Kerala has a history of celebrating those who tell the hard truth covered in humour, the Vice-Chancellor of Malayalam University, K. Jayakumar, has said.

He was making the 15th Ramdas Vaidyar memorial speech at the Town Hall in Kozhikode on Tuesday.

“Kunchan Nambiar and Chakyar, who made use of humour for sharp social criticism in their respective forms of art, are examples of it,” said Mr. Jayakumar.

He said that the late Ramdas Vaidyar was a great human being who led a selfless life spreading laughter to whoever bumped into him even as he practised traditional healing of Ayurveda as a profession.

“An Ayurveda Vaidyar, he was a real healer of soul as well as the body,” said Mr. Jayakumar stating that Vaidyar was the first person he came into contact with when he arrived in Kozhikode as a Sub Collector decades ago.

“It was the late novelist and civil servant Malayattur Ramakrishnan, who introduced me to the Vaidyar,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

“We have more practitioners of sarcasm and other destructive forms of humour in our TV channels today than experts of its creative forms like humour and wit,” he said.

Stating that he continued to feel the presence of Vaidyar all through his life Mr. Jayakumar, who had a close personal relationship with the late social critic, said that real humour always originated from the fearlessness one feels when in contact with the truth.

“The real wit is born out of the right knowledge of truth and a state of selflessness,” he said.

Writer and Mathrubhumi daily managing director M.P. Veerendrakumar, MP, Abdussamad Samadani, MLA, and Mayor, A.K. Premajam, among others, spoke at the function.

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