Visakhapatnam: The staff and students of the Madanapalle Besant Theosophical College take pride in the fact that the tune for the National Anthem was composed in their college. The tune was composed in 1919 by Margaret Cousins, wife of the then principal Cousins.
The college was de-recognised by the British government one year after it was set up in 1916 as it supported the Home Rule movement. It then got affiliated to the Hindu University, Banaras.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore visited BT College at the invitation of the principal for the convocation of the first batch and stayed in Madanapalle for a week. Tagore then translated the Bengali song to English and the tune was composed by Margaret with the girls in the college singing the chorus.
Being a music teacher, Margaret herself trained the girl students in singing the chorus. This showed her love for India. Speaking to this newspaper, college principal A. Jayapaul said, “We have built a monument at the place in the college where the song was composed and where Tagore stayed for a week. Many people are expected to start visiting our college to see this historic place.” Mr Kamakoti Prasad Rao, a non-teaching staffer, said, “We are blessed to work here. It is really such a divine place. This place has an aura of patriotism.”