CHENNAI -- The national song 'Vande Mataram' is of Sanskrit origin, but had originally been penned in Bengali by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the Madras High Court was told on Thursday by Tamil Nadu Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy.
The submission before Justice M V Muralidharan was made in response to the judge seeking the law officer's help to settle a dispute over the linguistic origin of the song raised by a B Ed graduate.
Petitioner K Veeramani had faced the question "In which language was Vande Mataram first written" in a competitive test held by the Teachers Recruitment Board for appointment as BT Assistant in government schools.
He had moved the court after his answer 'Bengali' to the objective type question was declared wrong by the board. He was awarded 89 marks against the minimum 90 to be eligible for appointment.
Claiming that he had missed recruitment to the post by one mark due to the 'wrong' evaluation, the petitioner had sought award of the extra mark, treating his answer to the 'Vande Mataram' question as correct.
When the matter first came up for hearing on June 7, the petitioner's counsel had submitted that Chatterjee wrote the national song in both Bengali and Sanskrit, while the Additional Government Pleader argued that it was written only in Sanskrit and was later translated into Bengali.
The petitioner had contended that in all the books he had studied, Bengali was mentioned as the first language in which the national song was written more than two centuries ago.
Following this, the judge had directed the AG to appear before him and apprise the court of the correct answer.
During the resumed hearing yesterday, the AG submitted that 'Vande Mataram' was of Sanskrit origin, but written in the Bengali script.
Recording the submission, the judge said he will pronounce the order on the petition on July 17.
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