Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra staged a ballet based on Vande Mataram during the Elephanta festival, and the song was sung by Ustad Rashid Khan.  In one of the Indian Music Group’s concert at St Xavier’s college in Mumbai, Pandit Ram Narain played it on the Sarangi in concluding a recital.  Anoop Jalota sang it in his latest album of Deshbhakti songs.  On 15th August 2000, Hindukush released a new video album Vande Mataram in the voice of Sadhana Sargam.

7] Vande Mataram in the 21st century

The song Vande Mataram is now 125 years old, and has now entered the 21st century.  In 1975, while celebrating its centenary, a conference was organized at Banaras in which books, monographs and proceedings devoted to the song were published.  In 2000, the Vande Mataram Shatkottar Rajat Jayanti Samiti of Pune published a Marathi book on the song.  The Society of Indian Record Collectors found over 100 recorded versions of the song and presented over 20 illustrated listening sessions to audience of various age groups in Maharashtra.

As usual, no political party (including the Indian National Congress) took any note of these activities.  Hard-liners with slogans like "Garva Se Kaho...." and/or "Is Desh Men Rahana Hoga To Vande Mataram Kahana Hoga" did not seem to know about this event.  Even Bengalis have failed to notice these activities, probably because of the last fifity years of communist rule in Bengal.  The Rashtriya Aghadi Government announced the formation of a committee that would attend to issues concerning the song and its future but nothing has come of it since.

Musically speaking it seems that Indians will never forget this lyric even after another 125 years.  This is clearly seen with the new compositions and renderings.  From R N Tagore to A R Rahman and beyond, numerous tunes have been composed and no other song in Independent India has received so much attention.  This is probably because we Indians do not consider this as the national song or Anthem.  We treat it as the song of our culture, a ‘Prateek’ or living symbol.  In Hindu culture, the mother is considered a God, and worshipping the mother through songs is an age-old tradition.  Vande Mataram is one such song, which describes the motherland.  That is why the song keeps reappearing again and again in different forms.  It will be no great wonder if it gets set to an assortment of new musical idioms - even jazz, rock, rap or metal - in the 21st century.  Its appeal and purpose will keep changing from time to time but the basic aspect of the "Ave Maria-Mother I bow to Thee" will remain.  In this sense, then, all the tunes described above could be said to be well-justified and much appreciated.

Part Two - Audio sound track details

Vande Mataram

Some interesting events before the song became popular nationwide Bande Mataram on 'Dhwani Mudrika' [Gramophone Records and cassettes]

Note - This list could still be incomplete and readers are requested to send additional information.

Serial No.  / Company, Label / Record Number (year) / singers and other details

1] Nicole Records / C 465 (c.1905) / Narain Chandra Mukherjee

2] Nicole Records / C 436 (c.1907) / Narain Chandra Mukherjee

3] H.Bose’s Cylinder Record / 250 (c.1906) / Rabindra Nath Tagore (Concert size)

4] H.Bose’s Cylinder Record / s 250 (C.1906) / Sevak Sampradaya (Standard size)

5] Pathe / H.Bose’s double sided vertical cut Record / 3511 (C.1908) / Rabindra Nath Tagore

6] Pathe / H.Bose’s double sided vertical cut Record / 3512 (C.1908) / Sevak Sampradaya

7] H.Bose’s Record / Pathe / 36-250 (C.1908) / Rabindra Nath Tagore (Standard size record - 250 ml.)

8] H.Bose’s Record / Pathe / 36-350 (C.1908) / Rabindra Nath Tagore (Concert size record - 150 ml)

9] Gramophone Monarch Record (12") / 012112 (1906) / R.N.Bose

10] Gramophone Concert Record (10") / 5 - 12638 (1906) / Narain Chandra Mukherjee

11] Gramophone Concert Record (10") / 5 - 12639 (1906) / Narain Chandra Mukherjee

12] National Grand Record / 20290 / Babu Surendranath Banerjee

13] Beka Grand Record / 21125 (1908) / Babu Hem chandra Sen

14] National record / 462 / 541 (1907) / Narain Chandra Mukherjee

15] Odeon Record (10 3/4") / 94131 (1911) / Satya Bhushan Gupta

16] Viel-O-Phone Record / T 6003 (1912) / Desh Dass

16A] Viel-O-Phone Record / VR 1567 [1073-74] Raga Desh - complete song in two parts.

17] Phon-O-Phone Record / G 438 / 1029 (C.1910) / Savlaram Boa, Mumbai / sung in Raga Kalingada.

18] Binapani Record / Just newspaper advt.(1908) only.  Actual record not seen.

19] H.M.V / P 5182 (C.1920) / Harendra Nath Dutt

20] Hindustan Record / H 570 (C.1940) / Prova Roy, Jay Dass, Vijaya Devi, Dhiren Gupta, Haripada Chatterjee.  - specially trained by Dr Rabindranath Tagore.  Musical Direction by Sj.  Haripada Chatterjee.

21] Megaphone Record Company / J.N.G.  5224 (C.1935) / Bhabani Charan Dass - in two parts - Matrix numbers - DMC 8661/8662.

22] H.M.V / N 6944 (C.1950) Matrix number - OMC 8468 / Matruesvak Dal - Music by Kamal das Gupta

23] Ananda Bazaar, Hindustan Record (12") / AHR 1 (C.1938) / Chorus in Raga Durga.  Music by Timir Baran.

24] Columbia GE 3132 (C.1935) / Pt.Omkarnath Thakur - Raga Bangiya Kafi

25] Columbia BEX 201 (12") [C.1935] / Pt.Omkarnath Thakur

26] Columbia 7 EPE 4227 (C.1965) / Pt.Omkarnath Thakur [reissued]

27] Rhythm House Classic 240 361 (c.1990) / Live recording in Mumbai c.1960.

28] Young India TM 8463 (C.1948) / N.R.Bhattarcharya and Party

29] Young India TM 8474 (C.1948) / side 1-Trumpet,Jhanj and Piano, side 2-Shing and Chaughada.  Music - Mr Vasant Desai

30] Young India TM 8475 (C.1948) / side 1 - sung and music by Mr Vasant Desai

31] Young India TM 8476 (C.1948) / side 1-Shing and Chaughada,side 2 - for use in theaters.  The tunes are like the marching songs.

32] H.M.V.  N 17014 (C.1950) / Sati Devi, Kamal Das, Ajay Biswas, Somen Gupta.  Music Direction - Sur Sagar

33] H.M.V.  HT 80 (12") [C.1945] / Dilip Kumar Roy

34] H.M.V.  N 14421 (C.1950) / Dilip Kumar Roy, and M.S.Subbulaxmi

35] Columbia GE 3997 (C.1950) / Bai Mogubai Kurdikar, Raga - Khambavati.  Music - Mr V.D.Ambhaikar

36] Columbia GE 7357 (C.1950) / Surshree Orchestra - conducted by Rajan Sarkar

37] H.M.V.  N 20109 (C.1950) / Vocal and instrumental by Sur Sagar Jagmohan.  Side one - vocal, Side two - instrumental.

38] H.M.V.  N 27829 (C.1950) / Jagonmoy Mitra, Dwijen Chowdhury, Debbrata Biswas, Niharbindu Sen, Kanak Das, Suchitra Mukherjee, Supriti Ghosh, Gita Nabar.  Music Direction - Anadi Dastidar.

39] H.M.V.  N 27893 (C.1950) / Jagonmoy Mitra, Beehu Dutta, Roma Devi, Supriti Ghosh.  Tune and Music Direction - Timir Baran.

40] H.M.V.  N 28000 (C.1950) / Smt.D.Vasanta and D.Vimala (Tamil)

41] H.M.V.  N 28002 (C.1950) / Miss D.Vasanta (Tamil)

42] H.M.V.  N 16872 (C.1950) / Varat Vyas and Party (Hindi)

43] H.M.V.  N 16331 (C.1950) / Ram Asram Girl’s School (Hindi)

44] Hindustan Records / H 1348 (C.1940) / Pankaj Mullick and others.  Orchestra with vocal refrain.

45] H.M.V.  P 11361 (C.1928) / Vishnupant Pagnis - Raga Sarang.  The same track is reissued on Rounder CD 1083 (1993) Vintage Music From India - North India - track no.17

46] Ramagraph R 920 (C.1930) / 6029-30 / Vishnupant Pagnis - Part 1 & 2.

47] H.M.V.  N 36170 (C.1950) / Geeta Roy and Durani

48] Columbia GE 17512 (C.1938) / Master Krishnarao - Raga Jhinjhoti

49] H.M.V.  N 16939 (C.1951) / Chorus - Vishwa Bharati Artists

50] H.M.V.  N 16985 (C.1951) / Chorus - Brass Band Group

51] Senola Records / QS 711 (C.1935) / Chorus from Film ‘Bande Mataram’ (Bengali).  Tune - Sukerti Sen.

52] H.M.V.  PMLP 1703, cassette STHV 24172 (C.1965) / " Shraddhanjali" (LP) / Hemanta Mukherjee and others - from Bengali film ‘ Mahabiplavi aurobinda ‘

53] H.M.V.  N 27606-611 (C.1950) / Bengali Drama Set Records - ‘Anand Math’ - Dramatized by Manmatha Roy.

54] Columbia GE 7323-29 (C.1950) / Bengali Commentary Drama set Records - ‘Swadhintar Saadhana [part of the song only] / by Sachin Sen Gupta, Music - Durga Sen.

55] Test Record / ?? / Chandra Bandorey - more or less in the tune as sung by Pt.Omkarnath Thakur.

56] H.M.V.  N 82936 (1962) / Chorus - AIR Choral Group

57] H.M.V.  7EPE 1006 (1965) / Chorus - AIR Choral Group

58] H.M.V.  (LP) ECSD 35518 (C.1970) / Bharati Songs - I / Smt.M.S.Subbulaxmi (Tamil Version), side two - track one (different tune).

59] Odeon A 245012 b (C.1935) / Vande Mataram / Mr Keshav Rao Bhole - in Raga Deshkar.

60] Star Hindustan Record JSA 5305 (C.1940) / Shobha Khanna, Kamala and Suresh.  Music - Purshottamdas Jalota.

61] Music India EP 2067 842 (1982) by Mahendra Kapoor and Chorus - National songs.  - arranged and conducted by Y.S.Mulki.

62] Janata Audio (JA 1001, Calcutta) cassette - ‘PREYRONA’ / side one - Sree Radha Bandopadhyay, side two - Haimanti Shukla.  Sung by two artists in two different tunes.  Tribute by W.B.P.C.C.: 50 years of independence and birth centenary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.  Commemorating 80th session of Indian National Congress, 8-10 August 1997, at Calcutta - W.B.P.C.C.  President Sj.Somen Mitra.

63] In Hindi film - "Amar Asha’ [Immortal Hope] Music - No gramophne record was issued.  Singers are not known.

64] H.M.V.  N 50169 (C.1952) / Lata Mangeshkar and others - Film ‘Anandmath’ (Hindi).  Music - Hemant Kumar.  Reissued in Vande Mataram - 2 (1999) HMV TPHVS-854 126

65] In Hindi film ‘Aandolan’ (1951) / Manna Dey, Shaileshkumar, Sudha Malhotra, Parul Ghosh and others / Music - Pannalal Ghosh.

66] In Hindi film ‘Leader’ (1964) / used as a background chorus score for the credit titles.  / No record made - music by Naushad.  Tune is like marching song.

67] In Hindi and English film - ‘Making of Mahatma’ (1996) / sung by Usha Utthup / Music by Vanaraj Bhatiya.

68] Sony Music 488 7094 (1997) / sung by Anuradha, Sujata, Kalyani Menon and Seema / Music by A.R.Rehman.

69] HMV SPHOS 854083 (1996) / Mere Vatanke Logo [50 years of India’s Independence] / Lata Mangeshkar : New Recordings.

70] HMV TPHVS 854124 (1998) - Vande Mataram 2, Bharatbala Productions.  1) Lata Mangeshkar - Vande Mataram 1998 & 1952, Jai Jai Mataram by Shubha Mudgal and Tarana by Kaushiki Chakravarthy.

71] Polygram 6337 763 (1999) - A tribute to Nation - India Tu Hai Meri Pooja - nine patriotic songs first time sung by Shree Anup Jalota.

72] LDER [Little Darling Educational Rhythms] presentation, New Delhi (1999) - Desh Bhakti Geet - sung by Vandana Bajpai and others.

73]Fountain FMB 509 (2000) - Bharat 2000 - Top 10 Desh Bhakti Geet, Music by Prasad Ranade.  [Various artists]

74] Sagarika (cassettee) 31065 (1998) - ‘Swadesh Aamar Swadesh’ - compilation of 14 Bengali patriotic songs - issued by Paschimbanga Rajya Sangeet Academy and sung by the students of academy.

75] Wings (cassette) - SSDH/WHC (Jan.2000) - ‘Saare Jahanse Achha Hindustan Hamara’ - Patriotic songs:side A - sung by Sadhana Sargam, Bipin Sachdeva, Vinod Rathod and chorus [in same tune sung by Lata Mangeshkar in ‘Anandmath’].

76] Cassettee HMV SPHOS 843255 (8/1999) - Vande Mataram - Tunes of Bengali patriotic songs - played by Calcutta Cine Musicians Association under the direction of Pandit V.Balsara - side one - song no.1.[AIR tune].

77] Genious Rabindranath Tagore CD [June 1999] - Bande Mataram [2 minutes and 40 seconds duration song reissued from Pathe / H.Bose disc (originally sung by Dr Rabindranath Tagore)].  Recording digitally remastered from Germany.

A book - ‘ Rabindranath Tagore : Facets of a genious ’ - published by Director General of All India Radio - CD / cassettee available with this book.

78] CDNF 154034/35 (1997) - ‘Voices of freedom’ - sung by Auro Mira choir group, Shree Aurobindo Ashram.  [Also issued on audio cassettee].

Song sung / telecast, broadcast etc, but not recorded for commercial release

1] Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar - in Raga Kafi.  Sung at 1923 Kakinada Congress Convention ignoring the opposition of muslim leaders.

2] Mr Anandbihari Telang - Raga Desh.

3] Mr S.S.Nigani - Raga Bhairavi.

4] Dr Lalmani Mishra - Raga Malkauns.

5] Mr Balwant Bhatta - Raga Sarang.

6] Test records of Mr V.D.Ambhaikar - Three versions recorded (1948).  These are vocal, Instrumental and chorus recordings.  Mr Ambhaikar set this song in many different ragas since his childhood.  He sang it to almost all the great national leaders and at several congress conventions.  He spent most of his life in popularizing these tunes and formed ‘Vande Mataram chorus Party’ for this purpose.  On the insistence of Dr B.R.Ambedkar he cut three records and were played to the members of Parliament.

7] Test Records of Master Krishnarao - Chorus and Band.  (C.1938)

8] Recording from private program of Master Krishnarao.  - first two stanzas.  (C.1952)

9] Recording from private program of Pandit Ram Marathe.  (C.1960)

10] Recordings of son of Pandit Shankar Abhyankar.  (C.1955)

11] Bengali Film - ‘Anand Math’ - by Satish Dasgupta, music - Subal Dasgupta (13th September 1951)

12] Bengali Film - ‘Sabuj Dwiper Raaja’ - by Tapan Sinha (17th August 1979), music - Tapan Sinha

13] In a special session of Parliament - on 14th August 1997 - Pandit Bhimsen Joshi sang first stanza of ‘Vande Mataram’ in Raga Desh.  In the same session Smt.Lata Mangeshkar concluded the song ‘Saare Jahanse Acchha’ by the words ‘Vande Mataram’.

14] Pandit Jasraj sang 0n 15th August 1998 in Parliament.

15] Sanskar Bharati Cassette - sung by Smt.Chitra Joshi.

16] Geet Bharati Cassette, Bangalore - full song sung by Mr Shankar Shanbhag.

17] Ustad Rashid Khan sung Vande Mataram in a concert of classical music organized by IMG group of St.Xavier’s college in Mumbai (1999).

18] Sung by eminent researcher Mr Anant Chakraborty (partly) in an unpublished audio cassette.  This recording was done on 8th May 1990.  Tune is in Raga Mallar as directed in the novel ‘Anandmath’ by the author Bankimchandra Chatterjee.

19] Sung by Smt.Sapana Chattopadhyaya in Raga Mallar (as set by Mr A.Chakraborty) in an unpublished cassette.  The song was first sung on the lawns of Sahitya Samrat Bankimchandra’s ancestral house at Kathalpara, Naihati, on 8th April 1994 and also on his birthday in 1994.  [A copy of this recording is available with Mr S.K.Chatterjee by courtsey of Mr Ajitkumar Bhattacharya, Bhatpara,West Bengal]

20] Sung by Shri Jagonmoy Mitra in two different tunes, set by himself in an unpublished cassette - Courtsey - Shri.  Dipankar Chattopadhyaya.

21] Sung by ‘Indira Sangeet Shikshayatan’ - Akashbani, Calcutta on 12.12.1991 - in the tune set by Late Jyotirindranath Tagore.

22] Every day just after the signature tune Doordarshan plays first stanza of ‘Vande Mataram’ along with the telecast visual images.

23] Notation of first two stanzas (in Raga Kafi) - by Pandit Ratanjankar in the revised version of the book of his compositions.

24] Instrumental: on Naval band - composed in Raga Kafi by Mr H.V.alias Bapurao Datey, Poona.  [Both notation and recording is available.]

25] Sung by Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan for Mr H.V.Datey.  [Private recording available]

26] Renowned dancer Kelucharan Mahapatra presented ‘Vande Mataram’ ballet in the Elephanta festival in Mumbai - Feb/March 1999.  It is telecast from video on Indian TV channels occasionally.

27] Pandit Ram Narayan played it on sarangi in one of the music festivals organised in Mumbai in 1999.

28] Musician Hindukush and Cameraman C.K.S.Rao have released a video cassettee for the telecast on 15th August 2000.  The entire song is included and is sung by Sadhana Sargam.


1] Chittaranjan Bandopadhyay, "Bande Mataram - O -Swadeshi Aandolan", in Desh, 1995 (Bengali magazine).

2] Michael Kinnear, The Gramophone Company’s First Indian Recordings.

3] Discussions with Mr Ajit Kumar Bhattacharya and Mr Dulal Chandra Ghosh.

4] Catalogues, booklets, Records etc. from personal collections.

5] The Record News – The Journal of ‘Society of Indian Record Collectors’, Mumbai, Vol.27-30 (1998-1999). Ed. Suresh Chandvankar

6] Commercial CDs, cassettes and gramophone records. [record labels, inlay cards and sleeve notes]

7] Collection of recordings of Vande Mataram - Milind Sabnis, Pune

8] Details sent by Mr Sushanta Kumar Chatterjee, Calcutta. [March 2000]

Suresh Chandvankar - 19.2.03
Hon.Secretary, "Society of Indian Record Collectors

Article MT120

Top of page Home Page Articles Reviews News Editorial Map

Site designed and maintained by Musical Traditions Web Services   Updated: 26.2.03