Death Centenary of Subramania Bharati

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    • Recently, the Vice-President of India paid floral tributes to Mahakavi Subramania Bharati to mark the death centenary of the poet and freedom fighter.

    Who was Subramanya Bharati?

    • He was an outstanding Indian writer of the nationalist period and is regarded as the father of the modern Tamil style.
    • He is also known as ‘Mahakavi Bharathiyar’
    • Born in Ettayapuram of erstwhile Madras  Presidency on December 11, 1822. 
    • He died on 11th September 1921.
    • In his early life, he worked in various capacities as sub-editor of  Swadesamitran, a Tamil daily and Chakravartini, a Tamil monthly.

     

    Image Courtesy: TOI

    Contribution to the National Movement:

    • He got involved in the extremist wing of the Indian National Congress (INC) party.
    • He attended the annual sessions of INC and discussed national issues with extremist leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal, B.G. Tilak and V.V.S. Iyer.
    • His vision of nationalism was secular, against casteism and sexism, and pan-Indian.
    • He wrote many patriotic poems which received praise for their nationalistic themes.
    • In 1908 he was forced to flee to Pondicherry, where he lived until 1918. After his return, he rejoined the Tamil daily Swadesamitran.  
    • Role as a social reformer:
    • He was vocal against the caste system and consistently spoke about women’s issues. 
    • He was influenced by Sister Nivedita, a disciple of Vivekananda.
    • He spoke out against social issues such as child marriage, untouchability through his writings.
    • Literary Contributions:
      • He was a prolific writer and poet and fluent in Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, English and French.
      • He brought a renaissance in Tamil literature. Some of his famous works are:
        • Panchali sapatham (1912)
        • Kuyil p???u (1912) 
        • Ka??an p???u (1917)
      • He wrote poems concerning issues from all around the world.
      • His English works were collected in Agni.
    • Legacy:
      • In 1949, the government of Madras purchased the copyright for his works from them and six years later, the government of Tamil Nadu made it public.
      • Till this date, Bharathiyar is a household name in Tamil Nadu but he is little known outside the South. 
      • His works have been translated into multiple languages, and the government has conferred various honours upon him such as naming streets after his name.
    • Bharathi Award:
      • It was instituted in 1994 by Vanavil Cultural Centre.
      • It is conferred every year to eminent persons who have done laudable service in any field of social relevance.

    Source: TH