Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tribute to Subramanya Bharathi, a Tamil poet, revolutionary and Freedom Fighter.

Today 11th December, is the birth anniversary of Subramanya Bharathi or Fondly called as Bharathiar. his parents gave himn the name Chinnaswamy Subramanya Bharathi. Celebrations of his birthday might be subdued but those who know about him get inspiration by his very name. He was called "Mahakavi" meanss great poet. He was a cartoonist (the first one in Tamil Nadu, I suppose), a poet, journalist, a visionary, a revolutionist and a patriot. I was inspired by his writings even as a child. Though he was born in a so called upper caste ( so called, yes, I do not believe in caste system), he rose against the caste system and even hated by his own people. He was well versed in many languages including English, French, Telugu, Bengali, Hindi, Kutchi, Sanskrit besides Tamil. His series of songs for the babies make us remember why we should mentor them young. He teaches them saying "There is no caste and to talk of big or small is a sin", but even today in the land which boasts of

Cartoon of Subramanya Bharathi by me

him and tradition, the caste system is not abolished!. He was a rebel too. when the caste system which prevented him even to keep a mustache, he did so and was greatly inspired by Bhagat Singh and thus adopted to headgear. He sang several sangs which made the British fear and his writings in Swadesamitran,  a daily of those days. He was in poverty in spite of many  opportunities which he could have grabbed. He fed the sparrows and crows when the household ran out of grains. This saddened his wife Chellamma. Then he sang a song  "Crows and sparrows are of our caste" thus showing his love for animals. Even in such poverty, his prayer was " Having made a good Veena ( a music instrument), anyone will throw it in the dust?. Tell me my goddess, You have made me born with  a bright knowledge; give me a power that I can live fruitfully for this world". These lines had always inspired me and these words have become my prayer too. I am not here to write his biography as many have written that, but to remember a  great man and to inspire the younger generations in his teachings. Now there are many claims that joining the rivers of India is someone's idea but originally Bharthi had put forward it. He might be a Tamil by birth but he saw the whole nation as one. His famous song where he says "In the moon light by river Sind, with the women of Kerala, singing in a beautiful language called Telugu, we will go around in boat". The same song brings out the bravery of Maratha and their poetry and the need to give ivory from the south as gift to them. He was no doubt a true nationalist. Today, we see many leaders living for themselves and making fortune by dividing the people and country  in the name of caste, region, religion and language. Can we all unite? He also predicted the importance of lunar science those days in one of his poetry. He wanted our country to advance in technology too. His song "No fear, no fear, even if the sky has to fall on our heads, we have no fear" will wake up even the weak minded persons. His thoughts on freedom of women is still  not achieved. "We will burn the habit of degrading women" he said but we read and see news about molestation and burning the bride. If we are not going to change our country a better place to live in and a country with pride people, all our celebrations are waste. I want to give this call to all my brothers and sisters of our country, especially youth. How many of you can raise up?   Can we make a commitment today?    

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