Maha Kavi Subramania Bharathiar – ‘National Poet’ of India

August 7th, 2010 Posted in Statues

“Maha Kavi”- Subramania Bharathiar” is the ‘National Poet’ of India.


Bharathiar was born in an orthodox Brahmin family and his original name was “Subbiyaa”.  He was given the title “Bharathi” for his poetic works at ‘Ettayapuram Tamil Conference of Songs and Poems’.

Bharathiar wanted to come out of the traditional disparity of the society as “touchable and untouchable” and even as “man and woman”. Bharathiar has written many songs in favour of discarding “women-slavery”/male domination in the country.

Subramania Bharathiar started his own daily newspapers and Bharathi published his various hand-written newspapers.  In his newspapers Bharathi published his poems and songs, kindling the desire for freedom from foreign rule in the minds of the people.


Bharathiar’s songs were out of the set traditional way of poetry outlined by “Tholkappiam” the guidline-book for writing poems. Bharathi broke the tradition in poetry with his modern style and Bharathi songs (Padalgal) became popular among common people. Bharathiar is the pioneer of ‘novel poetry in Tamil’ which is now called “Pudhu Kavithai”.

Bharathiar started writing poems to kindle the thirst for freedom in the minds of the people of Tamilnadu and all the South Indians. There are many motivating songs of Bharathiar like “Achamillai, achamillai, acham enbathillaiye” meaning that there is no fear for anything. Bharathiar’s  many other songs like “Kannamma Songs” and “Chinnam Chiru Kiliye” are very popular. Bharathiar songs are added in the text books of school children. Many of the Bharathiar songs are used in full and some portions of some songs have been used in songs of  Tamil movies.  Bharathiar is praised by his admirers and the learned people of Tamilnadu as “Pattukku oru Pulavan Bharathi”.

Bharathiar was well versed in other South Indian Languages, other than Tamil, such as:-

  • Kannada
  • Telugu and
  • Malayalam

The British Government which ruled India tried to stop the newspapers of  Subramania Bharathiar as they were creating freedom awareness among the people of India. The British rulers wanted people willing to work as slaves. The Bharathiar songs tended to change the minds of people in the Bharathi way of thinking ‘Naam Yaarkum kudiallom Namanai Anjom” (We are not slaves to anybody; we will not fear anybody including death).

Subramaniya Bharathiar was working along with Mahatma Gandhi  in the  ‘Indian Freedom Struggle’.  However, Bharathiar differed in the approach and mode of getting freedom. Bharathiar’s approach differed from the Gandhiji’s ‘Ahimsa way’.

By his various songs and poems and writings Subramaniya Bharathiar created ‘freedom awareness’ in the minds and spirit of the people of India.

In 1982 a Post-graduate university at Coimbatore, Tamilnadu was established as  “Bharathiar University” with the due approval of UGC.

Pedestal of the Bharathiar Statue in Marina Beach:-

To honour the ‘Maha Kavi’ the Tamilnadu Government decided to erect a statue in the Marina Beach.  On 02- 01 1968- on the on the eve of “World Tamil Conference –Chennai” Statue of the “Independence Poet/Sudhandhara Kavignar” Subramania Bharathiar who lived between the years 1882 and  1921 was declared open by Namakkal Kavignar Ramalinganar in the presence of Honble.Minister of Law and Co-Operation- Mr.S.Madhavan.

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