Living Tamil Poet and Social Reformer
patriotism, revolting against denationalization and realizing
the special mission of India in the world, attempts to
reconstruct our society on true national ideals, there
is a misguided tendency in some cases to revert to so
called “Dharmas” of comparatively recent periods, which
till a few years ago, it had been taken for granted that
the unanimous voice of thinking men had once for all adjudged
as evil. To this unfortunate tendency Mr. C. Subramania
Bharati is a note worth exception and his recent article
in The commonweal of October 6, is a useful contribution
to the literature of Indian Nationalism in its attitude
towards social reform.
Mr. C. Subramania Bharati of Pondicherry is one of those
early sons of fresh-born Nationalism in Madras, who sought
the exiles refuge in France against the arm of the law
of sedition in British India, and have found there an
immunity, which with its ceaseless struggle and reparation
from all that was dear, some of them would fain exchange,
had it not been took, late for trial and even imprisonment
if found to deserve it. Since going to Pondicherry, Mr.
Bharati has been devoting himself entirely to National
reform though Tamil Poetry, where in he has succeeded
in combining simplicity of diction and the use of the
living and spoken tongue with the beauty, purity and purposefulness
of the early classics.
The worth of this remarkable patriot and poet of Madras
has no been at all sufficiently recognized by the people
for the love of whom he has made irrevocable and unmeasured
sacrifice. The call of the Mother has been head so well
by this poet, that the false love that misleads other
and lesser men does not mislead him. To those who have
followed the writings of Mr. Subramania bharati, there
is nothing new in the views expressed in his recent article
against caste, an institution with which some of our other
Nationalists are so please and our lost faith in which
they seek to revive.
In an ode to Sarasvati,he has sung; O Thou, the light
of whose eyes is the Sruti, Thou who hast put on those
eyes the black paint of many commentaries.
“The black paint of which our ladies are very fond, in
moderation beautifies but in excess in renders ugly and
may even injure and destroy the sight”, as the Author
says in a note- Read again the following lines from a
poem on true knowledge.
Blow, conch! Bow that the men are fools and the scripture
they quote is mere prattle of madness. Who fondly believe
that the realms of shiva or Vaikuntam may be attained
in a life after death.
conch! Blow that they alone are blessed who find joy in
True knowledge by seeking salvation even here in this
world, in this life and in this present.
can be clearer than the following from PANCHALI SHAPATAM
what is mere falsehood? A mere petty custom, and a habit
of ignorance, this worth on has accepted for Dharam,.
Alas! Throughout the ages, thus has many a one among us
found misery. Fools! Does falsehood become Truth by mere
age! You appeal to the past, O-Fools! But how long back
do you go for your past? The past is three thousand years
ago, and three score years before as well
you think the countless multitude that crowded like flies
on this Earth in the dead past were all sages? Do you
think that before you were born there were no fools on
from the beginning of Time, among the myriad lives that
appeared here, unnumbered like the raindrops rain-drops
in the clouds, ignorance and Evil always existed.
in this land of Bharata, unmeasured has been the evil
wrought by ignorance that mistook falls custom for Dharama
and the farces of liars for scripture.
a call to worship to Sarasvati, the following lines are
taken, than which we can find no more elevating an incentive
to Endeavour, or a clearer condemnation of dead and empty
not for that which is past, come let us work to end our
ignorance. Propel of this fair Tamil land! Come let us
join and offer prayer to this Goddess.
think not it is easy to make this worship; for it consists
not in piling up of the books and throwing of sandal and
flowers on them, muttering the words of prayer. That many
be the orthodox way, but not true worship of my goddess.
Shall we light the light of learning in every house?
Shall every street have its school or even two?
Shall every town and village in the land have numberless
places where learning can be had?
it be hard to find a place in our land where the men are
without learning? And shall such a place be prepared to
be consumed buy Fire rather than by such i\gnorance4?
is the way to seek the favour of this Goddess, this mother
of Mine – this Destroyer of all evil.