Zamorin's 100th birthday celebrated on Friday
For over six centuries, the Zamorins were equivalent to God in their coastal feudal kingdom that comprised a major portion of present-day Kozhikode and Malappuram districts and some parts of Palakkad.
Post-independence, the Zamorin has just been a figure-head of the erstwhile ruling family, with little power. But the exuberance of the public in Kozhikode over the 100th birthday celebrations of the present Zamorin, Puthiya Kovilakath Sreemanavedan Raja (P.K.S. Raja), indicates that the post has lost neither its charisma nor its place in the hearts of people. His 100th birthday was celebrated on Friday.
Born in 1913 in the Puthiyakovilakath Thekkekettu Thavazhi at Thiruvannur here as the son of A.K.T.K.M. Ashtamurthi Namboothiripad of Desamangalam Mana and Kunhithambatty Thamburatti, he lost his mother when he was one-and-a-half years old and was under the foster care of Kunhithambatty of the same family. Having finished his early education at the Srikrishna Vidyalaya of the royal family and the Zamorin's College High School at Tali here, he completed Honours in Mathematics from Loyola College, Chennai (then Madras).
He served in the Central Telegraph Department in many parts of India in various capacities. Married to Bharathy Thambatty of Nilambur Kovilakam, he sired three daughters, Sethulakshmi, Sudha, and Sarala. Raja and his wife had been actively involved with the Malayali associations wherever he worked. A Kathakali Yogam was started in Madras under his patronage.
P.K.S. Raja, who ascended the defunct throne of the Zamorin in 2003, conquered hearts with his simplicity, sincerity, and sterling conduct. He is highly approachable and is the first Zamorin to reach this age.
Residing with his second daughter Sudha Krishnanunni at Chalappuram in the city, the Zamorin is active in social and cultural activities despite his advancing age.
He is the patron of Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College and the Zamorin's Higher Secondary School, besides a number of temples, including the Valayanad Bhagavathi temple and the Tali Mahadeva temple. The Mamankam and the Revathi Pattathanam festivals are now presided over by him. The Zamorin is also known as a great champion of communal harmony.