NEW DELHI, Dec 11 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that renowned poet Subramania Bharati's definition of progress had a central role for women and the government is working to ensure that women become self-reliant.
Addressing the International Bharati Festival 2020 virtually, he said that Bharathiyar believed in a healthy mix between the ancient and the modern. He said Bharati saw wisdom "in staying connected with our roots" as well as looking towards the future and 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," he said.
The Prime Minister said his government is inspired by the poet's vision and was working to ensure women-led empowerment.
" 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. He wrote that women should walk with their head held high while looking people in the eye," the Prime Minister said.
"We are inspired by this vision and we are working to ensure women-led empowerment. Our government has given comprehensive importance to the development of women. Today, over 15 crore women entrepreneurs are funded by schemes like Mudra Yojana. They are becoming self-reliant. Today, women are becoming a part of the armed forces with a permanent commission," he added.
The Prime Minister said the government has made 10 crore safe toilets and this is an era of new India's "nari shakti".
"Today, the poorest of the poor women who used to face lack of sanitation are benefitted by our work. We have built 10 crore safe toilets. 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," he said.
The Bharati award for the year 2020 was presented to scholar and researcher on Bharathiar's works, Seeni Vishwanathan.
The Prime Minister said Seeni Vishwanathan has dedicated his entire life to research on the works of Bharathiar. "I appreciate him for actively pursuing research even at the age of 86."
The Prime Minister said the poet 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. 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.
PM Modi said it is very difficult to describe Subramania Bharati. "He cannot be linked to any single profession. He was a poet, writer, editor, journalist, social reformer, freedom fighter, humanist and much more. One can only marvel at his works, his poems, philosophy and his life."
The Prime Minister said the poet also had a close link with Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency.
"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 for us towards a glorious future," he said.
He said there is much that youth today can learn from the poet. "Most importantly to be courageous. Fear was unknown to Subramania Bharati," he said. (ANI)