Pall of gloom at Sahitya Akademi

THRISSUR JAN. 3. A pall of gloom descended on the Kerala Sahitya Akademi's headquarters here as the news of the death of the Akademi president, N. P. Muhammed in Kozhikode, was received this morning.

Those at the Akademi were more or less trying to get reconciled with such a painful eventuality for the last couple of days as they were aware of the critical condition in which N. P. Muhammed was in.

But even then, when the death actually happened this morning, most of them were unable to control their sorrow in the loss of this remarkable literary personality of Kerala.

Though Muhammed who took over as president of the Akademi about one- and-a-half-year back could not visit the headquarters very frequently because of his poor health, he could develop a warm relationship with all of them at the headquarters within such a short span.

According to the Akademi secretary, P. V. Krishnan Nair, the commitment to high democratic principles that the late Muhammed could uphold as the president of the Akademi will remain as the profound model to be followed by all those come at the helm of affairs of the literary body in future.

Muhammed had many visions in his mind to transform literature from an urban-based entity into a vibrant rural presence.

When he took over as the president of the Akademi, his clarion call was to encourage young minds to infuse dynamism in literature and, to provide them opportunities to express divergent perspectives.

The administrative experiences and leadership qualities he had enriched during his tenure as the Member of the Executive Committee of the Kendra Sahitya Akademi and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi earlier had helped Muhammed to function effectively as the president of the Akademi.

These assets seemed to have helped him stay clear of any major controversies during his latest innings at the Academy, Dr. Nair added.

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