Jnanpith award Current Affairs - 2020

Malayalam poet Akkitham wins 55th Jnanpith Award

Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham has been chosen for 55th Jnanpith Award for the year 2019. The announcement in this regard was made by Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray.

About Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri

Born in 1926, he was popularly known as Akkitham. He is one of the most revered names in Malayalam poetry. Apart from poetry, his literary excellence has footprints in genre such as drama, critical essays, children literature, short stories, reminiscence and translations.

He is a poet of rare integrity, a creator of many works, all considered as classics. His poetry reflects unfathomable compassion, imprints of Indian philosophical and moral values and a bridge between tradition and modernity.

Akkitham’s Work: He has authored 55 books out of which 45 are collections of poems. This includes Katha Kavyas, Charitha Kavyas, Khanda Kavyas and songs. His other celebrated creations include Akkitham Kavithaka, Veeravadam, Nimisha Kshethram, Antimahakalam, Balidarsanam, Amrita Khatika, and Epic of Twentieth Century.  His works have also been translated into many Indian as well as foreign languages.

Awards:  He has won Vayalar Award, Mathrubhumi Award, Kabir Samman Kerala, Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award (1973), Sahitya Akademi Award (1972 and 1988).

About Jnanpith Award

Instituted in 1961, the Jnanpith Award is India’s highest literary honour.  With this award, the Bhartiya Jnanpith trust recognises Indian litterateurs who write in one of 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of Indian Constitution. The winners receive a cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom. First winner of Jnanpith award was famour Malyalam writer G.S. Kurup.

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Amitav Ghosh conferred 54th Jnanpith Award

Renowned author Amitav Ghosh was felicitated with 54th Jnanpith Award for his outstanding contribution to enrichment of Indian Literature in English. He was presented the award by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal who was the chief guest at a function held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Key Highlights

Author Ghosh is 1st English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate as all previous winners of prestigiuous award have been writers in Indian languages.

The 62 years old Kolkata-born author was described as a path-breaking novelist by the awarding body Bharatiya Jnanpith.

He was acknowledged for in his novels which treads through historical settings to modern era and weaves a space where past connects with present in relevant ways.

About Amitav Ghosh

Even though he is a social anthropologist by academic training, he has written extensively in both fiction and non-fiction sphere of literature.

Till date his works has been translated in over 30 languages. He also holds four honourary doctrates.

Awards: He has been awarded Sahitya Akademi Award (1990) for his book The Shadow Lines and Padma Shri (2007) for his services to literature and education.

Literary Themes: The major thematic concerns in is literature includes migration and interconnections across places, cultures and races, as well as human distress and suffering caused by historical turbulences, especially at level of girmitiyas, coolies and lascars.

About Jnanpith award

It is the highest literary award in India, presented annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith (a literary and research organization). It can only be conferred upon a citizen of India but with no posthumous conferral.

Prize: The award consists of a citation, shawl, goddess Saraswati statue and cah prize of cash prize of Rs.11 lakh.

Initially English language was not considered for the Award but after 49th Jnanpith Award, English language was added to the list of languages for consideration.

Background: It was instituted on 22 May 1961 and is given for best creative literary writing by any Indian citizen in any of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule 8 of Indian Constitution. After 1982 onwards, the award is given for overall contribution to literature as prior to that a specific work used to be cited.

1st winner of Jnanpith award was G.S. Kurup, famous Malyalam writer.

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