Shri A.K. Balan, Priyappetta Saamskaarika Vakuppu Manthri,

Shri Mohanlal, noted actor,

Shri Prabha Varma, well-known poet,

Shri Sajan Pillai, Chief Executive Officer, UST Global,

Dr. George Onakkoor, Novelist,

Dr. Jyothydev Kesavadev, Managing Trustee,

P. Kesavadev Trust,

Dr. Arun Sankar, Head, Jyothydev Diabetic Centre,

Friends in the Media,

Priyappetta Sahodaree Sahodaranmare,

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram.

It gives me great joy to address you after presenting
the awards instituted in the fond memory of the Late
P. Kesavadev, renowned novelist in Malayalam.

To begin with, let me congratulate Shri Mohanlal, noted actor and Shri Prabha Varma, well known poet on receiving these prestigious awards. 

As we all know, the Late P. Kesavadev, whose memory is being honoured today was a Literary genius guided by the loftiest sense of social commitment. Therefore, it is truly befitting that the P. Kesavadev Trust has instituted in his name, a Literary Award to honor a literary personality and the Diabscreen Kerala Award, to honor a person whose commitment and involvement have enriched the field of public health education.

Nobel laureate and Russian writer Boris Pasternak has observed that ‘Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.’ The literary world of Kesavadev was full of ordinary people, but his narration of their lives proved to be extraordinary messages of love, compassion and humanism. His fearless expression of opinions and dissent earned him the reputation of being anApostle of dissent, as is evident from the title of his autobiography -- Ethirppu, meaning dissent.

       But Kesavadev's dissent was powered by social commitment and a strong sense of equality, which gave him the courage to convince Malayalam readers that the lives of the downtrodden were also worth telling and reading. Dev used the language of the downtrodden with all its inherent power and in a style that was hitherto unknown.  As an individual, he never went after positions.  The leadership of the Sahitya Academy was the only official position he held.  His role in organizing the Sahitya Pravarthaka Cooperative Society (SPCS) along with stalwarts like Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, M.P. Paul, Karoor Neelakanda Pillai etc., also merits mention.

       Coming to the award winners, I would begin with
Shri Mohanlal, who has won five National Awards, six State awards for the best actor and has been conferred Honorary Doctorates and the Honorary Rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India.  Apart from all these, the people of Kerala hold him close to their hearts, calling him ‘Lalettan’, seeing in him a loving brother – an unusual recognition earned through 35 years of performance as an artiste.

       TheKesavadev Diabscreen award is in recognition of many of Shri Mohanlal’s gestures which prove that an artiste's role in society goes beyond entertainment.  He has swayed popular opinion in favour of organ donation and has been motivating and educating the masses on multiple health-related issues, the need for healthy ageing, benefits of exercise, and prevention of diabetes, AIDS etc. 

          Shri Prabha Varma who has won the P. Kesavadev Literary Award 2018, has already won several awards including the Vayalar Award, the Sahitya Academy Awards etc., for his poems which are a confluence of tradition and modernity. His poetic works excel on account of the splendid imagery, innovative narration, philosophical insights and deep searches into the meaning of life.  

The variety in  Shri Prabha Varma's works is remarkable; nine collections of poems, four books on our socio-political life and literature, four collections of essays in criticism, a study on the media, a travelogue and much more.The awards he has won have come from literature, journalism and cinema. I hope the Kesavadev Literary Award will remain as a recognition of his entire works and the philosophy of life that his poems convey.

       Since the poet and the artiste have greater roles to play in society, I would request both the award winners to ensure that their words and deeds are directed towards the good of society and that they set models for others to follow. Kerala society expects a lot from the people of the stature of
Shri Mohanlal and Shri Prabha Varma.  Besides, an award in the name of the Late Kesavadev adds to their responsibility of being wedded to progressive thinking, social commitment and the sense of social justice. 

        I also appreciate the activities of Kesavadev Trust in providing free medications, diabetes supplies and even free insulin pumps to hundreds of deserving patients and caring for the elderly people who have none to look after them.
I understand that Smt. Seethalakshmy Dev, wife of the Late P. Kesavadev, along with her role as a writer, has been leading the Trust which looks forward to setting up the Kesavadev Museum.

       While wishing these projects all success, I would also suggest that organizations like Jyothidev's Diabetic Center should enhance their interactions with the activities of the health department in Kerala.  At a time when India is turning out to be the Diabetes capital of the world, we need to equip our people, especially young people to remain free from lifestyle diseases like Diabetes. Since we have a sizable population that faces difficulty in footing the cost of treatment, it would be good if the private sector increased their cooperation with the governmental agencies in meeting the demands in the health sector. I hope Dr. Jyothydev Kesavadev in his role as a physician, researcher and educator on Diabetes could set the ball rolling in this direction.

I once again congratulate both the award winners and compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner.



Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind