Saturday, 15 August 2020

The Virtual Jana Gana Mana’ – Bharatbala

‘The Virtual Jana Gana Mana’ – Bharatbala reimagines the world’s greatest anthem bringing India together this Independence Day

~An initiative by Prasar Bharati, powered by Google, created by Bharatbala and Virtual Bharat-

“How do we take Indian voices powered by artificial intelligence technology and bring emotion to it? How does India sing without the sound feeling technological?

What is the perfect expression that brings Indian people, their emotional connection to India and technology together? How do we connect Indians to create a Virtual Bharat?

August 17th 2020:‘The Virtual National Anthem’ hit Google Search, the Youtube masthead and Doordarshan on Independence Day.

It was a larger than life coming together of voices of of Indians - from the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh to the expanses of the Thar desert, launched on India’s 73rd Independence Day.

2020 has socially distanced India, a year when Indians have been cut off from each other. This filmbrings up strong emotions as we see Indians from all corners of the country sing the anthem together.The voices collected by Google AI were placed into a larger than life first of its kind cinematic reimagination of Jana Gana Mana by Bharatbala and his team at Virtual Bharat.

In a first ever unique collaboration between Prasar Bharati, Virtual Bharat and Google, India was invited to sing the national anthem with an AI powered musical experience which was cinematically captured under the direction of the iconic filmmaker Bharatbala and his Virtual Bharat team.

Bharatbala said,“In a time when we have all been so distant from each other - to bring the people of India together virtually – basically to create a  virtual bharat – was my reason to partner with this idea.
My new idea for India - Virtual Bharat is about bringing India together virtually –bringing Indians together around short films about our culture - all in one place digitally. So this was a natural and perfect combination of all factors and the creative challenge was that there is a first of its kind technology that brings voices together in a unique AI musical experience. How do we use Indian voices without them feeling like technology and instead feeling human. How to retain the raw emotion? Above all how to maintain our deep and genuine reverence for the greatest anthem in the world.

Ideas like these need one-of-a-kind vision and a real Indian spirit. My genuine thanks to Sanjay Gupta, Country Head, Google India who called me at midnight in July with the vision of India singing together on Independence Day and I knew this was the perfect collaboration.

“In 2000 we created Jana Gana Mana with 50 Indian Maestros. For me this was a new expression for the anthem with an engagement enabled by cutting edge AI technology.

It was a perfect fit”
What Google as part of its Google for India vision is unprecedented. To lift every aspect of Indian society through digital transformation is a genuine vision. So it gave me great confidence and comfort that they were the right partner with a genuine vision. We are extremely elated on the final film and hope it resonates with every Indian in India and in all parts of the world!”

Bharatbapla’s vision can be found at

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