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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You could have seen many exceptional individuals in Indian history who dedicated their life to various noble reasons.Some for the betterment of country and the people,some for independence, some for defending their ideologies and beliefs,some against social injustice,some for equality of women and caste system .But I know someone that is rare who has dedicated his entire life for almost all the above said causes and lived as the one who cared more for the country than his own family.He is none other than our own Mahakavi(Great Poet) Bharathi who charmed the people through his fearless poems and hard-hitting deeds against the British for the cause of freedom.  .

I'm writing this on his birthday to honor the rebel poet.He said We should look for ways to take Tamil to the international arena.For such a visionary  I decided to write a post fittingly in English to introduce this Colossal Tamilian to the  rest of the world outside Tamil Nadu.

Bharathi right form his childhood naturally had that love for Tamil and his love for poetry sprouted when he went to Kashi in his teens.There he gained wisdom and became a learned scholar.He was attracted to the English poet Shelly who wrote largely about nature. Bharathi changed even his name to Shellydasan after reading him and exemplified the fact that one can love and have equal expertise in other languages as well.Of course this paved the way for some wonderful songs on nature and his other songs such as "kakkai siraginile nandhalala" and his famous line as below that emphasizes how much he valued nature.



"காக்கை குருவி எங்கள் ஜாதி
நீள்கடலும் மலையும் எங்கள் கூட்டம்"


He learnt many languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kutchi, French and English.Being a scholar of many languages he said'Of all the languages I know, I have not heard a sweeter language than Tamil'


யாமறிந்த மொழிகளிலே தமிழ்மொழிபோல்
இனிதாவ தெங்குங் காணோம்


He urged people take pride in being a tamilian and asked them to create works that take tamil to the international stage.Also he urged people to translate great works of other languages to Tamil.So he was not just another narrow minded linguist who abused other languages rather a visionary who was completely open to embrace everything and everyone with open arms.

பிறநாட்டு நல்லறிஞர் சாத்திரங்கள்
தமிழ் மொழியிற் பெயர்த்தல் வேண்டும்
இறவாத புகழுடைய புதுநூல்கள்
தமிழ்மொழியில் இயற்றல்வேண்டும்
மறைவாக நமக்குள்ளே பழங்கதைகள்
சொல்லுவதிலோர் மகிமை யில்லை
திறமான புலமையெனில் வெளிநாட்டோர்
அதை வணக்கஞ் செய்தல் வேண்டும்.


One of the finest trait of classic is that it lives through ages and the it is found relevant in all eras.For example what strikes in the above is the relevancy of the lines to the present days where the "Tamil sentiment"(தமிழ் உணர்வு) is kindled and used right from movies to politics for meaner purposes.Playing with that sentiment has become a pass time pathetically and I can not marvel how the lines fit the present situation.


மறைவாக நமக்குள்ளே பழங்கதைகள்
சொல்லுவதிலோர் மகிமை யில்லை


He came up with many great works which included poems,epic books and articles through Indhiya and Sudhesamithran journals which aroused nationalism even in common man.
அச்சமில்லை அச்சமில்லை அச்சமென்பதில்லையே உச்சிமீது வானிடிந்து வீழு கின்ற போதினும்(No fear even if sky falls on our head) can testify that.

His writings shook the very foundation of British empire and they arrested him.His publishing were banned.Bharathi escaped to pondicherry.He continued his writing career and wrote many vigorous poems which directly attacked British and those who supported British.The following lines gave motivation to the people when they were subjected to brutal punishments.His words aroused the sleeping conscience of the Indian people and he brought the forgotten pride and royalty of Indians through his poems and articles.

He played vital role in the fight against untouchability and equality of woman.He is an ardent worshiper of Shakthi and he had deep religious roots.But he knew what is religion and what is stupidity.Being a Brahmin he never followed blind customs.Instead he rebelled against his own people by being friendly with so called untouchables when he was young.

And his contribution to equality of woman started after he met Vivekananda's disciple Sister Niveditha. His view of modern women as Pudhumai pen and his songs regarding the same were very popular and it made many people to think.He dreamed of modern women with enormous wisdom and courage.And he hated the practice of treating women as slaves.

Bharathi was emotional,impulsive and straight forward which did not go well with the folks of his generation and fellow beings but it helped him to be a free thinker. Personally I think Puratchi Kavi (Rebel Poet) is the picture perfect description of him than any other titles. If there is someone who enjoyed being an outcast and did not give a damn about recognition then it should be this great man.At the same time he had immense respect towards all who fought for country.He wrote many poems on 
Gandhi, Gokhale, Thilak, Lala and many others whenever they did some impressive things for the country.

I heard this incident which can sum up his entire approach and what a personality he is.


Once Gandhi came to Chennai,Bharathi went to see him and asked whether he can preside over a function the following day in Triplicane near the Marina beach.This was the time when Bharathi was not so popular.Gandhi checked his schedule and said it's full for two days but he said he can come if Bharathi can postpone the function to two days.Bharathi in reply,without any second thoughts said,"Sorry Mr.Gandhi I can wait for you but people should not.The meeting will go on regardless of your arrival", remember this was the time when Gandhi was the face of the Freedom movement and was almost a singular face of the freedom movement.He went away after saying this.Gandhi asked who he was to the people who were in the hall.They said it was Bharathi and he was a weirdo.Gandhi never forgot that name in his lifetime.After that incident he made it a point to see Bharathi whenever he came to Madras.

If you read Bharathi's poem you can feel the emotions,vigor behind it.In his patriotic poems you can see a bit of anger and he never backs off to call a spade,a spade.The honesty behind his poems are unmatched.The below one can boast that Brutal honesty.


நெஞ்சில் உரமுமின்றி
நேர்மைத் திறமுமின்றி
வஞ்சனை சொல்வாரடி - கிளியே
வாய்ச்சொல்லில் வீரரடி


கண்க ளிரண்டிருந்தும்
காணுந் திறமையற்ற
பெண்களின் கூட்டமடீ - கிளியே
பேசிப் பயனென்னடீ


அச்சமும் பேடிமையும்
அடிமைச் சிறுமதியும்
உச்சத்திற்க் கொண்டாரடி - கிளியே
ஊமைச் சனங்களடீ


மானம் சிரிதன்றெண்ணி
வாழ்வு பெரிதென்றெண்ணும்
ஈனர்க் குலகந்தனில் - கிளியே
இருக்க நிலைமயுண்டோ?


சொந்த சகோதரர்கள்
துன்பத்தில் சாதல் கண்டும்
சிந்தை இரங்காரடி கிளியே
செம்மை மறந்தாரடி கிளியே

தாயைக் கொல்லும்பஞ்சத்தைத்
தடுக்க முயற்சியுறார்
வாயைத் திறந்து சும்மா - கிளியே
வந்தே மாதரமென்பார்


You can see that he has not only undermined the British but also his fellow beings who did not have the courage to put up a fight and stand against their rights.

As it is the case with other legendary people Bharathi also had a relatively shorter lifetime.He died when he was 39.sadly his funeral was attended by only 14 people.He lived for 30 crore people and only 14 from that 30 crore had time to pay respect on his final journey.Death has brought immortality by placing him in the hearts of people who admired him for his songs and for his relentless contributions even in the face of adversity.Finally he is not a person to be remembered but he is a person to be followed.

பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போல - நான்
வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத் தாயோ?
Lines meaning that,"Did you think that I will go down losing like other mere mortals in life" up his take on his life and he has made his life meaningful such that it has peaked to a legendary one and that which will not go down ever.He will continue to live in the hearts of people being a beacon guiding and lighting the path ahead of us.

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