‘Bharathiyar’ is the name that reminds Indians of nationalism, patriotism and Tamil prose and poetry. Born in 1882 he was conferred the title of ‘Bharati‘ for his poetic talent at a tender age. Bharati emerged as a prolific poet earning the name of ‘Mahakavi’, meaning a Great Poet. He died at the age of 39 but in his short span of life he had made immeasurable contribution to his country and language.
Life of a patriot
He lived in the eventful years of our country’s freedom struggle. He had met his contemporaries who influenced his political thinking like Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Sister Nivedita, Aurobindo Gosh, VVS Iyer and Lajpat Roy. The Tamil poet and writer’s life itself is a shining example of upholding the spirit of freedom, equality, justice and love despite poverty and against the oppressive British rule. He was the assistant editor of ‘Swadesamithran’ a Tamil daily from 1904 to 1907. He launched ‘India’ the Tamil weekly of which he was the editor and later edited a newspaper ‘Bala Bharatam’ in English. He had a turbulent life laced with living in exile, arrest, being jailed amidst abject poverty. He resumed as editor of Swadesamithran a year before his death in 1921.
His lofty dreams about our society and the country came out brilliantly in his songs and prose. He had the uncanny ability of using his literary skills to the best to kindle the patriotic feelings of the masses and about the evils of the society which caused all their problems.