Young revolutionaries, charged up with patriotic enthusiasm, carried out daring acts of terrorism and faced the gallows with cries of Vande Mataram on their lips.
Such was the power of the phrase, the Indian National Congress made it mandatory to sing Vande Mataram in every session across the country after 1915.
One of these young revolutionaries, Aurobindo Ghosh, took upon himself the task of translating the poem in English with the aim to popularize it among international audience.
The translation was titled ‘Mother, I bow to thee’ and appeared in the weekly periodical Karmayogin on November 20, 1909.
The song features as sort of the manifesto of the Sanyansi group and eulogizes the land laden with rich, ripe crops and covered in lush green foliage, sundry of multicolor flowers and sparkling rivers adorning the terrain.
The opposition had started as early as 1908 but got deluged in the ongoing wave of nationalism at the time.It became the war-cry for Indian nationalists waging war against the British Raj to attain freedom for the Motherland when the authorities forcibly tried to suppress the utterance of the phrase in Barisal.The patriotic fervor the mantra generated was carried higher by Aurobindo Ghosh’s translation and the song “now leaped out of its comparative obscurity within the covers of a Bengali novel and in one sweep found itself on the lips of every Indian man, woman or child”, as observed by Sister Nivedita.The musical tune of the song was based on Indian classical ragas and was found to be unfavorable by the orchestra to be composed into a marching song.Although an alternate tune was produced by patriot musicians, the song was not accepted by the Constituent Assembly to be designated as the national anthem.