“Subramania Bharati: (1882-1921) Tamil poet, songwriter, and essayist. Bharati is considered one of the giants of modern Tamil literature. His patriotic verse echoes with revolutionary romanticism. He wrote of a free India in which men and women will have broken their chains, as in his famous poem “Murasu” (“The Drum”). Panchali Sapahtam (1912), an epic in five cantos, uses the humiliation of Draupadi in the Mahabarata to symbolize India’s humiliation under colonialism. Bharati’s devotional poems and songs continue to be immensely popular, especially those forming the Kannan Pattu, some twenty-three lyrics celebrating the Hindu god, Krishna. As a journalist, Bharati contributed to the creation of a vigorous Tamil prose and worldview, affirming internationalism, social justice, and woman’s rights. Collections in English include Poems of Subramania Bharati (1978) and Subramania Bharati: Chosen Poems and Prose (1984).”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.