Subramanya Bharathiyar :
• The great Tamil poet and Nationalist Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi was born on 11 December 1882 at Ettayapuram in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu.
• Chinnaswamy Subramanya Bharathi, also called Bharathiyar was born to Chinnaswamy Iyer and Lakshmi Ammal. He was called Subbiah in his childhood.
• At the age of 11, he won a debate in the court of Ettayapuram Raja and was bestowed the title ‘Bharathi’ (meaning blessed by Goddess Saraswati).
• His participation and activities in Benaras Session (1905) and Surat Session (1907) of the Indian National Congress impressed many national leaders for his patriotic fervour.
• at the historic Surat session of the Congress in 1907 when the party split into extremists and moderates, Bharathi sided with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and supported armed resistance against the authorities.
• his patriotic songs inspired people to participate in the freedom movement in Tamil Nadu.
• In 1919, he met Mahatma Gandhi. One year later in 1920, he resumed being the editor of Swadeshamitran in Chennai.
• Condemned certain Shastras that denigrated women. He believed in the equality of humankind and criticised many preachers for mixing their personal prejudices while teaching the Gita and the Vedas.
• In Pondicherry, he met Sister Nivedita, a Disciple of Swami Vivekananda, there he added Women’s rights in his policies along with several social issues.
• There he took the Symbolism of Shakthi as the image of modern women who is powerful, strong, independent and also equal to men.
• He used simple but effective words and rhythm. As a poet, his theme ranged from patriotism to nature, from romance to philosophy, from devotion to self-respect.
• Bharathiyar writings are “Kannan Pattu”, “Nilavum Vanminum Katrum”, “Panchali Sabatam”, “Kuyil Pattu”.
• His famous poems include Achamillai Achamillai, Suttum Vizhichudadar, Agni Sthomam, etc.
• His poems have and continue to inspire millions of people around the globe. He is fondly called “Mahakavi Subramanya(Great Poet)”.
• Bharathiyar’s work Panchali Sabatham depicted India as Draupadi, the British as Gauravas and the freedom fighters as Pandavas. He portrayed Mother India(Draupadi) struggling under English rule.
• He translated Vedic hymns, Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra into Tamil.
• He organised a huge public meeting in Madras in 1908 to celebrate ‘Swaraj Day’ and distributed free printed of his poem named ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Enthayum Thayum’, ‘Jaya Bharath’.
• He passed away on 11 September 1921 aged just 38.
• In 1949, he became the first poet whose works were nationalised by the state government.
As a Social reformer :
• He was against the caste system and declared there were only two castes, one is men and other is women.
• He believed in women rights, gender equality and women emancipation.
• He opposed child marriage, supported widow remarriage. He opposed the dowry system.
• He himself removed his Sacred thread (“poonool” in Tamil).
• He adorned many Scheduled caste people with Poonool.
• He also fought for Temple entry for Dalits.
• Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi had a clear India “Until Indians unite as children of Mother India, they will not achieve freedom”.
His Journals :
• He began his career as sub editor in Swadeshamitran in November 1904.
• He published astonishing “Sudesa Geethangal” in 1908.
• He edited and published journals India, Vijaya. He also published an English monthly named Bala Bharatha and a local weekly of Pondicherry named Suryothayam.
• In 1909, the British government banned ‘India’ and ‘Vijaya’ in India.
• Inspired by the French revolution (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity), Bharathi printed the weekly newspaper named ‘India’ in red paper.
• “India” was the first paper in Tamilnadu to publish political cartoons.
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