Prime Minister's Office

Text of PM’s address at International Bharati Festival 2020

Posted On: 11 DEC 2020 5:32PM by PIB Delhi

Chief Minister Shri Palanisami ji,

Minister Shri  K. Pandiarajan ji  ,  

Shri K. Ravi,  Founder,  Vanavil   Cultural Centre, 

Distinguished  dignitaries,  




I begin by paying tributes to the great Bharathiyar   on his Jayanti.   On such a special day,   I am happy to be taking part in the International  Bharati   Festival.   I am also pleased to present  the  Bharati  Award  for this year  to the great Scholar  Shri  Seeni    Viswanathan ji ,  who has dedicated  his entire life  to research on  Bharati's    works.   I appreciate him for actively pursuing   research even  at the age of 86!   How to describe Subramanya Bharathi, this is a very difficult question.   Bharathiyar    cannot be linked   to any single profession or dimension.   He was a poet, writer, editor, journalist, social reformer, freedom fighter, humanist   and much more. 

One can only marvel at his works, his poems, his philosophy and his life.   He also had a close link with Varanasi, which I have the honour of representing in the Parliament.  I recently saw that his collected works have been published in 16 volumes.   In a short life of 39 years he wrote so much, did so much and excelled   in so much.   His writings are a guiding light to us   towards a glorious   future.  


There is much  that our youth today  can learn from  Subramania Bharati. Most importantly to be courageous.   Fear was unknown to  Subramania Bharati  .  He said: 

அச்சமில்லை அச்சமில்லை அச்சமென்பதில்லையே

இச்சகத்து ளோரெலாம் எதிர்த்து நின்ற போதினும்,

அச்சமில்லை அச்சமில்லை அச்சமென்பதில்லையே

It means:  Fear I have not, fear I have not, Even if all the world opposes me.  I see this spirit in Young India today.   I see this spirit when they are at the forefront of innovation and excellence.  India's start-up space is filled with fearless   youth who are giving something new to humanity.  Such a 'can do'  spirit   will bring wonder  for our nation  and our planet.  


 Bharathiyar    believed in a healthy mix between the ancient and  the modern.   He saw wisdom in staying connected with our roots as well as looking towards the future.  He considered Tamil Language and motherland India as his two eyes.  He sang songs of the greatness of ancient India, the greatness of the Vedas   and  Upanishads  ,  our culture,  tradition  and  our glorious past.   But at the same time, he also warned us that simply living in the past glory is not enough.   We need to develop a scientific temper, a spirit of enquiry and march towards progress.  


 Mahakavi  Bharathiyar's    definition of progress  had a central role for  women .  One of the most important vision  was that of independent  and empowered women.  Mahakavi  Bharatiyaar    wrote  that women should walk  with their head  held high,  while looking people  in the eye.  We are inspired by this vision and are working to ensure   women led empowerment.  It would make you happy that in every sphere of our Government's working, there has been importance given to dignity of women.

Today, over 15 crore women entrepreneurs are funded by schemes like MUDRA Yojana.   They are walking with their head held high, looking us in the eye and telling us how they are becoming self-reliant.  

Today, women   are becoming part of our armed forces with permanent commissioning.   They are walking with their head held high and looking us in the eye and filling us with confidence that the country is in safe hands.  Today, the poorest of the poor women   who used to face problems of lack of safe sanitation, are benefited by over 10 crore safe and hygienic toilets.  

They do not have to face problems any more.   They can walk with their head held high and look everyone in the eye, as Mahakavi  Bharatiyaar    has imagined.  This is the era of New India's Nari Shakti.   They are breaking barriers and making an impact.  This is New India's tribute   to Subramania Bharati  . 


 Mahakavi Bharatiyaar    understood that any society which is divided will not be able to succeed.    At the same time, he wrote about the emptiness of political freedom which does not address the social inequities    and does not address  social ills .   He said, and I quote: 

இனியொரு விதி செய்வோம் - அதை

எந்த நாளும் காப்போம்

தனியொரு வனுக்குணவிலை யெனில்

ஜகத்தினை யழித்திடுவோம்

It means:  Now we will make a rule,  and enforce it ever, If ever one man faces starvation, the world has to  atone  on pain of  destruction    His teachings  are a strong reminder to us to remain united and committed  to the empowerment of every single individual.   Especially the poor and  marginalised.  


There is a lot our youth have to learn from Bharathi.  I wish that everyone in our country reads his works  and is inspired by them.  I congratulate Vanavil Cultural Center on their wonderful work  in spreading the message of Bharathiyar.  I am confident that this festival will have productive  deliberations    which will help  steer  India  into a new future. 

Thank you. 

Thank you very much. 



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