|Memorial at Dhamapuri. Subramaniya Siva |
Mind you, the British did not offer us the freedom on a silver platter. Behind our independence, one can see the toil and sacrifices of scores of people across India, including many women. Unfortunately, in the past decade or so, we have taken our freedom for granted and the progress, we have made so far is not good enough unless we work hard with patriotic zeal and take the country forward without the scourge of corruption, nepotism and other malpractices in the government offices at the center and state.
|Subramanys Siva, B'day Oct. 04. twitter.com|
Subramanya Siva's speeches were so good and impressive , they changed the young mind against the imperialistic British. In the course of his political involvement, he developed a close relationship with V.O.C, a staunch freedom fighter and a lawyer and Subramanya Bharathi, a Tamil scholar and a poet. From 1908 till his death, his obsession was freedom from the oppressive British. Before his death, he wanted to see "Free India" like a bird
without fetters on her. Siva was quite proficient in Tamil, English and Sanskrit. A great admirer of Vivakananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, his political guru was Tilak.
|Subramaniya Siva www.thehindu.com|
He impressed on the audience how it was important for them to get the country freed from the British rule. Realizing the gravity of the political situation developing there and how Siva and VOC whipped up the emotions of the people and turned them against them through their spell-binding speeches, they arrested VOC and Siva on numerous occasions using various pretexts. On one particular occasion in 1904 Siva was arrested and given 10 year RI (rigorous imprisonment) Reason: instigating the people against the government, thus disturbing peace and tranquility of the place and sedition. He was the first political prisoner in Madras jail. In those days, under the British rule, undergoing rigorous punishment was a gruesome one. It would sap one's energy and you would seldom find repeat-offenders of law. One must have robust health to work like a slave in the galley of a ship. Upon appeal, 10 year rigorous imprisonment was reduced to 6 years by the court. He was at last released from the jail on November 02, 1912. While in jail he suffered a lot as he was asked to do tough jobs far beyond his capability, like pulling the country oil mill/oil press (in Tamil:Sekku) manually as if he were a bull, dealing with unprocessed wool, softening of lime-soaked-dried animal skins, etc. His health was very much affected while in jail, because of ill treatment and unhealthy surroundings. Through out his life his family life was disoriented and in May 1915 his wife died at Chennai. After his wife's demise, Siva became a full time freedom fighter, besides, he also played an active role in the welfare of the workers and advised them to get their grievances and demands clarified through strikes. He started a magazine called India Desantheri in 1919 and in 1920 he participated in a meeting related to non-cooperation movement in Kolkata under Lajpath Rai. Later his strong speeches against the government invited trouble and in 1921 and 1922 he was again sent to prison.
Because of harsh treatment during his jail terms, complicated by poor health, he contracted leprosy, a dreaded disease. In those days the treatment was not good enough and leprosy was considered a contagious disease. So the British authorities did not allow him to use public transport. Undeterred, he went to many places on foot and spread the message of freedom from the British and fighting against them till India got her freedom
|Subramaniya Siva www.youtube.com|