Thursday, 11 December 2014

Subramania Bharathi

Today, 11th December, is the birthday of the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi ( 1882-1921 ). I had appealed to the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to award him Bharat Ratna posthumously, but in their wisdom the Government ( or rather, the person who was in fact running the Government at that time ) gave it to Sachin Tendulkar.
Hari Om !

Subramania Bharati was a great patriot and nationalist, as the poem given below shows :

" Muppadhu kodi mugamudayal
Enil maipuram ondrudayal
Ival seppumozhi padhinetudayal
Enil sindhanai ondrudayal "
i.e.
" This Bharatmata has 30 crore faces
But her body is one
She speaks eighteen languages
But her thought is one "


Subramania Bharathi wrote (around 1908-1910) powerful verses in favour of women’s emancipation. In fact he wrote all this at a time when probably no one in India, or even in foreign countries, even thought of women's emancipation, and thus he was far ahead of his times :

“Gummiyadi Gummiyadi Nadumughudum
Kulungida thaikotti Gummiyadi
Nammai pidiththa pisasugal poyina
Nanmai kandomendru Gummiyadi

Ettaiyum pengal thoduvadhu teemaiyendru
Enniyirundhavan mainduvittar,
Veettunkulley pennai pootivaipomenra
Vindhai manidhar thalai kavinghhar”

(Dandiya-dance to celebrate women’s emancipation) : 

“Dance oh friend dance, playing dandiya let it be with such
force that as you dance it shakes up and wakes up this entire Nation.

Let us dance to celebrate our emancipation from the ghosts
which were holding on to us for centuries. Let us celebrate our achievement.

Those who thought that if education was given to women it
would harm society, are all dead today !

Those strange fellows who wanted women to be kept locked
inside their homes have now tasted their downfall !

So, oh friends ! Let us celebrate the emancipation of women
and dance playing dandiya”.
“Pudhumaip Penn” (The New Woman)

“Aanum Pennum Nigar Enakkollvathaal
Arivil O’ngi Ivvaiyagam Thazhaikkumaam”

(This world will achieve excellence in knowledge
and wisdom by holding men and women equal)

“Vilagi Veettilo’r Pondhil Valarvadhal
Veerap-Pengal Viraivil Ozshippaaram”

(Valiant women will soon eradicate the custom
of growing in seclusion in homes)

“Pengal Viduthalaik Kummi” (Women Liberation Song)
“Yettaiyum Pengal Thoduvathu Theemai
Endrenni Irundhavar Maaindhu Vittaar,
Veettukkulle Pennai Pootti Vaippom Endra
Vindhai Manithar Thalai Kavizhndhaar”

(Those who thought that it was a sin for women to
touch books are dead.
The incredible men who
wanted to lock women inside their homes 
now hang their heads in shame)

“Kangal Irandinil ordrai kuththi
Kaatchi Kedutthidalamo
Pengal arivai valarthal, vaiyyam
Pedamai attridum kaaneer

(from a poem titled “Murasu”)

(Out of the two eyes, if you pierce and destroy
one, are you not spoiling your own vision? In fact,
if you educate the women, the backwardness
which grips this world will vanish automatically.”)

“Pattankkal Aazhvadum Sattankkal Seivathum
Paarinil Penkal Nadatha Vanthom

(Women have come up now to get degrees,
to legislate and rule in the world)

My appeal to the then Government of India to award Bharat Ratna to Subramania Bharathi obviously fell on the deaf ears of the person who was in fact ruling India at that time, and who has no knowledge of our culture. Sachin Tendulkar was, in that person's eyes, a greater person than Subramania Bharathi.
Hari Om!

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