Vande Mataram of Sanskrit origin, but written in Bengali: Tamil Nadu Advocate General

The petitioner had contended that in all the books he had studied, Bengali was mentioned as the first language in which the national song was written more than two centuries ago.

Published:July 13, 2017 7:34 pm

The national song ‘Vande Mataram’ is of Sanskrit origin, but had originally been penned in Bengali by Bankim Chandra Chaterjee, the Madras High Court was told on Thursday by Tamil Nadu Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy. The submission before Justice M V Muralidharan was made in response to the judge seeking the law officer’s help to settle a dispute over the linguistic origin of the song raised by a B Ed graduate.

Petitioner K Veeramani had faced the question “In which language was Vande Mataram first written” in a competitive test held by the Teachers Recruitment Board for appointment as BT Assistant in government schools.

He had moved the court after his answer ‘Bengali’ to the objective type question was declared wrong by the board. He was awarded 89 marks against the minimum 90 to be eligible for appointment.

Claiming that he had missed recruitment to the post by one mark due to the ‘wrong’ evaluation, the petitioner had sought award of the extra mark, treating his answer to the ‘Vande Mataram’ question as correct.

When the matter first came up for hearing on July 7 RPT July 7, the petitioner’s counsel had submitted that Chatterjee wrote the national song in both Bengali and Sanskrit, while the additional government pleader argued that it was written only in Sanskrit and was later translated to Bengali.

The petitioner had contended that in all the books he had studied, Bengali was mentioned as the first language in which the national song was written more than two centuries ago. Following this, the judge had directed the AG to appear before him and apprise the court of the correct answer.

During the resumed hearing today, the AG submitted that ‘Vande Mataram’ was of Sanskrit origin, but written in the Bengali script. Recording the submission, the judge said he will pronounce the order on the petition on July 17.

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  1. M
    M.Gobalakichenane
    Jul 21, 2017 at 5:55 pm
    Dear Sir, Though for the Teachers Recruitment candidate this is a judiciary case, it is an actual question to be cleared by linguists, exacctly as sanskrit 'Sha ala' was printed in Bengali characters in the end of 18th c. Is there not here a confusion between translation (from Sanskrit to Bengali or reverse) and transliteration ? Any way, the song was not 'written more than two centuries ago' ('more' is not at all correct), better say 'more than 150 years ago' Thanks, M.Gobalakichenane (France)
    Reply