Jnanpith awardee Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri dies in Thrissur


Thrissur: Renowned Malayalam poet and Jnanpith laureate Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri died at a private hospitalhere on Thursday, family sources said. He was 94.

Akkitham, who was admitted to hospital due to age related ailments, died at 8.10 am, hospital sources said.

Recently, he was conferred with the Jnanpith award, the highest literary award in the country, at a special function held at his house at Kumaranallur in Palakkad district.

The poet, who was instrumental in heralding modernism in Malayalam poetry, was also a true Gandhian, social reformer, journalist and an example of simplicity.

Akkitham, who was born on March 19, 1926, wrote his first poem when he was just eight. Akkitham is known for his simple writing and had received many awards for his work including the Ezhuthachan Award, Odakkuzhal Award, Vallathol Award, Vayalar Award and Aasan Prize.

He has also been a script writer for All India Radio, Kozhikode since 1956 and in 1975, he became the editor. Finally, in 1985, he retired from his post.

The noted poet had also received the 55th Jnanpith Award last year. He even received a Padma Shri for his critical essays and short stories. Akkitham also won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973.

He became a household name in the 1950s when his work Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam, a khandakavya, which is one of the first modernist poems of Malayalam literature, gained popularity. It even won the Sanjayan Award in 1952.

He was married to Sreedevi Antharjanam and the couple had two sons and three daughters. Sreedevi died in March 2019 at the age of 85. The famous painter Akkitham Narayanan is the brother of Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri.

With inputs from PTI