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Southern States - Kerala-Thiruvananthapuram

O.V. Vijayan given 'Ezhuthachan Puraskaran'
By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DEC. 27. The veteran literatteur, Mr. O.V. Vijayan, was presented the coveted `Ezhuthachan Puraskaram' today.

The sculptor of many a vibrant usage and imagery remained stoic to the praise showered on him by the dignitaries who had assembled at the Durbar Hall to witness the solemn ceremony.

The Culture Minister, Mr. G. Karthikeyan, said in his presidential address, that the Durbar Hall which had witnessed many historic moments had added one more colourful event to its history.

Awards usually stir a hornet's nest. But the decision to give this award to Mr. O.V. Vijayan was unanimous. By honouring Mr. Vijayan, Malayalam has been honoured, said Mr. Karthikeyan.

Mr. Vijayan's wife, Ms. Theresa Vijayan, and his sister, the noted poetess, Ms. O.V. Usha, also graced the occasion.

``Vijayan was a talent who transcended and effaced the limits of language. That celestial imagination created the aura of virtue and spirituality beyond religion. He elevated generations to the lofty and meaningful levels of ecstasy on the strength of his talent to write epics with romantic beauty,'' the citation read.

The Chief Minister, Mr. A.K. Antony, after presenting the award, citation and the purse of Rs.1 lakh, briefly narrated the evolution of the great writer and recalled his first meeting with Mr. Vijayan at the residence of the Congress leader, Mr. K.P. Unnikrishnan.

Mr. Antony described Mr. Vijayan as the apostle of freedom and democracy. Even while straying into various ideologies, his convictions remained unchanged, Mr. Antony said.

Mr. Vijayan had a message for Malayalis in his speech which was scribbled on five leaflets. He said the history of literature is nothing but the process of sculpting words using small tools without experiencing the pangs of creation. The writer has still not understood the strength of language. Now the language has corroded. By thinking in a corroded language, the language has become devoid of substance, he said.

Mr. Vijayan said he proudly remembered a language which was in vogue in his childhood-the celestial Dravidian tongue. It also had the rhythm of an ancient culture. But now it is gradually inching to a deafness. Mr. Vijayan concluded his speech with a yearning to go back to the charming language of his childhood.

The Culture Secretary, Mr. T. Balakrishnan, welcomed. The Chief Secretary, Mr. V. Krishnamoorthy, read out the citation. The jury member, Mr. M. Thomas Mathew, spoke about Mr. Vijayan and Prof. M.G. Sasibhooshan, read out Vijayan's speech. The Sahitya Akademi secretary, Mr. P.V. Krishnan Nair, proposed a vote of thanks.

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