Many Maldivians, particularly of the younger generation, appear to be having second thoughts on our current National Anthem. They believe the song is out of tune with the new generation and fails to inspire them.
Historically the words of the National Anthem were composed in 1948 by Mohamed Jameel Didi, and were sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, a traditional Scottish folk song written by Robert Burns. The tune was replaced by the current (composed by Sri Lankan maestro Amaradeva) in 1972, in preparation for the visit to the Maldives of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain (including Scotland).
Some people find the words of the National Anthem ‘silly,’ particularly the tendency to greet each and everything one sees. It is also argued that parts of the song are factually inaccurate. For example, the song states that the three colors green, red and white symbolize victory, luck and success. However, the three colors as used in the national flag have different meanings.
These issues however may not be good enough reasons to replace a song which has been in use for over 60 years. If one scrutinizes familiar National Anthems around the world, such as God Save the Queen, Star Spangled Banner, Jana Gana and Hatikvah, there are similar issues, which make them less than perfect.
Further, the existing song is truly Maldivian in its content. If a new song is composed today, it is likely to have much more foreign influences, be it Western or Arabic.
The melody of the song is a different matter altogether. In 1948 and 1972, we did not have experienced musicians to compose a national anthem. But today we do. So, should we still continue a tune composed by a foreigner?