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Tamil poet Gnanakoothan, who lampooned the foibles of Tamil society and politics in scathing verse, died here on Thursday. He was 78 and is survived by his wife and two sons.

Though he had a strong foundation in Tamil classical literature, including Sangam poetry, Kamba Ramayanam and Bhakti poetry, and had studied the Bhagavad Gita and Kalidasa’s work in Sanskrit, he opted to write in free verse, after experimenting with longer poems.

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