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Periyasaamy Thooran

(1908 – 1987) – (Tamilnadu)

M. P. Periyasaamy Thooran (Aged 79) was born on September 26, 1908, in Manjakattuvalasu, Modakurichi, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India. His parents were K.A. Palanivelappa Gounder and Paavaathal. He was a patriot, Tamil poet, teacher, and composer of Carnatic music. He was greatly influenced and inspired by the firebrand poet and revolutionary Subramania Bharathiyar and Mahatma Gandhi.

As a university student, he published an underground monthly magazine called Pithan, containing incendiary articles that spoke out against the erstwhile British administration in support of the Indian Independence Movement. This magazine was printed by K. M. Ramaswamy Gounder MLA in Gobichettipalayam initially.

He also wrote poems and short stories during this period, adopting the pen name Thooran. He declined to sit for the final Bachelor of Arts examination in protest of the execution of Bhagat Singh. Periyasamy gained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics with a Minor in Astronomy and a L.T. (Licentiate in Teaching) later. Periyasamy’s background in Science proved instrumental in helping him complete the Tamil Encyclopedia project, work on which began in 1947. He held that terms pertaining to science and technology were an integral part of the Tamil language.

His songs were published in five volumes entitled ‘Isai Mani Manjari’. Other publications include ‘Thooran Stories’ (1962), ‘Nalla Nalla Paattu’ (1965), ‘Call of the Wild’ and ‘Bharati’ for children, some of which were purchased by Tamil Isai Sangam. He was Chief Editor from 1948 to 1978 of the Tamil Encyclopedia, which ran to ten volumes. The credit for bringing out the first-ever Children’s Encyclopedia in Tamil in ten volumes goes to him. He passed away on January 20, 1987, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.