Ponkunnam Varkey was a crusader in Malayalam literature who never betrayed his conscience by succumbing to the pressures of mainstream society, according to poet D. Vinayachandran.

He was inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of the late writer and activist Ponkunnam Varkey, organised by the Kottayam Taluk Library Council here on Tuesday.

Mr. Vinayachandran called Varkey a writer who had always upheld social relevance in his works. He combated against many evils that existed in our society during his days. His empathy towards the pains faced by mankind is evident in his works. His words always sought to highlight the burden faced by the common man. He is also remembered for promoting the idea of nationalism among the public during the freedom struggle, said Mr. Vinayanchandran.

Delivering the presidential address, former MLA. and chairman of the celebration committee V.N. Vasavan, said that Varkey's short story ‘Sabdikkunna Kalappa' has been incorporated as a subject of study in many Universities both in India and elsewhere.

Mr. Vasavan also said that Varkey had defied the British rule and rebelled with such ferocity that was seen in very few literary figures. Although he had never renounced spirituality completely, he publicly opposed the gradual decay of values in beliefs, Mr. Vasavan said.

Kottayam Taluk Library Council president K.V. Janardhanan welcomed the gathering. Kottayam Public Library president Abraham Itticheriya, M.G. Babuji, publisher Kiliroor Radhakrishnan, District Library Council secretary Prof. K. R. Chandramohanan, and Taluk Library Council secretary C.M. Mathew tool part in the function.

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