Subramaniya Siva

(4 October 1884 - 23 July 1925 / Madras Presidency / British India)

Biography of Subramaniya Siva

Subramaniya Siva poet

Subramaniya Siva was an Indian freedom fighter and prolific writer. He was arrested many times between 1908 and 1922 for his anti-imperialist activities. While serving his last prison term, he was afflicted by leprosy to which he succumbed in 1925.


Subramaniya Siva was born in vathalagundu in Dindigul district of the then Madras province. He was born to Rajam Iyer. Little is known about his early life, except for the fact that he was already a married man when he commenced his political activities. He plunged into the freedom movement in 1908 after which he was jailed many a time.

In 1908, while serving a prison term, he was afflicted by leprosy and was ordered to be shifted to Salem jail. Since leprosy was regarded as a contagious disease, the British authorities forbade him to travel by rail. As a result of this, Subramaniya Siva traversed the whole length of Madras province on foot though his whole body was covered with sores. Fearful of displeasing the British authorities, not many people provided help. However, this did not deter Siva. He continued to fight for independence and suffered numerous prison terms. He eventually succumbed to the disease on 23 July 1925.

Subramanya Siva was a firebrand revolutionary independence fighter from Tamil Nadu. He closely worked with V.O. Chidambaram Pillai and Subramanya Bharathy and inspired many young men to join the freedom movement. Siva was the first political prisoner in the Madras Presidency. Siva had described his jail experience in a small book "Jail Life". He The Freedom Movement made him an orator and the jail life made him an author. He published "Gnana Bhanu", a collection of poems. He was an admirer of Swami Vivekananda and his religious master Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Siva disagreed many things with Gandhian Philosophy. He believed in violence for violent methods would arise when constitutional methods had failed. Subramanya Siva died on Jul 23, 1925. At the time of his death he was survived by his son Sabhapathi Sharma.

To honour this great person, Dindugal district collector office is named after him :Thiagi Subramania Siva Malihai. The Tamil word Thiagi means martyr. Vathalagundu Bus stand also is named after him. A memorial for him will be established in Papparapatti of Pennagaram taluk in Dharmapuri.

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