IMPORTANT PERSONALITIES

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ACHUTHA MENON.C.

Born on January10, 1913 at Thrissur. Mother: Lekshmykutty Amma. Achutha Menon was a stalwart of freedom movement, prominent leader of Communist Party of India, renowned ruler, eminent economist, noted writer and a leader with spotless clean public life. He was the first Chief Minister of Kerala who could complete the oofficial tenure of five years. He was in office from 1969 to 1977.

After obtaining Law degree, he accepted legal profession. But he gave up the profession and joined freedom movement. He joined Indian National Congress in 1935 and led the party as the Secretary of Cochin State Congress Committee. Soon he associated with Congress Socialist Party and later became a member of the Communist Party in 1941. In the wake of Quit India movement, he was imprisoned for more than a year. He went underground for more than three years when the Government prohibited the functioning of Communist Party. He was elected to the Travancore State Legislature in 1952. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957, 1960, 1969 and 1970. He was the Minister of Finance and Agriculture in the first Communist Government led by E.M.S.Namboodirippad in the year 1957. In 1968 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He resigned his membership in the Parliament in 1969 to become the Chief Minister of Kerala. He introduced several basic reform measures in the State such as Land Reform Act; take over of private forest without compensation, law on agriculture labour, one lakh housing scheme, establishment of a number of scientific and research institutions etc. Even his opponents admit that he was the best Chief Minister of Kerala has ever seen. He enriched the field of literature too through his writings on literary criticism, reviews. He wrote many books. He departed us on August 16, 1991.

ACHUTHANANDAN.V.S.

Born in 1925 at Punnappra, Alappuzha. V.S.Achuthanandan (Velikakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan) is the 20th Chief Minister of Kerala. He had sworn in as Chief Minister on May 18, 2006. Now (2012) he is the Leader of Opposition of the Kerala Legislature. He is one of the prominent leaders of Communist Party and one of the popular leaders in Kerala politics. He is the leader of common man and working class. He entered politics through trade union movement. He participated in the Punnappra-Vayalar rebellion held in 1946 and imprisoned. He was also imprisoned in 1962, 1963 and 1965 on account of his participaption and leadership in the struggles for popular demands. When Communist Party split, he stood with Communist Party of India (Marxist). In 1965, 1967 and 1991 he was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly. He was elected as the State Secretary of CPI (M) in 1980. From 1985 onwards, he is the member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI (M). He was the opposition Leader of the Kerala Legislature from 1991 to 1996.

ACHUTHAN PILLAI. P.S. Prof.

Born on 1905 (12 Medam 1080-M.E.). Father: Prof.K.Sankara Pillai. Mother: M.Narayani Amma.
Professor P.S.Achuthan Pillai was a reputed teacher, renowned legal intellect, scholar and writer, President of many social and cultural organizations. He was the Principal of Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. He was one among the founder leaders of National Democratic Party. His works such as Criminal Law, Evidence Constitution, Jurisprudence, Law of Torts etc are considered as authentic law books.. He passed away on 24 November 1999.


ADOOR GOPALAKRISHNAN


Born on 3 July 1941. Father: Madhavan Unnithan. Mother: Gouri Kunjamma. Adoor Gopalakrishnan is an accomplished Cine Director that world has ever seen. He is a versatile genius who introduced newer experiments in Malayalam films. His films are reflections and faithful revelation of real life. He possessed original qualities and attempted to reach new heights by making use of his vast abilities and artistic talents. To him cinema was a real portrayal of human imagination and shadow of progressive thinking. He found Chithralekha Film Society, which introduced newer trends of world film to Keralites. He won many national and international awards including Dada Saheb Falke Award, the highest honour in Indian Cinema. He was the Chairman of ‘Film & Television Institute of India’. His important films are Swayamvaram (national winner of best film and best director for 1972), Kodiyettam, Elippathayam, Mukhamukham, Kathapurushan (best film of 1995) Nizhalkuthu, Anantharam. Government awarded him the honour of ‘Padmasree’.


AKKAMMA CHERIYAN

Born in 1909 at Kanhirappally. Father: Thomas Cheriyan. Akkamma Cheriyan is known as Jhansi Rani of Travancore. She was one of the veteran freedom fighters of Kerala. She participated in the Quit India Movement of 1942 and imprisoned. In 1938, while she was the acting president of the Congress, she led a rally to submit a petition seeking democratic freedom to the people before the Prince of Travancore. The British police chief ordered to fire the rally. Akkamma Cheriyan who stood in front of the rally cried “I am the leader; shoot me first before you kill others”. These courageous words forced the police authorities to withdraw their orders.After her formal education 931, she worked as a teacher at St. Mary's English Medium School, Kanjirapally, where she later became Head mistress of the school.She gave up her teaching career in order to join the freedom struggle. After independence, Accamma was elected to the Travancore Legislative Assembly from Kanjirapally unanimously. In 1951, she married V. V. Varkey, a freedom fighter and a member of Travancore Cochin Legislative Assembly. Later she resigned from the Congress Party as she was denied a Lok sabha ticket.In 1952, she unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary election. she also contested the Assembly election from Kanjirapally as a Congress candidate but defeated. She served as a member of the Freedom Fighters’ Pension Advisory Board.





AKKITHAM

Born in 1926 at Palakkad. Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiiri is one of the most senior and laudable poet of Kerala. He is a scholar of Vedas, Sanskrit and Astrology. Influenced by the principles of Yogakshema Sabha he plunged into its activities at his very young age and closely associated with the publications of Sabha’s journal Unni Nambudiri; and Yogakshemam. He also worked for "Mangalodayam", another journal. In 1956 he was appointed as a scriptwriter in the All India Radio, Kozhikode. In 1975 he was appointed as Editor of the Farm and Home programme of AIR and continued till his retirement in 1985. He was the Director of S P C S, and Member of Kerala Sahitya Academy. Akkitham has written about fifty books. He translated Srimad Bhaagavatham into Malayalam. He won several honours like Sahithya Nipuna, Sahithyaratna, Panditharatnam. He also won Kerala Sahitya Academy Award, Central Sahitya Academi Award, Odakuzhal Award, Ulloor Award, Asan Award, Vallathol Awardetc.




AMMU SWAMINATHAN


Born on 22 April 1894. Father: Govinda Menon. Mother: Ammu Amma. Ammu Swaminathan was one of the freedom fighters and eminent political personality. She participated in 1942 Quit-India Movement and consequentially imprisoned. She was a member of Legislative Assembly of Madras. She was also the Member of Parliament. She represented India in UNESCO. She passed away in 1971



ANAND (P.Sachidanandan)

Born in 1936. P.Sachidanandan who used write with pseudonym Anand is an illustrious novelist and short story writer. He was the Director of P&PI Ltd. His important novels are Allkkoottam, Marana Certificate, Abhayarthikal, Marubhoomikal Untakunnathu. His collection of short stories includes Veedum Thadavum, Odiyunna Kurisu, Samvadam etc. He has also written certain essays and critical studies on literature.
 
ANNIE MASCRIEN


Born in 1902. After passing M.A. degree she went to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and joined Sangamithra College as a Lecturer. After some years, she returned to Kerala and joined Law College. On attaining degree in law, she started practice as an advocate. When civil disobedience struggle started she also joined the movement and imprisoned. In 1948 she was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Travancore unanimously. She became a cabinet minister in Pattom Thanu Pillai’s ministry. She raised allegations against Sri.E.John Philipose, one of her colleagues, for his corruptions and it made a sensation at that time and the alleged minister had to resign. She was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram constituency. She passed away on July 13, 1963.



ANTONY, P.J.

P.J.Antony is an illustrious and outstanding cine and drama artist. He is the first Malayalam cine artist who bagged the prestigious Bharath award. of the Government of India. His excellent performance in the film Nirmalyam as Velichappad (oracle) for which he was conferred Bharath award, proved that Antony is as equivalent to Antony Quinn or Lawrance Oliver of western films. He was a luminous dramatist, who wrote a good number of dramas. Even after gained the Bharath award, he preferred to continue as a stage artist rather than a cine artist. Inquilabinte Makkal, Pothusathrukkal, Socrates, Ragam, Jwala are some of the best dramas written and acted by him. His first film was Randidangazhy. Rosy, Bhargavinilayam, Cross Belt, Nirmalyam, Manninte Maril are some of his best feature films.


ANTONY.A.K.

Born on December 29, 1940. Father: Arakkaprambil Kurian Pillai. Mother: Eliamma. A.K.Antony (Arakkaparambil Kurian Antony) was the Chief Minister of Kerala for three tenures (during 1977-78, 1995-96, and 2001-2004). When he became Chief Minister in 1977, he was the youngest among the Chief Ministers of the State. Honesty, simplicity, sincerity, humble behaviour, courageous idealism are the hallmarks of Antony. He always took a firm stand and stern decision for the principles. He entered in politics through KSU and Youth Congress by organising students and youths against the first Communist Government led by EMS. He led the struggle for concessional boat fare to the students of Kuttanad. In 1967 he led a hunger jatha (rally) from Kasargode to Thiruvananthapuram against the policies of Left Democratic Front Government. Another notable strike that he led was Veluthully Kayal struggle. He was the General Secretary of Youth Congress, Secretary of KPCC, Convener of the United Democratic Front Liaison Committee. Antony is a member of Rajya Sabha. Earlier he was the member of the House from 1985 to 91 and 1991 to 1995 and was the Minister for Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution in the Narasimha Rao’s Government. He was the leader of Opposition during 1997 to 2001.He became the Defence Minister of India on November 2006.


ARAVINDAN.G.

Born in 1935. Father: M.N.Govindan Nair G.Aravindan was an internationally celebrated film director of Malayalam. His name was very familiar to Malayalee as a cartoonist. His cartoon serial Cheriya Manushyarum Valya Lokavum, which published in Mathrubhoomy weekly, won wide popularity and portrayed social criticism. He seldom underwent any formal education in film direction before entering the field of film direction, yet he bagged several national and international awards for his films and brought much fame to the country and Malayalam film world. According to him, his only experience was that he had viewed some good films in the International Film Festivals. Uttarayanam, Kanchana Seetha, Thambu, Chidambaram, Oridathu, Vasthuhara etc. are some of his best films. He passed away on 15th March 1991.


AYYANKALI

Born on August 28, 1863 at Venganoor, near Thiruvananthapuram. Father: Ayyan Pulayan. Mother: Mala. Ayyankali was a leader of the lower caste Dalits (Untouchables). He pioneered many social movements against the atrocities against the untouchable communities. He was a leader who dedicated his life to achieve dignity to the oppressed class and dalits. During his time, Dalits were considered as an oppressed and exploited class. They were not allowed to walk along public roads. They were considered as slaves by the landlords and not paid fair wages for their work. Their women were not allowed to cover their breasts in public places. They were not admitted in the schools. Being a member of low class, Ayyankali himself could not undergo formal education. Ayyankali fought against these discriminations and formed an organisation known as Sadhujana Paripalana Sangham in the year 1907 with the help of Sadananda Swamikal, an upper class saint. It was an organisation of Dalit agricultural workers. The organisation staged a series of agitations to get their legitimate rights for freedom of travel, education, fair wages etc. As a result of agitaions, he could succeed in getting sanction for admission to dalit students in schools but it did not materialize due to severe opposition from upper class. Ayyankali then tried to get a separate school for dalit communities and finally his attempts fructified. When representatives of Ezhava community was allowed seat in Sree Moolam Praja Sabha, a legislative council of Travancore, Ayyankali raised his voice for the representation in the council for the oppressed class. In 1912 the Maharajah of Travancore conceded his request and he was nominated as a member in the Assembly. His association with Sree Naryana Guru gave him encouragement to work against the malevolent rituals and customs prevalent in his community and he succeeded in eradicating some of them. In 1936 Mahatma Gandhi visited Ayyankali and congratulated his activities. Ayyankali passed away on June 18, 1941.


AYYAPPA PANICKER (Dr.)

Born on 12 September 1930. Father: E.Naryanan Namboodiri. Mother: M. Meenakshi Amma. It was during 1950s that Ayyappa Panicker came to the literature field. Through his poem, Kurukshethram he brought a drastic change in the Malayalam poetic scenario. Virtually he created a new revolution and opened a new path for Malayalam poetry. He surprised the poetic lovers as well as the general public. His poems portrayed the boiling mind of the modern man and stressed the depth of melancholy and despair. His attempt to foster a new style of enjoyment of poetry among the readers was a great success. He influenced the modern Malayalam theatre with his plays. His poems and essays were compiled and published in twelve volumes. He represented India in the International Poetry Congress held at Yugoslavia. He obtained Doctorate degree from Yel University of USA. He won several awards including Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Central Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry, Mahakavi Kuttamath Award, Mahakavi Ulloor Award, Samastha Kerala Sahitya Parishath Award, Asan Prize, Vayalar Award, and Vallathol Award etc. Government of India conferred him Padmashree award for 2004. He was the General Editor of Complete works of Shakespeare and Associate Editor of Journal of South Asian Literature. He passed away in August 2006.