Celebrated Malayali poet Akkitham wins Jnanpith Award 2019
Noted Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri, known as Akkitham popularly, has been declared the recipient of the 55th Jnanpith Award on Friday. The Jnanpith Award is known as India’s highest literary honour.
Akkitham, 93 years old is celebrated for his work on propagating modernism in Malayalam poetry. He is popularly known for speaking against the evils in upper-caste Brahmin community. The award includes a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh and a bronze statue of the deity Saraswati.
Goddess Saraswati is revered as the goddess of knowledge, flow and creativity. The award’s selection board chose to present the honour to Akkitham unanimously. However, he isn’t the first Malayali writer to be awarded this prestigious honour. Previously, noted poets including ONV Kurup, SK Pottekatt, MT Vasudevan Nair, Thakazhi, and G Sankara Kurup, have been conferred the award.
Akkitham who hails from Palakkad, Kerala, has more than 43 Malayali literary works to his name. His famous work Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam, also known as the legend of 20th century, is considered to have brought modernism into Malayalam poetry. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2017.
The poet has also been the recipient of several other awards, including the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1971, the Sahitya Academy Award in 1973, and the Vayalar Award in 2012. Akkitham also worked as a journalist for several magazines and is also known for his advocacy against social evils prevalent in the Nampoothiri (Brahmin) community.
The Jnanpith Award is an Indian literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their “outstanding contribution towards literature”. Instituted in 1961, the award is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages. Last year, the award was bestowed upon writer Amitav Ghosh, and author Krishna Sobti was the recipient in 2017.
Courtesy : The Hans India