Thursday, 19 April 2018
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Malayalam poet ONV gets Jnanpith award

Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala Ottaplavil Neelakandan Velu Kurup Friday became the fifth Malayalee to get the Jnanpith award, the highest literary award in the country.

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 24 (IANS) Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala Ottaplavil Neelakandan Velu Kurup Friday became the fifth Malayalee to get the Jnanpith award, the highest literary award in the country.

ONV, as he is popularly known, has been selected for the award for 2007. He is the second poet after G. Sankara Kurup to get this award for poetry.

The other three Jnanpith award winners from Kerala are S.K. Pottekad (1980), Thakazhi Siva Sankara Pillai (1984) and M.T. Vasudevan Nair (1995).

'After a long gap, this award is coming to a Malayalee. No doubt, this is an appreciation for Malayalam poetry,' an elated ONV, who was conferred the Padmashri award in 1998, reacted.

Renowned author and filmmaker M.T. Vasudevan Nair said: 'This is a news I was waiting to hear for sometime.'

Seventy nine-year-old ONV, considered as the greatest living poet in the country, is also a popular lyricist in Malayalam cinema.

In 1989, he won the national award for best lyricist for the film 'Vaishali'. He has also won 13 state film awards for best lyricist.

Born May 27, 1931 at Chavara, Kollam in Kerala, he graduated in economics from S.N. College, Kollam and completed post-graduate degree in Malayalam literature.

His first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946 and since then, he has not looked back.