Jnanpith winner Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri has passed away. He was 94 years old. He succumbed due to old age diseases at a private hospital in Thrissur at 8.10 am on Thursday. Akhitham was born on March 18, 1926 in Akkithath Mana, Kumaranalloor, Palakkad district to Akkithath Vasudevan Namboothiri and Chekoor Manakkal Parvathy Antharjanam. He became acquainted with Sanskrit, music, and astrology at an early age and was the publisher of Unninamboodiri for three years from 1946. He got involved in community work through Unninamboodiri and has been the co-editor of Mangalodayam and Yogakshema. He has been working as a scriptwriter for All India Radio, Kozhikode since 1956. In 1975, he was the Editor of All India Radio, Thrissur. He retired from All India Radio in 1985.
Malayalam has received over 46 works of poetry, drama, short stories, and essays as contributions of the great poet Akkitham. Twentieth Century Epic, Bhagavatam, The Temple of the Moment, The Marble, The Sacrifice, The Flowers of Conscience, The Selected Poems of Akkitham, The Temple of the Moment, The Five Colors, The Debut, The Honey, A Bunch of Grapes, The Fallen World, Amritagathika, The Game, After the honeymoon, the main works are Sparshamani, Five Folk Songs and Manasapooja. He has also published essays on Upanayanam and Samavarthanam.
In 1972, he received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his work Balidarshanam. Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973, Odakuzhal Award in 1974, Sanjayan Award, Padmaprabha Award, Amrita Keerthi Award, Ezhuthachan Award for Outstanding Contribution in 2008, Mathrubhumi Sahitya Award in 2008, Vayalar Award in 2012, Ezhuthachan Award in 2017, Samithi Award Akkitham has received.
At the end of decades of great poetic life, the 2019 Jnanpith Award was sought for the great poet of Malayalam. With that, Akkitham became the sixth Malayalee writer to win the Jnanpith. The legendary Malayalam poet will be leaving just days after receiving the grandest award in India at a ceremony organized by Kovid.