The song 'Vande Mataram' - literally meaning 'I Salute You Mother India' - was a source of inspiration for Indians struggling for independence. It was composed by renowned Bengali
novelist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in Sanskrit
. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana, the National Anthem. The first political occasion when it was sung was in the national session of the Indian National Congress in 1896. Since then it has been sung in schools and colleges as daily prayer as well as on all national days and occasions.