Eminent Malayalam author and journalist M P Veerendra Kumar was today presented the 30th Moortidevi award by Bharatiya Jnanpith organisation here. Kumar was chosen for the prestigious award for his Malayalam travelogue Hymavathabhoovil, which dwells upon ancient trails of Indian culture, myth, literature and people strewn in the plains, valleys and mountains of India”. The award was presented by Jnanpith laureate M T Vasudevan Nair at a function at the Tagore Centenary Hall here.
The book also highlights environmental concerns over “fragile mountain ecosystem” and calls for action over lack of water resources and waste disposal systems. Kumar, who earlier won the Sahitya Akademi award for the same book, is also the Kerala state unit President of Janata Dal (United). A prolific writer and an eminent entrepreneur, Kumar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi and a Rajya Sabha MP.
He has served thrice as the chairman of the Press Trust of India (PTI) and is currently a director in the news agency. Moortidevi award, which is presented annually for “contemplative and perceptive work”, consists of a Saraswati statue, a citation plaque and cash award of Rs four lakh. The award is given annually for books written in all Indian languages besides English pertaining to Indian philosophy.
Born on July 22, 1936 in Kalpetta in Wayanad district, Kumar has a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Vivekananda College in Chennai and an MBA from Cincinnati University in Ohio, USA. Author of 21 works in Malayalam, he has been conferred with nearly 100 awards, including Kendra and Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards, Fellowship by Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Kusumanjali Sahitya Samman. He also held prestigious positions in various institutions.
M P Veerendra Kumar is a former president of Indian Newspaper Society, International Press Institute Member, Commonwealth Press Union Member and World Association of Newspapers Executive Committee Member. He is currently a trustee of Press Institute of India. The translated versions of the book as “Velli Panimalayin Meethu” in Tamil, “Vaadiyan Bulaati Hein Himalay Ki” in Hindi, and in English will be brought out shortly, Bharathiya Jnanpith chief Leeladhar Mandloi had told a press conference yesterday.
The journey from Indraprastha to the Land of Gods – The Himalayas, and exploration of myths and legends of the land and people has found its place in the book, he said. The book is a quest to unravel the great mysteries of the Land of the Gods, he added. Kerala assembly speaker, P Sreeramakrishnana was the guest of honour and Moortidevi laureate C Radhakrishnana the special guest at todays function.