Subramania Bharati (Tamil: சுப்ரமணிய பாரதி) (December 11, 1882 - September 11, 1921) was a Tamil poet from Tamil Nadu, India, independence fighter and reformer. Known as Mahakavi Bharati (the laudatory epithet Maha Kavi meaning Great Poet in Tamil), he is celebrated as one of India's greatest poets. Bharati was prolific and adept in both the prose and poetry forms, and his rousing compositions helped rally the masses to support the Indian independence movement in South India. Bharati lived during an eventful period of Indian history; his contemporaries included other prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sri Aurobindo and V.V.S.Aiyar.
Bharati was born to Chinnasami Subramania Iyer and Lakshmi Ammaal on December 11, 1882 in the Tamil village of Ettayapuram. Bharati was educated at a local high school called "The M.D.T.Hindu College". He learnt music from very young age and at 11 was invited to a conference of Ettayapuram court poets and musicians for composing poems and songs. It was here that he was conferred the title of "Bharathi" (Goddess of learning). Bharati lost his mother at the age of 5 and his father at the age of 16. He married his cousin Chellamal in 1897, at the age of fourteen. After an early marriage, Bharati, curious to see the outside world, left for Benares in 1898. The next four years of his life served as a passage of discovery, when Bharathi discovered a country in tumult outside his small hamlet. Bharati worked as a school teacher in Madurai Sethupathy High School (Now a Higher Secondary School) and as a journal editor at various times in his life.