Vivek opines on Saare Jahan Se Accha: “And if you’re teaching kids this ‘anthem’, without telling them that it was later modified by its writer into a song with lines celebrating stuff that’s anything but secular, you’re misleading them, and leaving them improperly equipped in this world of clashing ideologies and exploitative battles”
The three SA anthems that I am familiar with were composed/inspired by Tagore.
Jana Gana Mana: “taba shubha ashisha maagey” your blessings are desired. That “you” is not the nation Bharata but the entity that controls Bharat’s destiny (bharata bhagya vidhata). Vidhata in Sanskrit is God.
Amar Sonar Bangla: My Golden Bengal is a secular song unless you count nature worship and invocations to the Mother as idolatry (see below).
Sri Lanka Matha: Again invocations to the Mother. Ananda Samarakoon was Tagore’s student in Santiniketan and the tune plays like a Rabindra sangeet. Originally the anthem read: Namo Namo Matha, Apa Sri Lanka. There was some controversy over these words in the 1950s, and in 1961 they were changed to their present form, Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka, without Samarakoon’s consent.Samarakoon committed suicide in 1962 apparently due to the change in words.[Ref. Wiki].
There have been several reports when Christians and Muslims have refused to sing Jana Gana Mana, because it is against their religious principles to bow before any other God (except their own). I presume the controversy about the words “Namo Namo Matha” (mother I pray to you) originated from the “sickular lobby.”
In India the lobby did not complain because the alternative was even more ghastly from their POV: Bankim Chattopadhyay’s Vande Mataram (Mother I bow before thee). Instead it was adopted as the National Song.