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Who was Subramaniya Bharathiyar?

GS Paper 1

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.



Vice-President recently paid homage to Subramania Bharati to mark the death centenary of the poet and freedom fighter.


About Subramaniya Bharathi:

  • Born on 11th December 1882, in Ettayapuram village of Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu.
  • He was a poet, freedom fighter and social reformer from Tamil Nadu.
  • He was known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar.
  • His songs on nationalism and freedom of India helped to rally the masses to support the Indian Independence Movement in Tamil Nadu.
  • Literary works: “Kannan Pattu” “Nilavum Vanminum Katrum” “Panchali Sabatam” “Kuyil Pattu”.
  • He published the sensational “Sudesa Geethangal” in 1908.
  • Sometime in mid-1908, Bharati began to serialise Gnanaratham in his political weekly, India.
  • In 1949, he became the first poet whose works were nationalised by the state government.

current affairs


Bharthi as a social reformer:

  • He was against caste system. He declared that there were only two castes-men and women and nothing more than that. Above all, he himself had removed his sacred thread.
  • He condemned certain Shastras that denigrated women. He believed in the equality of humankind and criticised many preachers for mixing their personal prejudices while teaching the Gita and the Vedas.


Significance in Present Times:

  • The poet’s definition of progress had a central role for women. He wrote women should walk with their head held high, looking people in the eye.
  • The government is inspired by this vision and is working to ensure women-led empowerment.
  • He believed in a healthy mix between the ancient and the modern, indicating a need to develop a scientific temper, a spirit of inquiry and march towards progress.


Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Bharathi Award, instituted in 1994 by Vanavil Cultural Centre? What is the eligibility criteria? Reference: 



Prelims Link:

  1. Where was Bharathiyar Born?
  2. Important literary works.
  3. His contributions to social reforms.

Mains Link:

Who was Subramaniya Bharathiyar? Discuss his views on caste system.

Sources: the Hindu.