In a ceremony steeped in tradition, the University of Kerala presented the honorary degree of Doctor of letters (D.Litt) to noted film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, actor Mammootty and Mridangam maestro Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman at a special convocation held here on Monday.
Governor R.S. Gavai who is also the Chancellor of the university conferred the degree after vice chancellor Dr. A. Jayakrishnan read out a citation on each of the three awardees.
The Governor, Education Minister and Pro Chancellor of the university M.A. Baby, Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor Dr. J. Prabhash, the University Registrar and the three recipients of the degree were attired in academic robes.
The convocation ceremony was preceded by a special meeting of the University Senate at which the Vice Chancellor moved a resolution seeking approval for the decision to award the degree to the three personalities. After the resolution was approved, the Senate members proceeded towards the University Senate Hall, the venue of the convocation ceremony.
Just before the convocation, the members of the Senate and Syndicate and Deans of various faculties entered the hall in an academic procession headed by the University Registrar.
In his citation, the Vice Chancellor termed Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan as a decorated film maker who had carved out a niche for Malayalam films in the global arena and the most brilliant star in the 70- year- old
history of the Malayalam film world.
Mammootty — Mother of all stars
The citation of Mr. Mammootty noted him as the star of all stars. Tracing the range of the characters he had portrayed through films, from Ponthanmada to B. R. Ambedkar, it likened his screen presence to that of Hindi filmstar Dileepkumar. The citation also noted that Mr. Mammootty was a former student of the university.
Reading out the citation on Mr. Sivaraman, the Vice Chancellor said the Mridangam maestro's talent and skills spanning Karnatic, Hindusthani, jazz and fusion music had won him fame and recognition at the global level. His lecture demonstrations and papers on the traditional aspects of Mridangam and new trends have helped to popularise the percussion instrument, he added.
In his address, the Governor said that by honouring the trinity of great achievers, the university was honouring itself.