Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bharathiar museum in Cuddalore prison

Bharathiar museum in Cuddalore prison to be thrown open soon - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

It displays the poet’s books and the documents relating to his imprisonment

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Homage: Director General of Police, Prisons R.Natraj visiting the Bharathiar museum in the Cuddalore Central Prison on Wednesday.

CUDDALORE: The newly set up Bharathiar museum in the Cuddalore Central Prison will be thrown open to the public soon, said R.Natraj, Director General of Police, Prisons.

The DGP who visited the prison on Wednesday garlanded the Bharathiar’s bust installed at the main entrance and also the life-size portrait in the museum. The museum displays the books authored by the poet, the documents about his imprisonment and also the letter written by him to the then Governor of Madras Presidency Lord Pentland seeking his release.

Jail Superintendent R.Kanagaraj said that the museum housed in an isolated building had two small cells: one was devoted to the documents and another to the library. When he was 36 years old C.Subramania Bharathi was kept in the Cuddalore Central Prison from November 24, 1918 to December 14, 1918. The letter dated December 10, 1918 addressed to Lord Pentland, Governor of Fort St.George, Madras, gave an insight into the background in which Bharathiar was arrested and how he viewed his detention.

“It was over a week ever since I was arrested at Cuddalore on my way from Pondicherry to Tinneveli which is my native district after many loyal assurances on my part as your Excellency may well remember the Deputy Inspector General (CID) was sent by your Excellency’s government a few months ago to interview me at Pondicherry.

“The DIG after being thoroughly satisfied with my attitude towards the government asked me if I would be willing to be kept interned partly as a war measure in any two districts of Madras Presidency during the period of the war.

“I could not consent to the proposal because having absolutely renounced politics I could see no reason why any restraint should be placed on my movements even while the war lasted. Subsequently to that also, I have addressed several petitions to your Excellency clearing away all possible doubts about my position.

“Now that the war is over with such signal success to the allies I ventured to leave Pondicherry, honestly believing that there would be no difficulty whatsoever in the way of my settling in British India as a peaceful citizen…..

“I once again assure your Excellency that I have renounced every form of politics. I shall ever be loyal to the British government and law abiding.

“I therefore beg your Excellency to order my immediate release. May God grant your Excellency a long and happy life.

“Your Excellency’s most obedient servant —C. Subramania Bharati.”

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