Guwahati, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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State to seek newspaper clarification on report
STAFF Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 17 – The State Government will seek a clarification from The Times of India as to whose notation of the Indian National Anthem it published in 1950 and 1997, which showed ‘Kamrup’ embedded in the body of the lyric composed by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

This was stated by Minister Rockybul Hussain while replying to a debate on a private member’s resolution moved by Phani Bhusan Choudhury (AGP) in the State Assembly today. Choudhury moved the resolution on his and his party colleague Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s behalf.

The Minister said that the State Government would initiate steps in this regard after the response from the newspaper.

Hussain also maintained that Bengali literature expert Prasanta Chakraborty had stated in a write-up published in the Asamiya Pratidin on December 15 this year, that the word ‘Kamrup’ was not there in the original version of the song.

Moving the resolution, Choudhury said the word ‘Kamrup’ was dropped from the ‘Jana Gana Mana…’ to make room for the word ‘Sindhu.’ He demanded re-inclusion of ‘Kamrup’ in the National Anthem.

The Times of India reported the deletion of ‘Kamrup’ from the National Anthem twice – once on January 26, 1950 and then on January 26, 1997. The authenticity of the report was not questioned by anybody at the helm of affairs.

Octogenarian Naren Barthakur of Jorhat also said that during their school days they sang the National Anthem with ‘Kamrup’ word in it. This statement was echoed by Hem Kanta Sarma of Golaghat, Choudhury said.

He pleaded that the issue should be resolved once for all to assuage the hurt feelings of the people of Assam.

Taking part in the debate Minister Dr Ardhendu Dey said that the issue was raised earlier also by Zoiinath Sarma, an AGP legislator during the budget session in 1986. But the then State Government led by the AGP did not take any step to resolve it.

‘Sanchayita,’ the anthology of Rabindranath Tagore, which was edited by none other than Rabindranath Tagore himself, makes no mention of ‘Kamrup’ in the poem Bharata Bhagya Bidhata, from where the National Anthem has been derived.

The ‘Jana Gana Mana…’ became the National Anthem of India following its rendition at a World Nation’s Conference held in New York. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country insisted that the song should be sung at the conference and the song could draw appreciation from various quarters for its musical qualities.

Musician Prabodh Sen tried to replace ‘Sindhu’ with another word. But then the question arose whether dropping ‘Sindhu’ would be proper, as the word is linked with the Indus Valley Civilisation, which is synonymous with India.

The National Anthem has included the word ‘Himachal,’ which suggests the NE states too because of their proximity to the Himalayan region, argued Dr Dey and described the act of The Times of India as unconstitutional. The notation it published made no mention of the maker of it, he asserted.

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