The Publications Division of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked Subramania Bharathiar Thinkers' Forum based here to approach the Sahitya Akademi or National Book Trust (NBT) with their plea to translate and publish the literary works of the Tamil poet in all other regional languages of the country.
Assistant Solicitor General K.K. Senthilvelan informed the Ministry's stand before Justices K. Suguna and A. Arumughaswamy in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court which was seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by the forum's secretary R. Lakshminarayanan. Later, the judges disposed of the case with a direction to the petitioner to approach the appropriate forum.
In his affidavit, Mr. Lakshminarayanan said that the objectives of the forum was to spread Subramania Bharathiar's poems throughout the country, promote socialism as espoused him, celebrate his memorial day every year, distribute his poems to school and college students by way of prizes in literary competitions and to run a library in order to spread the thoughts of the nationalist poet.
“During the period when our country was under the rule of the British, various national leaders sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. Each person followed a separate mode for awakening the cause of liberation among the masses. The great Subramania Bharathiar is one among them who worked for the cause of freedom at the cost of his family, health and wealth.”
“He composed many poems kindling the spirit and fire of freedom among ordinary Tamil people. It is significant to submit that his poems were also directed towards freedom of women. His contribution to eradication of untouchability and casteism is phenomenal. He was a terror in the minds of British establishment… Ultimately he died in poverty,” the petitioner said.
He went on to state that the Puducherry government had preserved the house where the poet spent some years of his life. The Tamil Nadu government had nationalised his literary works and the Centre declared him a national poet and unveiled his portrait in the Parliament. But none of them had taken steps to translate and publish his works in other languages.
“His works have greater relevance today in a society rife with communal, religious and narrow partisan causes. Every citizen of India should be made aware of the great contribution of Mahakavi Bharathiar. The authorities should take immediate positive steps to compile all the works — poems, prose and correspondences — in an authenticated manner and circulate it among the youth and others,” he added.