Governor Wants ‘Adhinayaka’ Out of National Anthem

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Jaipur: Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh has said that the word ‘adhinayaka’ (ruler) has no place in the national anthem as it praises India’s British rulers. He has suggested that it be replaced with ‘mangal’ (good wishes) instead.

In his address at the convocation ceremony of the University of Rajasthan, Mr Singh said, “Jan-Gan-Man adhinayaka jai hey… ‘adhinayaka’ for whom? It praises British rule. It should be amended and replaced by word ‘jan-gan-man mangal gaye’.”

“I have respect for Rabindranath Tagore, but national anthem’s ‘adhinayaka’ word should be replaced by ‘mangal’,” he said on Tuesday.

The debate over the poem’s meaning dates back to 1911, soon after it was penned by Tagore. It was finally put to rest many years later, in 1937, when the Nobel laureate rejected the charge in a letter written to Pulin Behari Sen.

A former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Singh’s comments come a few days after he compared Maharana Pratap with Mughal Emperor Akbar, and said it was the Rajput ruler who should rightly have the suffix “great.