Kerala legendary poet Akkitham gets Jnanpith Award

 Akkitham was widely considered as the one who introduced modern aspects to Malayalam poetry.

Legendary Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, known for introducing modernism to Malayalam poetry, has been awarded the prestigious Jnanpith Award.

Akkitham, as he is popularly known, is 93. He won several prestigious awards including the Padma Sri.

A native of Palakkad district in Kerala, Akkitham penned about 45 poems and short stories that won him the laurels. He started writing poems from the age of eight.

Akkitham's works grabbed much attention from 1950s with the poem 'Irupetham Nootandinte Ithihasam' (20th century's epic). A line from the poem, 'Velicham Dukhamanunni, Thamasalo Sugapradham', (Light is sorrow, Darkness is happiness) became much popular usage in Malayalam owing to its in-depth meaning and simplicity. Akkitham was widely considered as the one who introduced modern aspects to Malayalam poetry.

Akkitham had also worked as a journalist with a couple of magazines and also worked with the All India Radio. He was also actively involved in social issues.

Akkitham, who was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2017, received almost all major literary awards in Kerala, including the Ezhuthachan award. He is the sixth Malayali to receive the Jnanpith Award. The selection jury was unanimous for selecting Akkitham for the Jnanpith that carries Rs. 11 lakh in cash and memento.

Reacting to the Jnanpith award, Akkitham said that many eminent personalities on Malayalam literature deserved the award than him. But he was fortunate to get the honour owing to his longevity. He also said that he did not have the opinion that all what he had written could be right. Errors might have been there.

Meanwhile, popular writer and Jnanpith award recipient M T Vasudevan Nair commented that the prestigious literary honour should have been bestowed to Akkitham much earlier

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