The point which I want to make today came to me after I watched multiple Jan Gan Man (India’s National Anthem) performances. First you watch the clips (all three of them), then I will make the point.
The clip below is Jan Gan Man dedicated to Indian Army:
Now watch this Jan Gan Man performance:
Finally, watch this Jan Gan Man Flute recietal by Pat. Hari PRasad Chaurasia:
How does it feel? Did you feel the presence of some thread which is common to all of us?
Did you feel some complex emotion which is hard to define one way or the other?
The point which I want to make here is simple: Not one of the three Clips, would have raised that complex emotion of pride, love, inspiration and patriotism; unless the clips had the Jan Gan Man as the audio element and the National Flag in the visual element.
I think, it’s our beautiful National Anthem and our National Flag which is behind the strange goosebumps inducing feeling. In simple words, any of the three clips become ordinary the moment you remove the sound and one particular identity from them. The particular sound is that of our National Anthem and the particular identity is that of our National Anthem. And that’s the common thread.
I believe that in order to feel a heady mix of pride, inspiration, Nationalism, patriotism and love for our country; we need a common thread. A thread which defines us. A thread which doesn’t necessarily need to have a gender associated with it. A thread which has a visual and an audio element to it. That common thread is provided ONLY by our National Flag and National Anthem. For instance, the usual practice in many languages, societies, cultures and ideologies is of associating a feminine gender to a country. But many of us don’t necessarily see our country as this way. I myself see India as gender neutral (having no gender). If said more aptly, the times when I may be thinking about India, I may not be thinking about any specific gender. I may in essence be thinking about a giant umbrella or a giant nameplate(with Indian Flag printed on it), which I can easily call as mine.
Actually whenever I see our National Flag and hear or sing National Anthem in any form (in verbatim or as recital or as an instrumental); I have a strange goosebumps inducing feeling. A feeling which I know doesn’t have and doesn’t need any gender association to it. Actually I feel blank and get overpowered by a feeling which has a complex mix of pride, inspiration, Nationalism, patriotism and love for our country.
Happy Independence Day to the People of India!