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Vande Mataram: The Biography of a Song

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (Author)
Synopsis Rarely has a poem given rise to such a diverse array of descriptions or been the subject of controversy over such a long period of time. But then ‘Vande Mataram’ is no ordinary poem. Glorified by many as the last word in patriotic ardour, criticized as vehemently by others for its implicit idolatry and religious rhetoric, translated into all major Indian languages, set to music by icons as disparate as Rabindranath Tagore and A.R. Rahman, ‘Vande Mataram’ continues to hold an indelible place in the national psyche, as is evident in its reported nomination as one of the two most popular songs in India, even 130 years after it was written. What is it that makes ‘Vande Mataram’ the icon that it is? How did a poetic paean to the nation become a symbol of communal dispute? In Vande Mataram: The Biography of a Song, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya provides answers to these and other related questions. Going back in history, from the contemporary controversies surrounding the song to its origin in the 1870s, the author weaves a lucid and scholarly account of the story behind one of the most enduring symbols of Indian nationalism.
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About the author

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya has been Professor of Indian Economic History at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, from 1975 to 2004, the Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan 1991-95, and earlier held teaching and research appointments in the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta; University of Chicago; St Antony’s College, Oxford; and El Colegio de Mexico.

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Bibliographic information

Title Vande Mataram: The Biography of a Song
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0143030558
length xv+136p., 18cm.
Subjects Biography