Jnanpith goes to Malayalam poet-lyricist Kurup

Veteran Malayalam poet and film lyricist O N V Kurup has bagged the Jnanpith award for 2007. He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second poet from the state to win the prestigious award. During his seven-decade-long career, the winner of the country's highest literary honour bagged several state and national awards, including the Padmashree in 1998.

Kurup, 79, began his illustrious poetic career during his school days. His first work, Poruthunna Soundaryam, was published in 1949. He became a college lecturer in 1957 and continued as an academician for the next 30 years. He started writing lyrics for films in 1955 and over the years has bagged state awards for the best lyricist 12 times.

Reacting to his winning the Jnanpith, Kurup said, "I am writing for better days for humankind. I am still drawing inspiration for writing from the life of my coastal village. The award is recognition of the Malayalam language."

Kurup's writing has touched every aspect of Kerala life. Through his work he has particularly raised concerns with regard to agriculture. His contribution to the genre of drama has enriched the Left movement in the state. The pro-Left writer had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls from Thiruvananthapuram constituency in 1991.

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