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Sukumar Azhikode, Indian writer, critic, and orator, died from cancer he was 85

Sukumar Azhikode was an Indian writer, critic and orator, acknowledged for his contributions to Malayalam language and insights on Indian philosophy died from cancer he was 85..[1] He was a scholar in Sanskrit, Malayalam, and English languages.[2]

(26 May 1926 – 24 January 2012)

Azhikode was a bachelor and lived in Eravimangalam near Thrissur, Kerala state. He died on 24 January 2012 at the age of 85 at Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, in Thrissur due to cancer.


Azhikode’s most famous work is Tatvamasi (1984, Malayalam), a book on Indian Philosophy, Vedas and Upanishads. Thathvamasi won twelve awards, including the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award and the Rajaji Award.
Azhikode had served as chairman of the National Book Trust (NBT) and
as member of the executive councils of Kerala and Kendra Sahitya
academy.[citation needed]
He did not confine himself to scholastic themes and expressed his
views and concerns on a wide range of topics of contemporary concerns
including the day-to-day politics and politicians.[citation needed]
A Gandhian till the end of his life, Azhikode was close to the Indian National Congress in his early life and in the 1960s[vague]
unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls as its candidate. But
later, he distanced himself from the Congress and moved close to the
Left camp without compromising on his Gandhian convictions and the
Nehruvian vision of a liberal and just social order.[citation needed]
Azhikode headed the Malayalam department of Calicut University and later retired as its pro-vice chancellor.[citation needed]
He was involved a legal tiff with cine actor Mohanlal following
heated exchanges in the backdrop of the ban on actor Thilakan as a
fallout of a feud in the Malayalam filmdom.[citation needed]
Azhikode then came to defend Thilakan incurring the wrath of
superstars. After Azheekode fell ill, a truce was worked out between the writer and the actor to withdraw the defamation case.[citation needed]
A recipient of literary honours including the Kendra Sahitya Academy award.[citation needed]
In January 2007, Azhikode refused to accept the Padma Shri conferred on
him stating that Such honours are against the Constitution. “The
Constitution says everyone should be treated as equal. Giving such
honours at different levels, the State discriminates between people. I
see the Padma Shri conferred on me as an opportunity to expose this
He also won the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam Sahithya Puraskaram lifetime achievement award.[citation needed]


Azhikode died on 24 January 2012, at Amala Institute of Medical Sciences in Thrissur. He was suffering from cancer and had been hospitalized since 7 December 2011.[4] He was 85 years old.

Major works

His concerns were wide and touched upon progressive literature (Purogamanasahityavum Mattum), Gandhism (Mahatmavinte Margam), Kumaran Asan (Aasaante Seethaakavyam), the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru (Guruvinte Dukham) and literary aesthetics (Sankara Kurup Vimarshikkapedunnu)

  • Aasaante Seethaakaavyam (Asan’s Sita Kavya)
  • Ramananum Malayalakavitayum (Ramanan and Malayalam Poetry)
  • Shankarakkuruppu Vimarshikkappedunnu (Sankara Kurup Critiqued)
  • Mahatmavinte Margam (Way of the Mahatma)
  • Purogamanasahityavum Mattum (Modern Literature and Others)
  • Malayala Sahityavimarsanam (Criticism of Malayalam Literature)
  • Vayanayute Swargattil (In the Paradise of Reading)
  • Tatvamasi
  • Malayala Sahitya Patanangal (Studies on Malayalam Literature)
  • Tatvavum Manushyanum (Philosophy and Humans)
  • Khandanavum Mandanavum (Destructive Criticism and Constructive Criticism)
  • Entinu Bharatadare
  • Azhikodinte Prabhashanangal (Speeches of Azhikode)
  • Azhikodinte Falitangal (Jokes of Azhikode)
  • Guruvinte Dukham (Sorrow of the Teacher)
  • Aakasam Nashtapetunna India (India Losing Horizon)
  • Pathakal Kazhchakal (Routes and Sights)
  • Mahakavi Ulloor (The Great Poet Ulloor)

To see more of who died in 2011 click here

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