Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has announced that the death anniversary of India's firebrand poet and freedom fighter Subramania Bharati will be commemmorated as 'Mahakavi Day' on September 11 annually.
On Friday, Stalin made 14 announcements in connection with the death anniversary of Mahakavi Bharati including a State level poetry competition for school and college students and giving away the 'Bharati young poet award' to honour the fiery freedom fighter.
The declaration include setting up of a chair on the poet's name at Trichy Bharathidasan University besides providing financial assistance on behalf of the government to maintain the house where Bharati lived in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, as a counter to DMK's move, paying tribute to the poet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced setting up a chair for Tamil studies dedicated to the Tamil poet in the Faculty of Arts of Banaras Hindu University(BHU). Modi made the remarks during a virtual address at the inauguration of the Sardardham in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
"Today is the 100th death anniversary of India's great scholar, philosopher and freedom fighter Subramania Bharati. The vision of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' that Sardar (Patel) saheb carried, the same philosophy has been shining with full divinity in the Tamil writings of Mahakavi Bharati," he said.
Not to be overshadowed by the declarations by Stalin, the opposition AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam on Saturday hailed Chief Minister M K Stalin's announcements.
"I welcome these announcements on behalf of the AIADMK" ,Panneerselvam said and conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to Stalin for the gesture.
Political leaders cutting across party lines in Tamil Nadu paid rich tributes to 'Mahakavi' Bharathi on his 100th death anniversary on Saturday. Chief Minster M K Stalin, along with his Cabinet colleagues paid floral tributes to a decorated portrait of the iconic poet, placed close to his life-size statue on Kamarajar Salai here and tweeted his popular verses that emphasised on fearlessness.
Quoting the "Achamillai" song, Stalin hailed Bharathi for arousing a passion for freedom among the people, through his writings and poems.
Pubic Works Minister E V Velu, Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu, Health Minister, Ma Subramanian, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister, PK Sekar Babu and party MPs Kanimozhi, Tamizhachi Thangapandian, legislator JMH Hasan Moulana participated.
AIADMK co-coordinator and Leader of Opposition, K Palaniswami in his tributes said Bharathi's songs ignited passion for freedom, he was a crusader of women's rights and a social reformer who created awareness against casteism.
BJP's Mahila Morcha national president, Vanathi Srinivasan and several others from the party garlanded a statue of Bharathi at his memorial. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and PMK founder leader Dr S Ramadoss were among several others who paid their tributes to Bharathi on his death anniversary.
Subramania Bharathi (11 December 1882 - 11 September 1921), popularly known as "Bharathiar" in the Tamil speaking world was a reformist poet as well and a crusader of women's rights and his verses continue to be popular to this day like the "Thani Oru Manthithanukku..." (Let us destroy the world if there is no food for an individual).