|Birth Day:||December 11, 1882|
|Death Date:||Sep 11, 1921 (age 38)|
As per our current Database, Subramanya Bharathi died on Sep 11, 1921 (age 38).
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He studied poetry and music while attending a Hindu primary school in Tirunelveli.
Bharati was born on 11 December 1882 in the village of Ettayapuram, to Chinnaswami Subramania Iyer and Lakshmi Ammal. Subbaiah, as he was named, went to the M.D.T. Hindu College in Tirunelveli. From a very young age, he was musically and poetically inclined. Bharati lost his mother at the age of five and was brought up by his father who wanted him to learn English, excel in arithmetic, and become an engineer. A proficient linguist, he was well-versed in Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, English, French and had a smattering of Arabic. Around the age of 11, he was conferred the title of "Bharati", the one blessed by Saraswati, the goddess of learning. He lost his father at the age of sixteen, but before that when he was 10, he married Chellamma who was seven years old.
During his stay in Varanasi, Bharati was exposed to Hindu spirituality and nationalism. This broadened his outlook and he learned Sanskrit, Hindi and English. In addition, he changed his outward appearance. He also grew a beard and wore a turban due to his admiration of Sikhs, influenced by his Sikh friend. Though he passed an entrance exam for a job, he returned to Ettayapuram during 1901 and started as the court poet of Raja of Ettayapuram for a couple of years. He was a Tamil teacher from August to November 1904 in Sethupathy High School in Madurai. During this period, Bharati understood the need to be well-informed of the world outside and took interest in the world of journalism and the print media of the West. Bharati joined as Assistant Editor of the Swadesamitran, a Tamil daily in 1904. In December 1905, he attended the All India Congress session held in Benaras. On his journey back home, he met Sister Nivedita, Swami Vivekananda's spiritual heir. She inspired Bharati to recognise the privileges of women and the emancipation of women exercised Bharati's mind. He visualised the new woman as an emanation of Shakti, a willing helpmate of man to build a new earth through co-operative endeavour. Among other greats such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he considered Nivedita as his Guru, and penned verses in her praise. He attended the Indian National Congress session in Calcutta under Dadabhai Naoiroji, which demanded Swaraj and boycott of British goods.
By April 1906, he started editing the Tamil weekly India and the English newspaper Bala Bharatham with M.P.T. Acharya. These newspapers were also a means of expressing Bharati's creativity, which began to peak during this period. Bharati started to publish his poems regularly in these editions. From hymns to nationalistic writings, from contemplations on the relationship between God and Man to songs on the Russian and French revolutions, Bharati's subjects were diverse.
Bharati participated in the historic Surat Congress in 1907 along with V.O. Chidambaram Pillai and Mandayam Srinivachariar, which deepened the divisions within the Indian National Congress with a section preferring armed resistance, primarily led by Tilak over moderate approach preferred by certain other sections. Bharati supported Tilak with V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Kanchi Varathachariyar. Tilak openly supported armed resistance against the British.
In 1908, the British instituted a case against V.O. Chidambaram Pillai. In the same year, the proprietor of the journal India was arrested in Madras. Faced with the prospect of arrest, Bharati escaped to Pondicherry, which was under French rule. From there he edited and published the weekly journal India, Vijaya, a Tamil daily, Bala Bharatham, an English monthly, and Suryodayam, a local weekly in Pondicherry. The British tried to suppress Bharati's output by stopping remittances and letters to the papers. Both India and Vijaya were banned in India in 1909.
During his exile, Bharati had the opportunity to meet many other leaders of the revolutionary wing of the Independence movement like Aurobindo, Lajpat Rai and V.V.S. Aiyar, who had also sought asylum under the French. Bharati assisted Aurobindo in the Arya journal and later Karma Yogi in Pondicherry. This was also the period when he started learning Vedic literature. Three of his greatest works namely, Kuyil Pattu, Panchali Sapatham and Kannan Pattu were composed during 1912. He also translated Vedic hymns, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra and Bhagavat Gita to Tamil. Bharati entered India near Cuddalore in November 1918 and was promptly arrested. He was imprisoned in the Central prison in Cuddalore in custody for three weeks from 20 November to 14 December and was released after the intervention of Annie Besant and C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar. He was stricken by poverty during this period, resulting in his ill health. The following year, 1919, Bharati met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He resumed editing Swadesimeitran from 1920 in Madras (modern day Chennai).
He was badly affected by the imprisonments and by 1920, when a General Amnesty Order finally removed restrictions on his movements, Bharati was already struggling. He was struck by an elephant named Lavanya at Parthasarathy temple, Triplicane, Chennai, whom he used to feed regularly. When he fed a spoilt coconut to Lavanya (the elephant), the elephant got fired up and attacked Bharati. Although he survived the incident, his health deteriorated a few months later and he died early morning on 11 September 1921 at around 1 am. Though Bharati was considered a people's poet, a great nationalist, outstanding freedom fighter and social visionary, it was recorded that there were only 14 people to attend his funeral. He delivered his last speech at Karungalpalayam Library in Erode, which was about the topic Man is Immortal. The last years of his life were spent in a house in Triplicane, Chennai. The house was bought and renovated by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1993 and named Bharati Illam (Home of Bharati).
Bharathiar University, a state university named after the poet, was established in 1982 at Coimbatore. There is a statue of Bharathiar at Marina Beach and also in the Indian Parliament. A Tamil Movie titled Bharati was made in the year 2000 on the life of the poet by Gnana Rajasekeran, which won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. The movie Kappalottiya Thamizhan chronicles the important struggles of V.O.Chidambaranar along with Subramanya Siva and Bharathiar with S.V. Subbaiah starring as Subramania Bharati. On 14 August 2014 Professor Muhammadu Sathik raja Started an Educational trust at thiruppuvanam pudur, near Madurai named as "OMAR -BHARATHI EDUCATIONAL TRUST" the name is kept to praise the two legendary poets Umaru Pulavar and Subramania Bharathiyar from Ettaiyapuram. Though these two Poets are having three centuries time interval, the divine service and their contribution to the Tamil language are made them unparallel legends. Both two poets are offered their services at vaigai river bank of thiruppuvanam. the two poets were strongly suffered by their financial status, so both of them were unsuccessful to fulfil their family members need. Many roads are named after him, notable ones including Bharathiar road in Coimbatore and Subramaniam Bharti Marg in New Delhi. The NGO Sevalaya runs the Mahakavi Bharatiya Higher Secondary School.
The Government of India in 1987 instituted a highest National Subramanyam Bharti Award conferred along with Ministry of Human Resource Development, annually confers on writers of outstanding works in Hindi literature.
Currently, Subramanya Bharathi is 138 years, 11 months and 21 days old. Subramanya Bharathi will celebrate 139th birthday on a Saturday 11th of December 2021.
Find out about Subramanya Bharathi birthday activities in timeline view here.