Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalli
Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalli © Saptarshi Sanyal

Our National Anthem was performed for the first time (in its current musical and rhythmic form) in front of a group of students at the Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalli in 1919, one evening in late February. It was set to tune collaboratively by Tagore and Margaret Cousins, the music teacher and wife of the college’s principal, Irish poet and art critic James Cousins . A small bust commemorates this event in front of the Tagorec Cttage where the poet stayed on this visit. He also translated it in English at this time and called it the Morning Song.