An erudite scholar and expert in structural linguistics and elaborated theories of language Prof Panmana Ramachandran Nair dies aged 86, at his house near Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday after age-related ailments.
The academic career and associated degrees, title and honors of Panmana stretched from being a language expert to a connoisseur of kathakali.
He considered himself a scholar-cum-linguistic expert in Malayalam language, whose one of the magnum opuses ‘Nalla Bhasha’, is still running into multiple reprints.
He worked as a professor in various government colleges, including Palakkad, Chittoor and Thalasserry and retired as the head of the Malayalam Department at Kerala University. He served in multiple capacities over the years which include academician, grammarian, critic, translator, scholar and editor par excellence. He is a proud recipient of various titles and honours, including Kendra Sahitya Akedmi award, Panmana had served the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Kalamandalam and Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sangham.
He has around 20 books under his belt and his passion for clean writing and literature of the highest class put him on the high pedestal of the Malayalam language. His language books Thetum Seriyum, Thetilaatha Malayalam, Suddha Malayalam, Thetillatha Uchcharanam and Bhasha Suddhi Samsaya Pariharangal, were products of his interaction with students and dealt with the use and abuse of language in daily life. He also wrote several books of children’s literature, which have been collected as Panmanayude Balasahitya Krithikal. He was a founding member of the P K Parameswaran Nair Memorial Trust set up in 1991 in remembrance of the great historian and critic. And being editor of the Trust, it has published around 30 books of literary studies so far.
He is survived by wife Gomati Amma, children Harindra Kumar, Ushakumari, and Mahendrakumar. The cremation will be held at the Shanti Kavadam at Thycaud on Wednesday.