Two-day national seminar on ‘Pavendar Bharathidasan: new perspectives’ begins

His is an enviable lineage of a long line of poets, thinkers, and scholars; his adulation for his contemporary Bharathi continues to provoke debate as to whether his writing was influenced by the bard from Ettayapuram; a creator whose works are comparable to those of English rhymesters Keats and Shelley, the works of Bharathidasan, explored under the light of their continuing relevance, forms the base for ‘Pavendar Bharathidasan: new perspectives’, a two-day national seminar held at Bharathidasan University.

Jointly organised by Sahitya Akademi and the Department of Tamil Studies, Bharathidasan University, the seminar invites Tamil scholars to present research papers on topics that not only reflected the specifics of the poet’s writing, but also drew parallels with the works of poets and writers from other language.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, poet Sirpi felt, “Bharathidasan’s poems may begin with ideas already put forward by Bharathi, but they always culminated in revolutionary thoughts that were nothing but his own.”

Drawing from his knowledge of English literature and his passion for the poet, K.Chellapan, Former Head, Department of English, Bharathidasan University, said: “Bharathidasan’s poetry democratised beauty by seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Keats and Shelley

Unlike Keats and Shelley, whose imagery had a sensuous and abstract quality Bharathidasan was a materialistic poet, whose imagery was a mix of the abstract and a very physical reality.”

Spanning two days, the seminar features a range of sessions that delve into humanism, nature, and short narratives in Bharathidasan’s poems; that put forth a comparative studies of his works; that examine his views on god and his revolutionary thoughts; and his employment of multiple themes such as fiction, humour, and music. Chaired by eminent names in Tamil literary circles, the various sessions engage in bringing out the hidden nuances in the works of Bharathidasan.

The inaugural session pooled in an assortment of opinions on not just the poet and his works, but also the reasons for their lack of nation-wide popularity and the waning interest in Tamil as a field of study and research.

“A degree in Tamil is considered with contempt because of its lack of occupational scope,” said poet Thangam Moorthy, who felt unless the State created relevant job opportunities, it was going to be impossible to inspire youth.

Also present at the ceremony were K.Meena, Vice Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, S.P.Mahalingeshwar, Sahitya Akademi, Chennai, K.P.Ganesan, Principal, Periyar E.V.R. College, P.M.Mansure, Principal, M.I.E.T. College of Arts and Science, and U.Alibava, Associate Professor, Department of Tamil Studies, Bharathidasan University.