Thiruvananthapuram: Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G. Madhavan Nair headed the list of prominent Keralites who have been honoured with the Padma awards this year. Dr. Madhavan Nair, who successfully implemented India’s unmanned mission to the moon, Chandrayaan, has been selected for the Padma Vibhushan award.
Noted historian A. Sreedhara Menon and Lt. Gen. Sathish Nambiar, former Commander of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia, have been selected for the Padma Bhushan award, while Thilakan, Kalamandalam Gopi, Mattannur Sankarankutty, K. Vishwanathan, Leela Omcheri, C.K. Menon, K.P. Udaya Bhanu, G. Vijayaraghavan, and K. Krishna Kumar have been honoured with Padma Shri.
Prof. Sreedhara Menon’s historical research, particularly related to Kerala history, has been widely appreciated. He was the editor of Kerala Gazetteer and had brought out the gazetteers of nine districts. Prof. Menon has always toed an independent line in history research. Mr. Gopi, renowned Kathakali artiste, resides in Mundur near Thrissur. “Being selected for the honour fills me with pride. It is a great honour for Kathakali,” he said.
Mr. Menon, a Gulf-based businessman, too hails from Thrissur and is actively involved in the district’s socio-cultural activities. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Behzad Transports Company and Oriental Bakery.
Mr. Sankarankutty heads the Thiruvambadi Devaswom’s band of percussionists at Thrissur Pooram.