In entire Bharat, Tamil Nadu has the unique honour of taking the first initiative to build a Bharat Mata Mandir. This is with reference to the laying of foundation stone for the temple by Deshbandhu CR Das at the instance of freedom fighter Subramania Siva on June 22, 1923 at Papparapatti in Dharmapuri District. When the Tamil Nadu Information Minister Kadambur Raju on June 25, 2018 announced in the Assembly that this temple would come up at an expenditure of Rs 1.5 crore at Papparapatti, it seemed Subramania Siva’s dream would come true at last.
Siva had planned to construct a fitting temple for 'Bharat Mata' for which Chinnamuthu of Papparapatti had gifted six acres of his land. Though the foundation stone was laid in 1923 for the temple, the work was stopped because of Subramania Siva’s death in 1925. His dream is all set to become a reality nearly after a century.
“I congratulate the state government for this decision,” said former Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader La. Ganesan. Former TNCC president Kumari Ananthan also welcomed the announcement. Tamil Maanila Congress leader BS Gnanadesikan has a special connection with this because Subramania Siva was born in Batlagundu in Dindigul District, which happens to be the native place of Gnanadesikan. He says: “Bharat Mata Mandir is not a religious symbol. It is a symbol of national unity. For anyone who feels proud of India, this temple will be a place to visit.” Poet Subramania Bharati sought to raise Bharat Mata to the level of Shiva and Vishnu so that people adore the nation in the form of mother. With that intent he composed and sang ‘Bharata Mata Thirupalli Ezhuchi’. The five Tamil poems are in tune with the wake up hymn recited in Shiva/Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu.
It is well known that thousands of daily RSS Shakhas nationwide conclude with the mantra “Bharat Mata Ki jai”. RSS keeps growing from strength to strength and the RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat advised on March 3, 2016: “Now the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. It should be real, spontaneous.”
Old timers in Tamil Nadu who were witness to the pre 1947 freedom struggle, used to exclaim, “In free India, we are once again elated to hear “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” only at the gatherings of Swayamsevaks”. That goes to prove how Bharat Mata always inspires the people of Bharat to dedicate their lives to the motherland. RSS inspired organisations such as the Hindu Munnani, Samskrita Bharati, etc., hold solemn Bharat Mata poojas frequently to offer an opportunity to the general public to worship mother India.
Nationalists in Tamil Nadu have not forgotten the ultimate sacrifice of Tiruppur Kumaran in 1931; he was clubbed to death by brutal British police for raising the slogans Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai. They also remember how Veer Vanchinathan executed British Sub Collector Ashe in Maniyachi near Tirunelveli in 1911 to avenge ruthless suppression of freedom struggle and how he shot himself dead soon after. Vanchinathan had been inspired by a revolutionary association by name “Bharata Mata Sangam” active in southern Tami Nadu during the first two decades of 20th century.
(The writer is a Chennai based senior journalist)