Malayalam poet Akkitham wins 55th Jnanpith award
Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham has been chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award, the Jnanpith Selection Board announced on Friday. “The Jnanpith Selection Board has announced the recipient of the 55th Jnanpith Award for the year 2019 today in a meeting. It went to Shri Akkitham, eminent Indian poet writing in Malayalam,” the board said in statement.
Born in 1926, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, popularly known as Akkitham is one of the most revered names in Malayalam poetry. Apart from poetry, his literary excellence has footprints in genres like drama, reminiscence, critical essays, children literature, short stories and translation.
“A poet of rare integrity, a creator of many works, all considered as classics, Akkitham’s poetry reflects unfathomable compassion, imprints of Indian philosophical and moral values and a bridge between tradition and modernity, delves deep into human emotions in a fast changing social space,” the statement by the board chaired by novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray, said.
Others on the decision making body included Madhav Kaushik, Shamim Hanfi, Harish Trivedi, Suranjan Das, Purushothama Bilimale, Chandrakant Patil, S Mani Valan, Prabha Varma, Asghar Wajahat and Madhusudan Anand.
Akkitham has authored 55 books out of which 45 are collections of poems including “Khanda Kavyas”, “Katha Kavyas”, “Charitha Kavyas” and songs. Some of his celebrated creations include “Veeravadam”, “Balidarsanam”, “Nimisha Kshethram”, “Amrita Khatika”, “Akkitham Kavithaka”, “Epic of Twentieth Century” and “Antimahakalam”.
A Padma Shri awardee, he has won several literary accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1973), Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1972 and 1988), Mathrubhumi Award, Vayalar Award, and Kabir Samman. His works have also been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.