The first Tamil play

இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி

Recently I came across a note about Prof.Sundaram Pillai, the author of ‘Manonmaniyam’ (1891), a verse play in Tamil, in one of the books  that narrates  the history of Tamil literature for the school students, that ’Prof. Sundaram ‘( as ‘pillai’ referred to his caste affiliation, to be politically correct, it was dropped)  ‘ not only has contributed a song for worshipping our Tamil  Goddess but  has also written a play called ‘Manonmaniyam and it is the first play in Tamil’

What is now sung as the language anthem is an invocation poem and is an intrinsic part of the play ‘Manonmaniyam’ and as such, the poem and the play are not two different works,. Secondly, it is not the first play in Tamil.

Very little is known about the first play , called “ Pratapa Chandra Vilasam’ ( not to be confused with ‘Pratapa Mudaliyar Charithiram’  by Mayuram Vedanayakam…

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