“தனி ஒருவனுக்கு உனவில்லை எனில் ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம்”, said Mahaakavi(Great Poet) Bharathiyaar who was born in Madras, India on this very day of December 11th in the year 1882.
Translation: “If one person goes hungry, let’s destroy the world.”
Born during the period of British occupation of India, his biggest rebellion was not just against the British, but against the evils of casteism – a malignant prejudice perpetuated by his fellow-countrymen against their own. He channeled his fury and anger into poems that came alive with these emotions in vivid imagery.
Quite eccentric, he poured out verses that ranged from social issues to philosophy to romance; in Tamil – an ancient language which shines rich in poetry.
Today the city he lived and flourished, renamed as Chennai is reeling from floods caused by excessive rains. This disaster could have been averted or mitigated if people were not blinded by avarice and corruption.
The city is in dire need of bold, honest voices like Bharathiyaar’s, to call out on the entrenched hypocrisy with the might of a pen.