Malayalam poet Akkitham, a recipient of the Jnanpith Award, passes away at 94

The Padma Shri awardee, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was regarded as a prominent figure in modern Malayalam poetry and produced 43 works of literature during his lifetime.

FP Staff October 15, 2020 10:54:18 IST
Malayalam poet Akkitham, a recipient of the Jnanpith Award, passes away at 94

Akkitham was regarded as a prominent figure in modern Malayalam literature. Image via Twitter

Malayalam poet Akkitham, who was honoured with the prestigious Jnanpith Award in 2019, passed away on 15 October. He was 94.

According to a report on the Scroll.in, the poet was undergoing treatment for age-related ailments at a private hospital in Thrissur, Kerala.

The Padma Shri awardee, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was regarded as a prominent figure in modern Malayalam poetry and produced 43 works of literature during his lifetime. Born in 1926 in Kerala's Palakkad district, he would discover poetry at the young age of eight, when he wrote his first poem and would go on to leave behind a literary footprint that spanned the genres of critical essays, short stories and children's literature.

Malayalam poet Akkitham a recipient of the Jnanpith Award passes away at 94

During his lifetime, the poet went on to win numerous accolades for his work including the Padma Shri and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. Image via Twitter

Akkitham's works, which have been translated into numerous languages, touch upon various themes of grief, love, politics and violence. One of his iconic works, the elegy, Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam or the Epic of the 20th Century led him to earn the title of 'Mahakavi.'

Through the years, Akkitham had been the recipient of numerous accolades including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and the Mathrubhumi Award. Announcing him as the winner of the 55th Jnanpith Award, novelist and chair of the board Pratibha Ray said, "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."

(With inputs from the Press Trust of India)

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