Veteran poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri has been chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award, the literary organisation has announced. The author of Erupatham Nootandile Ithihasam, Akkitham is remembered for the lines, ‘Velicham Dukhamanunni, Thamasallo Sukhpradam’ which stands relevant even today. The author of forty-three titles, Akkitham was conferred with Padma Shri in 2017. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the Sahitya Akdemi, Ezhuthachan and Vayalar awards.
Born in 1926, in Palakkad, he started his career as an editor of Unni Namboothiri magazine and later served as the editor of magazines like Mangalodayam and Yogakshemam. He joined All India Radio after the publication of his magnum opus, Erupatham Nootandile Ithihasam.
This is the sixth Jnanpith Award that comes as recognition to Malayalam literature. The recipients of the award are given a cash prize, a citation and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.