Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Subramanya Bharathi (1882 – 1921)

Tamil poet from Tamil Nadu, India, an independence activist and iconoclastic reformer.
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Subramanya Bharathi
Though Bharathi died so young, he cannot be reckoned with Chatterton and Keats among the inheritors of "unfulfilled renown". His was a name to conjure with, at any rate in South India, while he was still alive. But his fame was not so much as a poet as of a patriot and a writer of patriotic songs. His loudly expressed admiration for Tilak, his fiery denunciations in the Swadesamitran, and the fact that he had to seek refuge in French territory to escape the probing attentions of the Government of Madras, made him a hero and a "freedom fighter". His lilting songs were on numerous lips, and no procession or public meeting in a Tamil district in the days of "non-cooperation" could begin, carry on or end without singing a few of them... Bharathi's love of Tamil, both the language as it was in his own day and the rich literature left as a heritage, was no less than his love of India... When he claims for Valluvan, Ilango and Kamban, Bharathy does so not as an ignorant chauvinist but as one who has savoured both the sweetness of these writers and the strength and richness of others in Sanskrit and English...
Bharathi quotes
Fools! Do you argue, that things ancient ought, on that account, to be true and noble! Fallacies and Falsehoods there were from time immemorial, and dare you argue that because these are ancient these should prevail?
In ancient times, do you think that there was not the ignorant, and the shallow minded? And why after all should you embrace so fondly a carcass of dead thoughts. Live in the present and shape the future, do not be casting lingering looks to the distant past for the past has passed away, never again to return.
Unbearable becomes the pain in my heart  
When I think of my people, broken down,
broken by disease in mind and limb.

Bharathi Subramanya quotes
He loved Thamizh and India with a passion and was proud of his cultural heritage. At the same time he was fully cognizant of the social repercussions of caste differences and how superstitions and blind faith in the old traditions have lead to stagnation.
More important is the fact that he had the courage and tenacity to stand up before a ruthless imperial power and was prepared to face all the personal consequences. The only weapon he had at his disposal to achieve his cherished goal was not wealth or physical ability but only his literary skill.
Bharathi Subramanya
Driving away fear, breaking the bonds of servitude,
Rooting out ignoble thoughts raised the nation,
That it may reach lofty heights in the world,
The immortal poet who conquered Time!
Subramanya Bharathi quotes
The Devil is a Five-headed
Snake, says the father.
The son says, Nay, it's a Six-headed one.
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