(Last Updated on : 29-01-2013)
Paratiyar is one of the greatest poets and authors from Tamil Nadu
who has contributed much to the development of modern era in Tamil literature
. Paratiyar was born in 1882 AD. He is one of the most illustrious poets who composed metal, antati and ula types of works. He also wrote many yamakam, ciletai, cittirakkavi or ornamental poems as well. He refrained from composing laudatory poems about noble patrons and the rich people; and also but criticized others for composing such verses. As a result, Paratiyar had to face the fury of his patron Zamindar and eventually left his local village. Due to his passion to sustain his pride and liberty in his talents, his aspiration to serve humanity and to work for the independence of the nation, Paratiyar was established as very different from most of his contemporary poets.
Paratiyar wrote many patriotic poems and recited them with zeal. His verses were printed and distributed through out the country and they aroused a sense of awakening amongst the general people. Paratiyar gained immense popularity due to his patriotic compositions. His poems sang the glory of motherland, his poetry inspired the youth, he was one of those whose contribution had been far-flung and praise worthy. He died in the year 1921.
Literary Works of Paratiyar
Besides composing patriotic poems, Paratiyar wrote various forms of verses that criticized the social issues and problems. Other poems opposed superstitions, condemned the caste system, degraded the shameful manner of treating women, encouraged the children and even highlighted the issue of providing excessive importance to English, by vilification of the mother tongue. Verses of this nature are appreciated primarily for their emotional appeal and charm. Paratiyar had an independent outlook from his earlier days. Although he was raised amidst Zamindars and poets who eulogized them; he rather focused his mind in the Indian freedom struggle
and other political issues.
Later Paratiyar became the editor of a Tamil daily named Swadesamitran and was directly involved into the independence activities. His compositions were thus deeply influenced by the struggle for Indian political independence. Eventually he resigned from Swadesamitran as his compositions could create problems for the paper and thus started his own paper called India. When Paratiyar went to Pondicherry, he met with Aurobindo
and V.V.S. Iyer
. During his stay there, the renowned Tamil poet composed several fascinating poems infused with patriotic feelings. Even though his poems were meant to provoke the people for political struggle during that era, but most of them still arouse noble emotions. Paratiyar has propagated various noble ideas which are now put forward for fostering unity in the nation.
Paratiyar translated Vande Mataram
by Bankim Chandra
Chattopadhyay (Bankim Chandra Chatterjee) into Tamil in two distinct verses. In the popular poem titled Centamil Natu, he praised Tamil Nadu and provided his conception and visualization of India as one political whole. The poem is a tribute to the greatness of the country and Tamil Nadu. The poems composed by Paratiyar that portray the greatness of Tamil has been remembered and recited on all the public platforms in Tamil Nadu even at the present age. Paratiyar had praised the greatness of ancient India and its soul refining cultural traditions, but also condemned the crude manners and superstitious beliefs of the present day people. There are a number of verses that condemn the defects among the Tamil people fervently.
The renowned Tamil poet desired to see a society formed without any economic inequality among people. His feelings are well described in the form of a verse infused with emotion. In another Tamil verse titled Vitutalai meaning Freedom, Paratiyar reveals his concept of freedom. He believed that freedom means both political and economic freedom of the people. His work of Cutantarap Pallu is inspired from the folk song of the farmers, which are known as Palluppattu. In such types of verse, the poet focuses on the importance of equality amongst humans. Paratiyar composed many poems invoking the patriotism in the people. One of his poems on Gopal Krishna Gokhale
is composed by implementing the tune in the verse of Iramalinka Cuvamikal. Some poems which encouraged patriotism were also written similar to Kopalakirusna Parati's Nantandr Kiirttanaikal.
Paratiyar also wrote some poems portraying the greatness of national leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai
, Guru Gobind Singh
, Bal Gangadhar Tilak
and Dadabhai Naoroji
. He was the first Tamil poet to recognize the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi
and was able to comprehend his concept of ahimsa or non-violence. Paratiyar composed a poem entitled Putiya Konanki, based on the form, rhythm, and tune of a folk song, in which he depicted numerous ideas regarding the progress of the nation. This form of verse is his contribution to Tamil prosody.
Paratiyar respected the values mentioned in the ancient culture and thus explained the noble truths that are available in Upanishads, puranas, and other epics. He composed a minor epic titled Pancali Capatam, which was inspired from the character of Draupadi
in the Sanskrit
epic the Mahabharata
. Paratiyar was a devotee of Sister Nivedita
and Swami Vivekananda
. Paratiyar worshipped Shakti
and wrote various verses of devotional themes. He also composed philosophical and spiritual poems depicting the essence of Vedantic Philosophy. Some of his philosophical verses include Paraciva Vellam and Anpecivam, which are distinctive for their lucidity of thought and appearance. He composed about Kannan (Lord Krishna
) from various views, as his child, friend, teacher, servant, father and lover in many poems.
Few of his verses, such as Tacankam and Vinayakar Nanmani Malai were written in compliance to the earlier Tamil poetical tradition. But still the work contains novelty in some parts. The devotional poems of the renowned Tamil poet are written in simple and clear manner and express emotions. His poems relating Shakti worship create a new awakening among the people. It is believed that the emotional recitation of his poem Ulikkuttu invokes the feeling of witnessing the annihilating dance of Goddess Kali. The universal outlook of Paratiyar is revealed in the devotional verses on Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. The philosophical poems of Nanappatalkal are popular even at the present age.
The reformist zeal and revolutionary mind of Paratiyar were revealed not only in his poetic compositions, but also in his personal life as well. His ideas and imaginative pen portraits can be seen in his prose writings. He wrote numerous essays in Tamil language for the newspapers that he edited. Many of these essays possess the quality of durability as literary pieces. Most of his essays consist of high ideals, force, clarity and emotion. Paratiyar had also translated the Bhagavad Gita
and the short stories of Rabindranath Tagore