Bharathiyaar – Tamil poet with integrity

Subramanya_Bharathi
Subramaniya Bharathi, image from Wikipedia

“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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subramania_Bharati

Scent of a Woman / Dialogue on integrity

“You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches, and if you think you’re preparing these minnows for manhood, you better think again, because I say you are killing the very spirit this institution proclaims it instills. What a sham. What kind of a show you guys are putting on here today? I mean, the only class in this act is sitting next to me, and I’m here to tell ya this boy’s soul is intact. It’s non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here, and I’m not gonna say who, offered to buy it. Only Charlie here wasn’t selling.”

Lt.Colonel Frank Slade(Al Pacino) from the movie,’Scent of a Woman’

Dialogue / Scent of a Woman

“Makers of men, Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you’re producing here. I don’t know if Charlie’s silence here today is right or wrong. I’m not a judge or jury, but I can tell you this: He won’t sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That’s called courage. Now that’s the stuff leaders should be made of.”

Lt.Colonel Frank Slade(Al Pacino) from the movie,’Scent of a Woman’

Kural : 290

You ask, in lips of men what ‘truth’ may be;
‘Tis speech from every taint of evil free.”

(Explanation: Honesty is that which that does not harm anyone)

– Kural:291,From ‘Thirukkural, by Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, who wrote down philosophy in 1330 concise haikkus. (English translation by Rev.Dr.G U Pope)