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Just as Subramaniya Bharathi’s Triplicane house was nationalized, the house in T Nagar in which Bharathidasan lived should also be nationalized, say Tamil enthusiasts while observing his death anniversary on April 21. The house at 10, Raman Street still remains as it was when Bharathidasan lived while buildings nearby have turned into apartments.

Born in Puducherry, Bharathidasan’s original name was Kanaga Subburathinam. As a  disciple of Bharathi, he changed his name to Bharathidasan.

The poet of the Dravidian movement, Bharathidasan promoted rationalism through his verses. His poems were atheist, denied caste and opposed religion. Annadurai called him Revolutionary Poet in 1946.

In 1966, during the Second World Tamil Conference, Tamil scholar Mu Varadarasanar unveiled Bharathidasan’s statue at the Marina Beach. In 1970, Bharathidasan’s book, Pisrandhaiyar, got the Sahitya Akademi award for 1969.

Since 1978, his birthday that falls in April 29 is celebrated by the government. The government gives an award in his name. In 1982, then chief minister MG Ramachandran inaugurated the Bharathidasan university.

In 1990, to mark his 100th birth anniversary, his books were nationalized by chief minister M Karunanidhi. In nine universities across the state, Bharathidasan endowments were created. In 2001, postal stamps were issued with his portrait.

In 1971, when his birthday was celebrated, the house on Perumal Koil Street in Puducherry where he lived was nationalized. Built in 1900, Bharathidasan lived there since 1945. Today the house hosts the Bharathidasan memorial and museum. His photographs, handwritten manuscripts, the books he wrote, the things he used, as well as tributes paid to him by other luminaries are exhibited there.

Bharathidasan was concerned about the quality of Tamil films. He came to Chennai to produce good quality Tamil films. At that time, he lived in the T Nagar residence.

Interested in theater since his early days, Bharathidasan ventured into the movie industry. From 1947 to 1953 he was active in films. He wrote the screenplay, dialogue and songs for Balamani aka Baghdad Thirudan Kavi Kalamegam, Sulochana, Aayiram Thalai Vangiya Apoorva Chintamani, Ponmudi and Valaiyapaaathi.

Bharathidasan was concerned about the quality of Tamil films. He came to Chennai to produce good quality Tamil films. At that time, he lived in the T Nagar residence.

Bharathidasan tried to make a movie based on his work, Pandiyan Parisu. He worked to make a biopic on Bharathi. But he was not successful in either of the projects. He passed away in 1964 while he was living in T Nagar.

The house where he lived looks the same as it did during his time. Tamil enthusiasts are asking that a library and a research center be established after nationalizing the house without changing the character of the house, says Ariara Velan, a Tamil enthusiast.

If the government doesn’t take action, the historic house may soon give way to a mutistoreyed apartment. It would be like how the house on Radhakrishnan Road where Gandhi stayed later became Chola Sheraton.


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