Eminent writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair, popularly known as MT, has been chosen for the Ezhuthachan Award, the highest literary prize instituted by the Kerala government.
Announcing the award at a news conference in Kozhikode on Tuesday, Minister for Culture K.C. Joseph, said that a jury chaired by literary critic M. Leelavathi, decided to confer the honour on MT in recognition of his literary career spanning more than 50 years.
The award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh, a citation and a memento. The date of presentation of the award will be announced later. This year the government decided to increase the cash prize from Rs. 1 lakh, the Minister said.
The jury felt that the Ezhuthachan award had been long overdue to the 78-year- old writer, who had won the Jnanpith Award for Randamoozham ( Second Turn) in 1995. By choosing MT, the worth of the award had
also increased, Mr. Joseph said.
The Minister said that MT had won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Awards for his novel Nalukettu in 1958; drama, Gopura Nadayil in 1982 and short story, Swargam Thurakkunna Samayam in 1986. He had also been conferred with the Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for his novel Kaalam in 1970.
He said that the late T.M. Jacob had instituted the Ezhuthachan Award when he was the Culture Minister in 1993 in memory of Thunchathathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the father of literary tradition in Malayalam.
Usually the award was announced on November 1 every year. But this year it was delayed owing to the death of Jacob, he added.