Biography of Bharathidasan
Bharathidasan (Tamil: பாரதிதாசன்) also spelt Bharatidasan, was a 20th-century Tamil poet and rationalist whose literary works handled mostly socio-political issues. His writings served as a catalyst for the growth of the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu. In addition to poetry, his views found expression in other forms such as plays, film scripts, short stories and essays. He was mentored by Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi (after whom he called himself "Bharathidasan").
Bharathidasan was born to Kanagasabai Mudaliar and Lakshmi Ammal in a well-to-do merchant family of Pondicherry. His original name was Subburathina He underwent formal education in Tamil literature, Tamil grammar and Saiva siddharth Vedanta under reputed scholars. He also studied at the Collège Calvé in Pondicherry. In 1909, he was introduced to Subramanya Bharathi, and his interactions with the Mahakavi had a major impact on him. He initially worked as a Tamil teacher in the French territory of Karaikal.
He actively participated in the Indian Independence Movement and through his writings,he openly opposed the British and the French Government. He was sentenced and imprisoned by the French Government for voicing views against the French Government that was ruling Pondicherry then. He was a strong supporter of Periyar and an important member of the Suya-Mariyadhai iyyakam(meaning Self-Respect movement) and Dravida Movement, founded by Periyar. Biggest leader Pavalareru Perunchitthiranaar's Friend.
During the Atheist's conference in Chennai, he signed a document having the words "I am an undying atheist".
Throughout his writing career he was encouraged by political leaders such as Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi and M. G. Ramachandran. In 1954 he was elected to the Pondicherry Legislative Assembly. He remained a prolific writer until he died in 1964 in a hospital in Chennai.
Bharathidasan penned his works under different pseudonyms such as Paavendar,Puduvai Kalaimakal, Desopakari, Desabhaktan, Anantapotini, Swadesamitiran, Tamilarasu, Tupleks, Kirukkan, Kindalkaran and the name by which he known today - Bharathidasan. As he was a staunch follower of Anti-Brahmanism, many of his works were anti-Brahmin in nature. Often he talked of "Tamil Race" and "Aryan Race" as polar opposites.
Awards and Recognitions
Bharathidasan was conferred with the title of "Puratchi Kavingyar" (meaning the "Revolutionary Poet") by Periyar. He won the Golden Parrot Prize in 1946 for his play Amaithi-Oomai (Peace and Dumbness). He was given the Sahitya Academy award posthumously in 1970 for his play Pisiranthaiyar.
In 9 October 2001, a commemorative stamp of Bharathidasan was released by the Postal Department in Chennai.
The state government of Tamil Nadu gives the Bharathidasan Award annually to a Tamil poet.
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