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Is Bharathiyar not Mahakavi?

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praveen

Life is a dream
Staff member
as published in today's Deccan Chronicle Newspaper, Chennai Edition

The world might be raising a toast to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, but back home, the global face of Tamil poetry is running into controversies. Ninety years after his death, a question is being raised about legendary poet Subramaniya Bharathi being addressed as Mahakavi.

By writing in his blog that Bharathiyar cannot be called Mahakavi, eminent writer Jeyamohan has kicked off the row.
While acknowledging Bharathiyar’s contributions to Tamil literature, Jeyamohan says his poetry was not his achieve
ment. “Bharathiyar has written some very good poems, but his measure as a poet is not as good as those of greats like Tiruvalluvar, Ilango, Kambar, Sekkizhar. In fact, he has achieved more in prose. He is the father of the modern prose in Tamil,“ writes Jeyamohan. Expectedly, the comments have attracted the attention of writers, scholars and readers. The Internet is abuzz.

Experts note that the controversy is not new.


Jeyamohan himself says he recorded his views on Bharathiyar in 1995 in a Sri Lankan-based Tamil magazine. “This is old hat.
These issues were thrashed out in the 1930s and resolved,” snaps A.R.Venkatachalapathy , writer, scholar and historian. While Jeyamohan maintains that the critics were ‘silenced’ by a powerful literary clique, Chalapathy retorts that Jeyamohan’s yardstick is ahistorical. “A Mahakavi is judged by how his writings animate and inspire work of subsequent generations. On that score alone Bharati is a Mahakavi.“


Gnanakoothan, arguably the most important living poet in Tamil, tends to agree. “The controversy first broke out in Tamil after Tagore won the Nobel. The readers of today are used to a narrative style different from Bharathiyar's. But that does not mean he is not a Mahakavi.“


Eminent Malayalam poet Satchidanandan says, “I believe we have to see Bharathiyar's poetry in its proper historical background. Like other Indian poets of that time, he believed that a poet's mission was to address the larger issues of society and nation.“
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
I was afraid that after Vivekananda and Valluvr, the next

target would be Kamban/ M.K. Gandhi.

But people have settled for Bharathiyaar.

Hope they don't stoop enough to ask,

"Bharathi yaar?"
 

N.R.Ranganathan

Well-known member
Beacuse there are many bharathiars = suddhananda bharathi. gopalakrishna
bharathi , rajkumar bharathi !!!!

He has boldly written patriotic songs during the British raj and when the
freedom movement was picking up. He inspired the people to revolt against
the British and fight for freedom.
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
How I wish it WERE that way!

People who question the worthiness of Subramanya

Bharathi (in being called a Mahaa kavi), are not

likely to know the exitence of the other Bharathis!

If a person writes poem like Kambar and Valluvar

now, how many of us can read them and understand

them without the help of a Urai Nool/ or atleast a

Tamil-Tamil Dictionary?

The aim of writing a poem is get one's ideas across in

a very powerful manner.

I am sure Subramanya Bharathi did it very very well-

unquestionably well - in his period of social unrest

and Indian freedom struggle.


Beacuse there are many bharathiars = suddhananda bharathi. gopalakrishna
bharathi , rajkumar bharathi !!!!

He has boldly written patriotic songs during the British raj and when the
freedom movement was picking up. He inspired the people to revolt against
the British and fight for freedom.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
I can imagine what all twists and knots this thread will be heading towards!

God save the Mahakavi! :hail:

Experience from the dream girl's thread! :scared:
 

N.R.Ranganathan

Well-known member
All his poems are fantastic and inspiring - jaathigal illaiadi pappa,
ullam velukka vazhi theriavillayaie muthumariamma, vetri ettu thikkum and
many others.

And his famous ' thani manithanukku suthanthiram illaiyel jagaththinai
azhithuduvom '

An original thinker, reformist, patriotic and what have you.
 

vsubbu48

Active member
Bharathiyaar was called 'Mahakavi' not only for his vigourous poems but also for his patriotism, stand against casteism, women's liberation, disdain for empty rituals etc. He did all this in a very very hostile environment. As far as the style of language is concerned, it should reflect the period the poet lived in. The language and style of Sangam literatures were quite different from the later period poetry. Thus the very style of the language indicates the period in which it was composed. For example the poetry of Raji Ram and Visalakshi Ramani reflect the contemporary style.
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
dear Mr. V. Subbu,

Thank you being broadminded enough to include our

writings in the category of poetry. :pray2:

This will act like a boost to my future writing. :high5:

The same name can belong to two opposite type of men.

So better for me NOT to develop allergy seeing some of the

names!

with warm regards and best wishes,
Visalakshi Ramani.


Bharathiyaar was called 'Mahakavi' not only for his vigourous poems but also for his patriotism, stand against casteism, women's liberation, disdain for empty rituals etc. He did all this in a very very hostile environment. As far as the style of language is concerned, it should reflect the period the poet lived in. The language and style of Sangam literatures were quite different from the later period poetry. Thus the very style of the language indicates the period in which it was composed. For example the poetry of Raji Ram and Visalakshi Ramani reflect the contemporary style.
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
ஜாதிகள் இல்லையடி பாப்பா-குலத்
தாழ்ச்சி உயர்ச்சி சொல்லல் பாவம்;
நீதி, உயர்ந்த மதி, கல்வி -அன்பு
நிறைய உடையவர்கள் மேலோர்.

உயிர்களிடத்தில் அன்பு வேணும்; -தெய்வம்
உண்மை என்று தானறிதல் வேணும்;
வயிரமுடைய நெஞ்சு வேணும்; இது
வாழும் முறைமையடி பாப்பா.


தனி ஒருவனுக்கு உணவில்லையேல்
இந்த ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம் .


All his poems are fantastic and inspiring - jaathigal illaiadi pappa,
ullam velukka vazhi theriavillayaie muthumariamma, vetri ettu thikkum and
many others.

And his famous ' thani manithanukku suthanthiram illaiyel jagaththinai
azhithuduvom '

An original thinker, reformist, patriotic and what have you.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
..............Thus the very style of the language indicates the period in which it was composed. For example the poetry of Raji Ram and Visalakshi Ramani reflect the contemporary style.

Thanks for your compliments, Sir! I would like to mention that it is very difficult to write 'sanga kAla'th Tamil.
And even if someone is capable of writing, many can not understand! :ranger:
 

Nara

Well-known member
First, for me personally, having read Bharathiyar since elementary school, he will always remain Mahakavi. If somebody says Mahakavi I would think Bharathi is being referred to, and when I say Mahakavi I always mean Bharathi.

This does not mean I agree with all that Mahakavi said, I particularly don't agree with his view on Varna -- BTW, it was quite revolutionary for his time and had he lived in the present time I think he would have rejected it outright -- and of course I don't share his theism. There are few other minor things, like surya namaskaram which is downright unhealthy.

Anyway, whatever it is, I was not going to simply condemn Jeyamohan even without finding out what he was saying, and why. Therefore I went to his web site and read a little, a novel idea I suppose. There was a Rangarajan who raised some of the same questions our members have raised here. Jeyamohan has given his responses here. It is kind of long and he actually starts to address the questions only about half way down. Those interested may read his response there.

Let me just provide a few excerpts here. I invite members to discuss his arguments, but please refrain from saying he is a Brahmin-hater, Hindu-hater, pseudo-secularist, and all the usual epithets normally hurled at people with whom you disagree.

"மேலும் பாரதி அவன் எழுதிய காலகட்டத்திலேயே கடுமையான எதிர்ப்பைச் சந்தித்துக்கொண்டுதான் இருந்தான்.உதாரணமாக அயோத்திதாசர் பாரதியை மிகக்கடுமையாக எதிர்த்து பக்கம்பக்கமாக எழுதியிருக்கிறார். ‘ஈனப்பறையர்களேனும் அவர் எம்முடன் வாழ்ந்து இங்கிருப்பவரன்றோ’ என்ற வரி அயோத்திதாசரை கொந்தளிக்கசெய்தது. அந்த வரியை த் திரும்பப்பெற வேண்டும் என அவர் எழுதினார், பாரதி அயோத்திதாசரை ஒரு பொருட்டாகவே எண்ணவில்லை. அந்த வரியை அவர் பறையர்களை இழிவுபடுத்த எழுதவில்லை என்பதே அவர் நிலைப்பாடாக இருந்தது."

"‘நான் எழுதுவது பட்டணத்து பட்லர் பறையர்களைப்பற்றி அல்ல’ என்று மட்டும் பாரதி எதிர் வினையாற்றியிருக்கிறார். பதிலுக்கு பாரதியை வேஷப்பார்ப்பான் என்றே அயோத்திதாசர் எழுதினார். பாரதி ஒரு பிராமணக்குரல் என்ற விமர்சனம் பாரதி வாழ்ந்தபோதே இருந்தது."


"பாரதியை ஓர் உதாரணபுருஷன் என்ற தளத்தில் demystify செய்யும் நோக்கம் எனக்கில்லை. பாரதியை மகத்தான இலட்சியவாதியாக, தமிழ்ப்பண்பாட்டின் சிற்பிகளில் ஒருவராக, மட்டுமே இந்த விவாதத்தில் முன்வைக்கிறேன். பாரதி அரசியலிலும் பண்பாட்டிலும் செயல்படும் எவருக்கும் ஒரு முதன்மையான முன்னுதாரணம். ஆனால் அந்த பிம்பம் உண்மையை அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டே அமையலாம். பாரதியை பற்றிய பொய்யான அல்லது மிகையான கற்பனைகளின் அடிப்படையில் அமையவேண்டியதில்லை."

‘ உண்மை ஒளிர்க’என்று பாடவோ?-அதில் உங்கள் அருள்பொருந்தக் கூடுமோ?’ என்று பாடியவன் உண்மையின் பீடத்தில் நிற்கட்டும்

Cheers!

p.s. I don't find Jeyamohan's argument very persuasive.
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member

'காக்கை குருவி எங்கள் ஜாதி, நீள்
கடலும் மலையும் எங்கள் கூட்டம்'

என்று பறவைகளைத் தன் ஜாதியாக, இயற்கையின் அம்சங்களைத் தன் கூட்டமாகப் பாடிய

மஹாகவி பாரதியை, எப்படி ஒரு ஜாதியின் குரலாகக் கொள்ளமுடியும்?


அவருடைய மேன்மையான பாடல்கள் ஒன்று, மகாராஜபுரம் சந்தானம் அவர்களின் கம்பீரக் குரலில்:


Maha Kavi Bharathiyar - Mogaththai Konru vidu - YouTube
 

rishikesan

New member
Dear Friends, All tamil brahmins should feel proud of this Great Poet , who lived hardly few decades, but has sung songs like ;Aaduvome pallu paaduvome ---years before we got Freedom,, but it was apt for the Aug 15/ 1947 to sing AVM cinema Naam Iruvar kindled patriatism in all the Tamilians. Can any one could imagine the following Verse , could have been sung by any Poet in the whole world ---like Our Bharathiyar "Thani oruvanukku unavu illai yendral----ulahinai azhiththiduvom /?
Such poets are Gods Incarnation . Served the Humanity, selfless
A.Srinvasan (rishikesan)
 

Raji Ram

Well-known member
'சாத்திரம் பலப்பல பேசும் சழக்கர்காள்!

கோத்திரமும் குலமும் கொண்டு என் செய்வீர்?'

These are the words of BharathiyAr. Let us not attach him to a caste.

Every Tamilian should be proud of the MahAkavi. :thumb:

 

anamika

Active member
கவிதைக்கு ஓர் கவிதை
**********************

நாட்டின் விடுதலைக்கு
ஓர் கவிதை - அன்றாடம்
வீட்டில் சிறைப்பட்ட
வஞ்சியரின் விடுதலைக்கு
ஓர் கவிதை - பூத்து
வரும் இயற்கையினைப்
பாராட்டி ஓர் கவிதை -
சோற்றுக்கில்லாத சோகத்தை
சொல்லிடும் ஓர் கவிதை!
அதனால் உண்டான தார்மீக
கோபத்தை கொட்டிடும்
ஓர் கவிதை !

பாஞ்சாலியின் சபதத்தை
பகர்ந்திடுவது ஓர் கவிதை!
பாரதத்தின் பெருமையினை
புகன்றிடுவது ஓர் கவிதை!
சாதி மத பேதங்களை
சாடிடுவது ஒர் கவிதை!
சிறுபிள்ளைகளும் களித்திடவே
நீதி சொல்லும் ஓர் கவிதை!

காதல் தரும் இன்பத்தை
காட்டுகின்ற கவிதை!
கண்ணனையே எல்லாமாய்
காட்டுகின்ற கவிதை!
புரட்சியின் மேன்மையை
போற்றிடுமோர் கவிதை!
குயிலின் கீதத்தில்
கரைந்திடுமோர் கவிதை!

பாரதி!

நீ பாடாத பொருளில்லை;
அதனால் எங்கள்
பாட்டின் பொருள்
நீயன்றி வேறில்லை!

பாரதி!

நீயே ஒரு கவிதை!
நாம் - உனக்கு
அஞ்சலி செய்யும் சிறு விதை!!


- அனாமிகா.
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
பாரதி ஒரு மஹாகவி என்று சொல்வதற்கு பதிலாக :typing:

பாரதி ஒரு மெகாகவி என்று சொன்னால் ஒருவேளை :high5:

அனைவரும் ஒப்புக்கொள்ளுவார்களோ என்னவோ?
:noidea:
 

sangom

Well-known member
A महाकवि is one who has composed at least one mahaakaavya. And a mahaakaavya is defined as:—

In the mahākāvya genre, more emphasis was laid on description than on narration. Indeed, the traditional characteristics of a mahākāvya are listed as:[1][2]

* It must take its subject matter from the epics (Ramayana or Mahabharata), or from history,
* It must help further the four goals of man (Purusharthas),
* It must contain descriptions of cities, seas, mountains, moonrise and sunrise, and "accounts of merrymaking in gardens, of bathing parties, drinking bouts, and love-making. It should tell the sorrow of separated lovers and should describe a wedding and the birth of a son. It should describe a king's council, an embassy, the marching forth of an army, a battle, and the victory of a hero".[3]

About this list, Ingalls observes:[3]

These are not random suggestions but specific requirements. Every complete mahākāvya that has come down to us from the time of Kalidasa contains the whole list, which, if one considers it carefully, will be seen to contain the basic repertory of Sanskrit poetry. Contained in it are the essential elements of nature, love, society, and war which a poet should be able to describe. The great kāvya tested a poet by his power of rendering content, which is a better test at least than the Persian diwan, which tested a poet by his skill at rhyme.(Mahakavya - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


I am not very familiar with Bharathiar's works and I also do not know if the above criteria apply to Tamil poets (though it is followed in Maiayalam). Bharathiar has to be judged by the norms followed by Tamil literary/poetic norms.
 

anamika

Active member
Thanks, Raji Ma'am for your compliments.

Thanks, Sangom Sir for the details. I am not aware of the requirements as per Tamil norms but I am sure Bharathiar will surely fit the bill given in your description. He has authored "Panchali Sabatham" and on the codes of nature, and other items given there, Bharathiar has written almost about anything and everything on earth.
Personally I feel there are two types of authors - one who think they are very high and mighty and write works for arts' sake and the others who mix with ordinary people and write for people's sake. Bharathiar is a shining example of a rare author, he catered to both the worlds, he can write about the basic necessities of life such as food and also about the philosophical and lofty ideals about life and its inner meaning.

In my view, I feel a work becomes a Mahakavya thereby giving the author a Mahakavi status when it transcends the boundries of time and space and lives on to infinity. Surely Bharathiar's works are still relevant and they have crossed the time and space limitations and so they will live on and on. Anyone who has creative skills in Tamil would surely have read and be inspired by Bharathiar.

Regards
Anamika
 

rishikesan

New member
Smt. Anamika, Congratulations for correctly explaining the depth of Bharathiyar"s Works. I liked maximum, his Versus , in Prose form. If you read this, you would realize that it is Vedam. It gives the lofty meaning of life. Purpose of birth, Saranagathi Thathvam & everything else. What else one wants ? His Poetry & whole works were written within the minimum period of his life . Many of his works, like that of Mathematician have not been found. Both lived in Triplicane & worshiped Lord Parthasarathy Swami. We the Brahmins should feel proud to read his works, whenever we get opportunity.
A.Srinvasan ( Rishikesan )
 
I

itsmesiva

Guest
The article pains me. I hate the thought that someone could dare evaluate his credentials and contributions. "Is my dad really my DAD" would have been a much useful use of the author's time and efforts. Height of non sense this is...

Bharathiyar ellaam namba naatla porandhadhuku ivanga ellaam romba perumai padanum. I grew up reciting his poems in school, appadiye pul arikum... avar vayiru kaanju irundhudhu... aanaa karpanai kaayala... evvalavu variety, evvalavu arumayana thamizh varthaigaL... He was a child prodigy, a phenomenal literarian, spoke his mind (even to Mahatma Gandhi) and has been an inspiration for so many poets - bharathidasan being the top of them... there was a rage in his tone and works about social reforms, and he did a few of them himself... "freedom" in all respects was what he stood for...

Madhar thammai izhivu seiyum madamayai koluthuvom
Veetukkulle pennai pootti vaipom endra vindhai manidhar thalai kunindhar
Akkini kunjondru kanden... adhai aanGor kaatidai bondhinil vaithen...

to name a few... there are millions more... nobody cared when he died...

Thanaku soththu serthu philanthropy na enna nu kooda theriyaadha Steve Jobs-a kondaadara ulagam idhu... Bharathiyar Mahakaviya nu kekaradhu onnum adhisayam illa...

Vaazhga Puratchi Kavi Bharathiyaar Pugazh...!! Valarga Thamizh KavidhaigaL...!!
 
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rishikesan

New member
Dear ITSME SIVA< Thanks. you have hit the nail on its head. You are pained. You love Bharathy , like Millions loved him. Ettayapuram will speak volumes. Who are we to argue as to whether he was Maha Kavi or not. ? He is the ONLY Person, with hungry stomach went on speaking , shouting walking like a Madman on the streets & kindled the inner feelings of Tamils to be fearless / bold & the words like " Thani oruvanukku unavu illai enil, Jagathinai azhith thiduvom & Aaduvome, pallu paduvome --aananda sudanthiram adaindu vittom enru "
Those who lived on 15th August 1947 , like me --shed Aananda kanneer , wondering as to How, this Bloddy Mad Man could anticipate Independence before15 years & spelt out most appropriate , Simple song which a man on the street could sing along with the Dance of Great dancer Kumari Kamala in Naam Iruvar & not only this song , but many of his creations.
If any one either is not able to shed TEARS on hearing those songs, I can boldly comment that , he / she is the most unfortunate person. Please erase your agony from mind, because, there would always be people , who would take pleasure in commenting anything & everything, & they themselves can not change. Let us ignore & move on & on to be useful to T.N. Brahmins \
A.Srinvasan ( Rishikesan )
 
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