#SubramanyaBharati – The Warrior Poet.

Sometimes We Express, “What We Are Undergoing Must Not Happen To Our Enemies Too”.

But This Happened, To The Most Famous Freedom Fighter Of Tamil Nadu - #Bharatiyar.

There Were Just 14 People During His Cremation.
"Even if Indians are divided, they are children of One Mother, where is the need for foreigners to interfere?". – Subramanya Bharathi.

Mahakavi Bharathiyar is considered to be one of the greatest Tamil poets of the modern era. Most of his works were on religious, political and
social themes. Songs penned by Bharathi have been widely used in Tamil films and Carnatic Music concert platforms.
He was a ‘Shaktic Advaitin’ who saw the dance of Kali in all movements and the entire existence as a dynamic motion.

Born to Chinnasami Subramanya Iyer and Elakumi
Ammaal as "Subbayya" on December 11, 1882, Bharati had a difficult childhood after losing his mother when he was 5.
His fascination for poetry and Tamil Classics wasn’t acceptable for his father who dreamt his son to be an engineer, but as years subsided, the father understood
he can’t change his son & sent young Subbaiah to the services of Tirunelveli Raja.
Once it so happened that 16 year old Subbaiah had a debate in king’s court with Pandit, when he finished, the overwhelmed King’s court decided to confer the title #Bharati to Subbaiah.
After his
father’s demise in 1898, Subbaiah & his wife Chellamma (He got married when he was 14) goes to Varanasi where his uncle & aunt were residing looking after a Matha, there he joined Central Hindu College, learnt Hindi and Sanskrit also fine tuned his English.
It was during his
student days, at Varanasi, that Bharati began to dress in the way now familiar to us. He cut his hair to the dismay of his uncle, grew a moustache, dressed in the North Indian fashion, and adopted his classic turban.
The Etteyapuram Raja asked Subbaiah to return back, so he
did in 1904, but he felt uneasy amongst the richness & grandeur, he left the king & went to Madurai. THEN HIS DESTINY INTERVENED.
He met G Subramania Iyer, the editor of #Swadeshimitran & joined him as Sub Editor in November 1904.

His main work was to translate into Tamil the
news published in English dailies. That is how Bharati came to translate speeches of Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Veer Savarkar and other Nationalists. Gripped by the messages of these men, Bharati became a sympathizer of the Nationalists. This work gave him good
training in the art of writing. His language gained in a power of expression till then unknown in Tamil. As the subeditor of Swadesamitran, Bharati went to attend the 21st All-India Congress Session at Kashi. There he met Sister Nivedita. His two volumes of poetry,
Swadesa Gitangal (1908) and Janma Bhoomi (1909), were to be dedicated to Sister Nivedita, "who without words, in a split second, taught me the nature of true service to the Mother and the greatness of sacrifice."

Tirumalchariar and Srinivasachariar,
the Mandayam brothers, were great patriots, and did not see why they should not spend their inherited fortune for the Motherland. Thus was born a new Tamil weekly, #India, based in Madras. It was begun in 1906, at around the same time as the Bande Mataram at Calcutta.
Bharati became its editor. He was also the editor of an English magazine Bala Bharati, another Tamil magazine Chakravartini, and a Tamil daily, #Vijaya.
Cover page of Vijaya, showing "Mother India" (Bharat Mata) with her diverse progeny and the rallying cry "Vande Mataram”.
In #India, Bharati poured out his flaming heart in poems of fire. His prose targeted the Moderates, and poured scorn on the Indians who did not join the freedom struggle. In a cartoon published in India in 1908 the Moderates are portrayed as dogs eager for the bones Lord Morley
is throwing to them while the British wished to loot the mansion of India; and sadly looking on is the caged Lion, Balgangadhar Tilak. Naturally enough, the British administration got his pen-lashings in full measure. The intrepid Bharati spared no one. The Government was ready
to crack its whip & Proceeded to arrest the team…
Well, Subramania Bharati, 'the most dangerous member' of the India group escaped to French India. Mandayam Srinivasa Iyengar was arrested, convicted and sentenced to five years' transportation, his brother Mandayam Tirumalachari
also escaped to Pondicherry along with his office equipment, and printing press, lock, stock, and barrel. That was in October 1908. On 10 October the first issue of India came out from Pondicherry.
Bharati, was a great admirer of Sri Aurobindo's. In the middle of 1909 he sent
one of India's correspondents to Calcutta to interview him. The interview was published in India in its issue of 18 September 1909. It was this type of reporting that made India a treasure in Tamil journalism. Sri Aurobindo had also met at Calcutta S. Parthasarathi, 'Secretary,
Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company' That is why when Sri Aurobindo received the adesh to go to Pondicherry from Chandernagore, he had sent Moni with a note addressed to S. Parthasarathi Iyenger, c/o 'India' Press. Parthasarathi was away from Pondicherry, so at Moni's request
Parthasarathi's elder brother Srinivasachari had opened the envelope and learned that Sri Aurobindo "was coming to Pondicherry and wanted a quiet place of residence to be engaged for him where he could live incognito without being in any way disturbed." That is how he and
Bharati went to receive Sri Aurobindo on 4 April 1910.
During his exile, Bharathi had the opportunity to mix with many other leaders of the revolutionary wing of the Independence movement such as Aurobindo, Lajpat Rai & V.V.S. Aiyar, who had also sought asylum under the French.
Bharathi assisted Aurobindo in the Arya journal and later Karma Yogi in Pondicherry.

A R Venkatachalapathy in his book “Who Owns That Song” compares Subramania Bharati with Tagore, and he surmises…
Why is Subramania Bharati not as well-known as Rabindranath Tagore?
The Nobel Prize? Part of the answer but not the whole.
A R V gives a most meaningful illustration about Bharati, he says Bharati’s life was short. Of his thirty-nine years, over ten were spent in exile in Pondicherry to escape the British Indian police. At a time when Tagore
was being feted, Bharati was pleading with the governor of Madras for justice. If the crowds at the time of Tagore’s death caused near-riots, Bharati’s funeral procession drew eleven persons and there was a confusion over who would light the pyre.

A poet who relied on
inspiration to write, Bharati’s complete poems total some 600 pages. He wrote about sixty stories of varying length which do not conform to accepted forms of the novel or short story. He wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and translated some Vedic hymns. As a journalist
he wrote editorials and political commentary. He was the pioneer of column writing in Tamil, and the author of arguably the first published autobiography in Tamil.

Why then is Bharati so little known outside Tamilnadu?
Translation into English – its quality or its lack thereof
is the prime culprit. Little was done in his own lifetime to translate. When his fame grew, stray translations made its appearance. After independence it became a cottage industry. Many translators tried their hand but Bharati’s poetry simply refuses to work in English.
While Bengali Minds Kept Tagore Relevant Over The Years, The Tamilians Clouded By Periyar & Karunanidhi Denied Bharat, The Beauty Called Subramanya Bharati.
When the Indian independence movement was oscillating between phases of vigour, dullness and momentum, Bharathi sang for
political freedom and emancipation from social stagnation. His radical humanism was rooted in advaitic (non-dualism) Vedanta as he battled against the evils of caste system and subjugation of women. He, at the same time, sang about the universe - from the movement of
the galaxies to the storms in his coastal town. Non-dualism bubbled in his verses.
(Words of @arvindneela )

Bharathi's poetry stands out for many facets of his love for his motherland. He berates his countrymen for many social evils. He chastises them for a fearful attitude
towards the rulers. He sound a clarion call for national unity, removal of casteism and the removal of oppression of women.
Even in the period 1910-1920, when freedom was far away and Gandhi just an emerging force, with a tremendous sense of positive expectation, he talks of a
new and free India where there are no castes. He eloquently imagines all-round social and economic development. He talks of building up India's defence, her ships sailing the high seas, success in manufacturing and universal education. He calls for sharing amongst states with
wonderful imagery like the diversion of excess water of the Bengal delta to needy regions. He talks of a bridge to Sri Lanka. He even desired greater co-operation between Bharat and her neighbours a vision realised more than 60 years after his death through SAARC agreement.
Bharathi also fought against the caste system in Hindu society. Born as a Brahmin, he tried to remove the disorder in Brahminism brought up on other castes through Misconceptions.
He used to say, “There is no caste system. It is a sin to divide people on caste basis. The ones
who are really of a superior class are the ones excelling in being just, intelligent, educated and loving”.
He also said, 'There are only two castes in the world: one who is educated and one who is not.' He considered all living beings as equal and to illustrate this he even
performed Upanayanam to a young Harijan and made him a Brahmin. He also scorned the divisive tendencies being imparted into the younger generations by their elderly tutors during his time. He openly criticised the preachers for mixing their individual thoughts while teaching
the Vedas and the Gita.
Meanwhile, with poverty looming over him, Bharati was badly affected by the imprisonments and by 1920, when a General Amnesty Order finally removed restrictions on his movements, Bharati was already struggling. He was struck by an elephant named Lavanya
at Parthasarathy temple, Chennai, whom he used to feed regularly. When he fed an expired coconut to Lavanya, the elephant got fired up and attacked Bharati. Although he survived the incident, his health deteriorated a few months later and he joined his mother early morning
on 11 September, 1921 at around 1 am. Though Bharati was considered a people's poet, a great nationalist, outstanding freedom fighter and social visionary, it was recorded that there were only 14 people to attend his funeral.

#MahakaviSubramanyaBharathi was more Left than
Karl Marx himself, but the only reason No Liberal Endorse Him Is Because, He Lived, He Wrote, He Sang, He Died & Whatever Be It, He Left A SANATANA Stamp.

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