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International Bharati Festival 2020

  • 12 Dec 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Minister has addressed the International Bharati Festival 2020, virtually organised by the Vanavil Cultural Centre (Tamil Nadu).

  • The event celebrates the 138th birth anniversary (11th December 2020) of Tamil poet and writer Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati.
  • Scholar Shri Seeni Viswanathan received the Bharathi Award for this year.

Key Points

  • Subramanya Bharati:
    • Birth: 11th December 1882, in Ettayapuram, Madras Presidency.
    • Brief Profile: An outstanding Indian writer of the nationalist period (1885-1920) who is regarded as the father of the modern Tamil style.
      • He is also known as ‘Mahakavi Bharathiyar’.
      • His strong sense of social justice drove him to fight for self-determination.
    • Involvement during Nationalist Period:
      • After 1904, he joined the Tamil daily newspaper Swadesamitran.
      • In order to proclaim its revolutionary ardour, Bharathi had the weekly newspaper named ‘India’ printed in red paper.
        • It was the first paper in Tamil Nadu to publish political cartoons.
        • He also published and edited a few other journals like “Vijaya”.
      • He attended the annual sessions of INC and discussed national issues with extremist leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal, B.G. Tilak and V.V.S. Iyer.
        • His participation and activities in Benaras Session (1905) and Surat Session (1907) of the INC impressed many national leaders for his patriotic fervour.
      • He published the sensational “Sudesa Geethangal” in 1908.
      • Bharati’s reaction to the Russian Revolutions of 1917, in a poem entitled “Pudiya Russia” (“The New Russia”), offers a fascinating example of the poet’s political philosophy.
      • He was forced to flee to Pondicherry (now Puducherry), a French colony, where he lived in exile from 1910 to 1919.
      • During this time, Bharati’s nationalistic poems and essays were popular successes.
    • Important Works: Bharati’s best-known works include Kaṇṇan pāṭṭu (1917; Songs to Krishna), Panchali sapatham (1912; Panchali’s Vow), Kuyil pāṭṭu (1912; Kuyil’s Song), Pudiya Russia and Gnanaratham (Chariot of Wisdom).
      • Many of his English works were collected in Agni and Other Poems and Translations and Essays and Other Prose Fragments (1937).
    • Death: 11th September 1921.
  • 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.
  • Bharathi Award:
    • The Bharati Award was instituted in 1994 by Vanavil Cultural Centre.
    • Every year, it is being conferred on eminent persons who have done laudable service in any field of social relevance and thus worked towards the fulfilment of Bharati’s dreams.

Source: PIB

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