Dubai: Indian expats and diplomats in the UAE are taking part in a virtual campaign by posting videos of them singing the national anthem that binds more than 1.3 billion Indians.
Diplomats from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai have posted on social media the videos of their participation in the rashtra gaan (national anthem) campaign, which was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Last month, Modi urged citizens to sing the national anthem — Jana Gana Mana — to create a rashtra gaan record to mark India’s 75th Independence Day on August 15. According to reports, Modi said that it was an effort on the part of the Union Ministry of Culture to get the “maximum number of Indians” to sing the national anthem together.
Details of the campaign
The ministry has launched a website dedicated for the record attempt to mark the 75th Indian Independence Day celebrations titled Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. When a participant records and uploads a video of her or him singing the Indian national anthem, the website issues a certificate of participation. A compilation of all the uploaded videos will be shown live on Sunday, according to the site.
The website has also offered Indians a chance to be featured in a new song by “one of India’s leading lyricists and composers”, whose name was not revealed immediately. Top 100 videos will be selected for the song to be launched on TV, radio, YouTube and other social media platforms, the site said.
In the run-up to the milestone Independence Day, several Indian expats in the UAE are logging in to the website and getting their certificates after recording the video.
On Thursday, Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India in Dubai, and other consuls at the mission posted a group video of them singing the national anthem on Twitter. The mission has urged Indian expats to join in the celebrations by uploading their videos, singing the anthem by choosing the country as the UAE.
Diplomats from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi had also posted individual videos.
Proud display of patriotism
Expats taking part in the campaign said they felt proud to be a part of the movement displaying their patriotism.
Jangam Balakishan from Telangana, who received a certificate of participation, told Gulf News it was a rare chance for him to sing the national anthem. “I have been in the UAE for 21 years. I got the chance to sing our national anthem only when I attended Independence Day or Republic Day celebrations at the consulate or at Sharjah Indian Association. When I saw a post about this campaign on a WhatsApp group, I decided to participate.”
A driver in Dubai, Balakishan said he recorded the video at his accommodation provided by the company. “It is always a special feeling when you sing your national anthem. You feel proud about your country and you feel more patriotic,” the 38-year-old said.
I have been in the UAE for 21 years. I got the chance to sing our national anthem only when I attended Independence Day or Republic Day celebrations at the consulate or at Sharjah Indian Association. When I saw a post about this campaign on a WhatsApp group, I decided to participate.
Alok Singh from Uttar Pradesh said his son Prashasya Singh, a grade four student at GEMS Legacy School, got a certificate of participation. “Though the students sing the national anthem in school, he became very patriotic about it after watching the Indian cricket team singing it at the Asia Cup Final in Dubai in 2018. Since then, he is very serious about it. So, when he happened to hear about this campaign from a WhatsApp group, he participated,” said Singh, a supply chain manager with an airline catering company in Dubai.
Anish Chaudhury, supervisor of the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), a help centre under the Indian consulate in Dubai, said PBSK was also encouraging Indian workers to participate by selecting the country of residence as UAE as part of the efforts to ensure Indian expats in UAE form the largest group of Indians to participate in the campaign.
Did you know?
The author of India’s national anthem is the legendary poet and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. The first stanza of the poem Bharato Bhagya Bidhata in Sanskritised Bengali was later adopted as the country’s national anthem. Though Tagore wrote the poem in 1911, the official adoption of the first stanza as the national anthem took place when India’s Constitution came into effect in 1950. An official rendition of the anthem takes 52 seconds.
Though India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a list of occasions on which the singing, as distinct from playing, the anthem is permitted, there is no objection to the singing of the anthem accompanied by mass singing, so long as it is done with due respect as a salutation to the motherland and proper decorum is maintained, according to the ministry’s website.