Recipients Since 1995

1. KOVILAN (1995)

Kandanissery Vattamparambil Velappan Ayyappan (KOVILAN) is a famous short story writer and novelist in Malayalam language. He started his career as a technician with Indian Navy and Corps of Signals. His well known works include Ezhamidangal, Bharathan, Himalayam, A minus B, Thotangal (Kerala Sahithya Academy Award-1972) and Thattakam. ' Sakunam' won Kerala Sahithya Academy's best short story award in 1977. Recipient of Muttathu Varkey and Padma Prabha literary awards. Kovilan lives at Ariyannur, Thrissur.



The late Njeralath Rama Poduval, who hails from Valamboor, Angadippuram in Malappuram District, was an exponent of Sopanasangeetham, Kerala's own traditional music, which is different from Karnatic music. Njeralath, undoubtedly the Kulapathi of Sopanasangeetham, had traveled across Kerala with his 'Edakka' popularizing Sopanasangeetham. He acted in films such as Tahmbu (Dir.Aravindan) and Amma Ariyan (Dir. John Abraham). Recipient of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award (1981), Kendra Sahithya Academy Award (1985) and Kerala Kalamandalam Fellowship (1990). Autobiography: SOPANAM
Died on August 14, 1996.


3. E M S (1997)

The late E. M. Sankaran Namboodirippad (EMS) was a social reformer, politician, Marxist communist, cultural leader, writer, journalist and thinker par excellence. He was the first chief minister of Kerala.In fact, E M S was the first communist chief minister having voted to power through parliamentary democracy system in the world (1957). He was a voracious reader, writer,political theoritician and critic.
Written over 50 books on Marxism, politics, history and literature. Major works: Keralam Malayalikalude Mathrubhumi, Indian Swatantrya Samara Charitram, Athmakatha, Gandhium Gandhisavum, EMSinte Diary, Oru Indian Communistinte Ormakkurippukal, and Mukhya Mantriyude Ormakkurippukal.He was also the Chief Editor of Desabhimani daily and Chinta weekly.


4. Bharath BALAN K NAIR (1998)

The late Balan K Nair was one of the best stage andfilm actors in Kerala. He won the National Best Actor award (Bharath Award) for his brilliant performance in Oppol directed by Sethumadhavan and scripted by M T Vasudevan Nair. Acted in over 600 films, portraying mostly character roles. Balan K Nair's famous films include Nizhalattam, Oru Vatakkan Veera Gadha, Mappusakshi, Atithi, Kadavu, Agni, Tacholi Ambu, Eenadu and Shernaad (Hindi). ChilluVakkatha Chithram, Srishti and Oedipus are some of his best dramas. Won Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academi's best actor award for his performance in Srishti (Dir. K T Mohammed), Kerala state's best actor award for Athithi (Dir. K P Kumaran), Bharath Award for Oppol (1981), Ramasramam Award (1996), Pushpasree Trust Award (1997).


5. M R B (1999)

The late Mullamangalath Raman Bhattathirippad (MRB) was social reformer, cultural leader, thinker, writer and actor. He fought against the anarchies and superstitions deep-rooted in the Namboodiri families. Transform Namboodiri into a human being was his goal. He fought social battles in the company of V T Bhattathirippad against social evils and discriminations in the society. MRB had written 14 books. Including Valkannadi, Marakkudakkullile Maha Narakam (Play), Valappottukal, Mukhachaya, Kinavil Oru Yatra, Kavi Saparya, Mula Pottiya Vithukal. Recipient of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy award, Kerala Sahithya Academy award and Deviprasadam Puraskaram.


6. K T MOHAMMED (2000)

K T is a playwright, short story writer and director. He revolutionized Kerala stage with his philosophical and thought-provoking social plays such as Srishti, Sthithi and Samharam.Winner of world and Indian short story writing competition. Recipient of Madras Sahithya Academy Award, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy award, Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy award, Pushpasree award and P J Foundation award. Ithu Bhoomiyanu, Kafir, Karavatta Pasu, Teekkanal, Sootradharan, Nalkkavala and Jeevaparyantam are some of his famous plays. Written script for famous films such as Kandam Becha Kottu, Kadalppalam, Achanum Bappayum and Thurakkatha Vathil. Mamsapushpangal and Kattu are his well-known novels. K T lives at Kozhikode.



Karuvattu Vasudevan Namboodiri is an artist, illustrator, art director, writer and sculptor-all rolled into one. Famous writer V K N has described him as ' Varayude Parama Sivan.' Product of Chennai School of arts and crafts. Became an illustrator of Mathrubhumi weekly in 1960 and Kerala Kaumudi in 1980. Now being associated with Samakalika Malayalam. He was art director of Aravindan's award-winning film Utharayanam and won an award for best art direction. He was chairman of Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy twice. Fellow of Lalitha Kala Academy. Member of Chola Kalamandalam and Kerala Kala Peedhom. Namboodiri lives at Kozhikode.


8. V K N (2002)

Vadakke Koottale Narayanan Kutty Nair (V K N) is a writer, novelist, satirist par excellence and journalist. Penned over 25 immortal novels and dozens of short stories in VKN's own inimitable style. Some of his literary works have been translated into English and many Indian languages. VKN's famous works include Athikaram, Chathans, Payyan Kathakal, Atham Perunnal, Anantharam, Pithamahan, Chitrakeralam, Kudineer, Naanwar, Penpada, Manchal, General Chanthans, Mananchira Test, VKN Kathakal and Sir Chathuvuinte Ruling. Recipient of Harmony award, Kendra Sahitya Academy Award, Kerala Sahitya Academy Award and M P Paul award. Formerly chairman of Kunchan Nambiar Society and Vice Chairman Kerala Sahitya Academy.
He lives at Tiruvilwamala, Thrichur.



Laurie Baker is a master builder who revolutionized the art of low cost housing for the middle class and the poor. Though born in Britain, Baker, having attracted to Gandhian principles, decided to become an Indian citizen. He lives with his wife Dr. Elizabeth at Thriruvananthapuram. Before settling down in India, Baker had worked in South China and Burma extending a helping hand to lepers. He began his quest for low cost housing in Pithargore village in Uttar Pradesh. Later he conceived, designed and built hundreds of low cost houses, hospitals, schools and other buildings in Kerala by using materials available in each locality. Baker gave a new dimension to building low cost houses through his informative ideas and principles in architecture by blending the nature of the land. He wrote several books on low cost housing: Brick Work, Mud, Rural House, Plans and How to reduce Building Costs. Recipient of many national and international awards, including the Architect of the year Award, Indian National heritage Award and Grand Masters Award. His well known projects include the Literacy Village in Lucknow, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, CDS, Trivandrum, Language Institute, Kerala, Chitalekha Studio and Mitra Nikethan. He set up the Trichur based Costford research center aimed at building low cost homes for the poor.


Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan received the Basheer Puraskaram for his outstanding contributions to Malayalam poetry.

Ramakrishnan, popularly known as Kadammanitta, began his career as an auditor in Chennai. His famous works include Kavita, Kadammanittayude Kavithakal, Kadinjool Pottan, Mishra Thaalam, and Mazha Peyyunnu Madhalam Kottunnu. He represented Aranmula constituency in Kerala legislative Assembly in 1996. Kadammanitta is also president of Kerala Library Council and Kerala Purogamana Sahithya Sangham. He had won Asaan Prize (1982), Kerala Sahithya Academy Award (1982), New York Malayalam International Award (1984).

11. Dr. M Leelavathi (2005)

Dr M Leelavathi is a well known literary critic, writer and teacher. She is very modest and a Gandhian. She was often criticised by her male counter parts for being too soft to young writers. She has written over 40 books. Leelvathi, born in Guruvayoor, lives in Cochin.



12. Nilambur Isha (2006)

Isha is one of the best known female artistes on the stage. Although she hails from an orthodox Muslim family in Malabar, Isha fought for the upliftment of the status of women in society. She had acted in many plays written and directed by K T Mohammed and also had acted in many Malayalam fils.She lives in Nilambur.

13. Saratchandra Marthe (2007)

Marathe, though a Gujarati by birth, had been living in Kerala's Kozhikode and had been instrumental in propagating Hindustani music in the south Indian state.

Pravasi considered "Marathe's sincerity and commitment in popularising Hindustani music and his impressive list of disciples" in giving the award to the musician, the association said.

Marathe, who has spread his career across the globe, started his musical journey at the age of six as a disciple of Vinayakrao Patwardan of Gwalior Gharana and Malharji Barua of Kirana Gharana.

His remarkable list of disciples includes such famous personalities as film director G Aravindan, music composer A T Ummer, artist Namboodiri, and Ghazal singer Anil Das.

14. T J S George (2008)

TJS George is a veteran senior journalist and one of the best known columnists in India. He is an unbiased writer and author of the biographies of V K Krishna Menon, M S Subba Lakshmi and Nargis. His famous books include "The Rise of Islam in Philippines", "Ghoshayathra", "Vietnam Diary", "The Goenka Letters" etc.

TJS is former editor of Asia Week, Far Eastern Economic review,Hong Kong. He continues his fight against social injustice, corruption and political anarchies through his columns in Indian express. Currently TJS is Editorial Adviser, New Indian Express. He is involved in many charitable activities.


15. Sugathakumari (2009)

Padmashree Sugathakumari is an Indian poet - activist, born in 1934, who has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala, South India. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She formed Abhayagrama, aka Abhayagramam, a home for destitute women (Athani) and a day-care centre for the mentally ill. She was the former chairperson of the Kerala State Women's Commission.

Sugathakumari's famous boooks:Mutthuchippil, Pathirappookkal,Paavam Maanavahridayam,Irul Chirakukal, Raathrimazha, Ambalamani, Kurinjippookkal, Thulaavarshappacha,Radhayevide.




16. Prof. Ronald E Asher (2010)

Prof. Dr.Ronald E Asher was born in Nottinghamshire, England on July 23, 1926. Graduated from London University in 1950 and had obtained a doctorate in linguistic studies in 1955. Received doctorate again in 1992 for his studies on Dravidian languages. Prof. Asher is currently professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and is a visiting professor in many foreign universities. He studied Malayalam and Tamil and translated famous works in these languages into English. His famous translations include Basheer's Nteppuppakorandernnu, Balyakalasakhi, Pathummayude Aadu and Thakazhi's Thottiyude Makan. He literally took little known Malayalam literature to readers across the globe.


17. M. K .LEELA KUMARI AMMA (2011)

M.K.Leela Kumari Amma waged a prolonged legal battle abuse of toxic pesticides in cashew plantations that led to the ban on the aerial spraying of endosulfan in Kasargode district and her crusade against the use of this deadly pesticide earned her more foes than friends in Kerala and beyond. But Leela Kumari Amma continued her fight despite an alleged threat against her life and an array of setbacks,including the opposition from her own employers.

Leela Kumari Amma, a retired Agriculture Department official, whose family is staying near the cashew estate of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala in Periye, had fought singlehandedly against the overuse of endosulfan pesticide, which caused horrendous health problems in the district. She received a favourable verdict from the local court, but the authorities challenged the ruling. She then moved the Kerala High Court, which ordered ban on the use of the pesticide in the district. Her voice and views were even heard in many international meetings and conventions w.hich eventually urged all nations i9n the world to ban endosulfan.Now she champions the cause of the hundreds victims of this pesticide.



18. Prof. Dr. U R ANANTHAMURTHY (2012)

Prof. Dr. U R Ananthamurthy is a renowned academic, writer, critic, an internationally known orator and an authority of Indian literature. He was the Vice Chancellor of Mahathma Gandhi University, Kerala and was a close friend of the late Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer and avid follower of Malayalam literature. He was a frequent visitor to Basheer's home in Beypore and had studied Basheerean literature with great enthusiasm and presented papers and gave lecturers in Indian and at various international universities on Basheer and his literary works. U R Ananthamurthy is one of the pioneers of the Navya literary movement in contemporary Kannada literature. He is a Jnanpith award winner, who's well known for his striking literary work. His increasing popularity as a critic, litterateur and novelist ensured his appointment as the Chairman of the National Book Trust in 1992 and as President of The Sahitya Akademi in 1993.Dr Ananthamurthy also completed two stints as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India and has authored several novels, short stories and essays.He won the Jnanpith award in 1994 and the Padma Bhushan in 1998.U R Ananthamurthy has been rightly called as one of the 50 best writers in India. His multi faceted personality and command over language have contributed to the mass popularity that he enjoys.


19. Padmashree MADHU (Actor) - (2013)

Madhavan Nair alias MADHU is a versatile actor( 300 films), director(12 films) and producer (22) in Malayalam cinema. He entered the Malayalam film industry at a time when the superstars of yesteryear Sathyan and Prem Nazir were ruling the roost.Madhu, a product of National School of Drama, New Delhi, blended his theatre experience with film acting to carve a niche as an Actor in the 60s and 70s and is still playing character roles even in his 80s. He had established his own film studio 'Uma Studio' in Thiruvananthapuram. His famous films include Chemmeen, Swayam Varam, Bhargavee Nilayam, Saath Hindusthani (Hindi) Ninamaninja Kalppadukal,Narame Nandi, Kalli Chellamma, Ummachu, Priya, Theekkanal, Itha Evide Vare, and Sindoora Cheppu.


20. PROF. M K SANOO - (2014)

M. K. Sanu is a gifted personality who has enriched Malayalam literature through his versatile writings. He is a retired highly respected college professor, critic, biographer, editor, translator, journalist, orator, social activist and humanist. He has authored over thirty six books, translated four and edited 10. His greatness is not confined to the prolificacy of literary output having inspired and motivated a few generations of youth, cultivated new sensibilities in them and made them think of the mysteries of life. He is a permanent member of International body for Human rights. He is also the founding member of Mithram, School for Mentally Handicapped, in Mulanthuruthy village, Ernakulam District, Kerala.

His famous works include biographies of Narayanaguru Swami, Sahodaran Ayyappan,Changampuzha Krishna Pillai: Nakshatrangalude Snehabhajanam, Basheer: Ekantha Veedhiyiley Avadhoodan etc.Recipient of many national and international awards. Sanoo Master, born on Octobe 27, 1928 in Thumpoli, Alappuzha, was a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.


21. Dr. V P GANGADHARAN - (2015)

Dr V P GANGADHARAN is an eminent oncologist in India.He has pioneered medical oncology research in Kerala  and has been treating cancer patients for over 35 years. Dr. Gangadharan's research papers on cancer have been presented in various international seminars and medical conferences.He will be remembered for his commitment and dedicated medical care to hundreds of needy poor patients.He is associating with palliative care also.Dr.Gangadharan is currently associating with Lake Shore Hospital, Kochi.



Padmabhushan Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of  India's leading film directors and script writers.His  famous Malayalam movies include Swayamvaram(1972), Elipathayam, Vidheyan, Kodiyettam, Mukhamukham, Nizhalkuthu, Anantharam,and Mathilukal, based on a novel by   Vaikkom Mohammed Bashir. He is a recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2004 and has also received  over 40 national and international awards, including  British Film Institute award for Elipathayam(1981), and his films  had been screened at international film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, London, Toronto, Rotterdam etc,  so far.



The university was established by the Government of Kerala in 2012. The initial Ordinance of 2012 was replaced in April 2013 by the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University Act 2013. The University came into being on 1st November 2012. The primary objective of the University is the promotion of study and research of Malayalam language, literature and Kerala culture. Malayalam University offers only postgraduate courses and research programmes through the medium of Malayalam. The cultural and intellectual heritage of Kerala is a major area identified for postgraduate and specialized studies.



Paliath Jayachandrakuttan, popularly known as P. Jayachandran, is an Indian playback singer and classical musician from Kerala. Jayachandran is best known for his captivating voice which gave him the title Bhava Gayakan by the music fraternity of South India. He sang more than 10,000 songs and became the darling music lovers with his mellifluous voice and singing style.



M T Vasudevan Nair Babu Mather M A Rahman

K K Sudhakaran P Semsudeen C V RAPPAI

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