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The Indian National Anthem was written by that great contemporary Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, and is called "Jana Gana Mana". The lyrics are below, followed by a translation.

Jana gana mana adhi naayaka jaya he
Bhaarata bhaagya vidhaata
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha,
Draavid Utkala Bangaa
Vindhya Himachala Yamuna Ganga,
Uchhala jaladhi taranga.

Tava shubh naame jaage
Tava shubh aashish maage
Gahe tava jaya-gaatha
Jana-gana-mangala dayaka jaya he
Bharat bhagya vidhata
Jaya he Jaya he Jaya he
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya he.


Thou art the rulers of the minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Yamuna and Ganga
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.

They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny,
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

An interesting and controversial fact (heaven forbid anything Indian and political should be devoid of controversy!) is that this song was actually written by Tagore in 1919 in honor of King George V and his Queen's visit to India, although most people believe that "thou" is referring to India herself. The original version had another five verses that directly referred to the King. tusitala has an excellent writeup on exactly how deep this controvery goes in The Great Indian National Anthem Controversy.

Update: blondino says re Indian National Anthem: Tagore was also more Bengali than Indian, which could upset some people from Bangladesh, the Eastern part of Bengal.

Update 2: tusitala says Re your Indian National Anthem writeup: Vande Mataram has "equal status" with Jana Gana Mana under the Constituent Assembly's National Anthem Resolution. This may be worth mentioning.

Thanks to everyone for the updates :)

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