|English: My Golden Bengal|
|আমার সোনার বাংলা|
National anthem of Bangladesh
|Lyrics||Rabindranath Tagore, 1905|
|Music||Gagan Harkara, 1889 (arranged by Samar Das, in 1972)|
|Adopted||10 April 1971 (provisional)|
26 March 1972 (official)
|Preceded by||Pakistan Zindabad|
Official instrumental version
"Amar Sonar Bangla" (Bengali: আমার সোনার বাংলা, lit. 'My Golden Bengal', pronounced [amar ʃonar baŋla]) is the national anthem of Bangladesh. An ode to Mother Bengal, the lyrics were written by Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore in 1905, while the melody of the hymn was adopted from the Baul singer Gagan Harkara's song "Ami Kothay Pabo Tare" (আমি কোথায় পাবো তারে) set to Dadra Tala. The modern instrumental rendition was arranged by Bangladeshi musician Samar Das.
The word sonar literally means "made of gold", with sona meaning gold, and amar showing possession. It is used as a term of endearment meaning "beloved", but in the song the words sonar Bangla may be interpreted to express the preciousness of Bengal.
Main article: Partition of Bengal (1905)
The song was written in 1905 during the first partition of Bengal, when the ruling British Empire had an undivided province of Bengal Presidency split into two parts; the decision was announced on 20 July by the then-Viceroy of India Lord Curzon, taking effect on 16 October. This divide of Bengal, being along communal lines–East Bengal and Assam having a majority of Muslims and West Bengal having a majority of Hindus–is claimed to have been politically motivated. Along with a host of others, songs such as this were meant to rekindle the unified spirit of Bengal, to raise public consciousness against the communal political divide. The lyrics first appeared in the September issues of Bongodorshon and Baul simultaneously, in 1905. The song along with the musical notation (referred to as swaralipi in Bengali), first appeared in the periodical musical journal Shongeet Biggnan Probeshika in the same month and year. Indira Devi, Tagore's niece, Satyendranath Tagore's daughter, jotted down the musical notation hearing it from Tagore himself (this was the common norm, Tagore singing the song, and someone formally jotting down the musical notations).
The first ten (10) lines of this song constitute Bangladesh's national anthem, adopted in 1971 during its liberation war. Only those lines are given in the following section. The instrumental orchestra rendition was composed by Samar Das.
The following are the lyrics of the national anthem as sung, which differ slightly from the original poem.
|Bengali||Romanisation of Bengali||IPA transcription[a]||English translation|
আমার সোনার বাংলা, আমি তোমায় ভালোবাসি।
Amar shonar Bangla, ami tomay bhalobashi.
[a.mar ʃo.nar baŋ.la ǀ a.mi to.maj bʱa.lo.ba.ʃi]
My golden Bengal, thee I love.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs planned to stage an event on Bangladesh's 44th independence day, in a bid to have the world record of the most people singing a national anthem simultaneously. Consequently, on 2 March, the ministry launched a program titled "Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla" whose main objective was to hold an event with the cooperation of Bangladesh Armed Forces where approximately 300,000 people would sing the national anthem. Several popular Bangladeshi musicians and cultural groups later joined the program.
The record was broken at 11:20 on 26 March 2014 by 254,537 participants at Dhaka's National Parade Ground. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, and all the members of the cabinet. After receiving the required evidence, the Guinness Book of World Records approved the record on 9 April 2014. The record was broken by India on 21 January 2017.