Legendary Malayalam writer and social activist Sukumar Azhikod passed away this morning. He was 85. Azhikode, as he was popularly known was inflicted with cancer and was admitted to hospital on 10 December, 2011. Apart from being a versatile writer, he was also a charismatic and erudite orator. Beginning his carer as a teacher, Azhikode later rose to the post of the Pro Vice Chancellor of Calicut University. He also chaired the National Book Trust between the years 1993 and 1996.
Azhikode’s presence in the field of literature has been towering, with valuable contributions made in the sphere of society and literature, spanning for over 6 decades. His versatility lay in the fact that he had a command over Sanskrit and English, apart from his mother tongue Malayalam. Azhikode was well versed in Indian philosophical systems, mythology and ethics. His works have extended to the realms of Western philosophies too.
Sukumar Azhikode’s fame rests on Tathvamasi, a treatise on Indian philosophy, Vedas and Upanishads. The work published in 1984 won for him Central Sahithya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award and the Rajaji Award. In 2004, the Kerala Government endowed him with Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the premier literary award constituted by the Kerala Government. Other scholarly creations by him include Malayala Sahitya Patanangal, Malayala Sahityavimarsanam, Mahatmavinte Margam, Aasante Seetakavyam, Vayanayude Swargattil, Mahakavi Ulloor, Guruvinte Dukham, Pathakal Kazhchakal and Azhikodinte Prabhashanangal.
Azhikode has always been in the eye of a storm, the recent ones being refusal of Padma Shree in 2007 and a spat with Malayalam actors Mammootty and Mohanlal over issues in the film fraternity.
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