KOZHIKODE: What does politics have to do with literary awards? Plenty, one may guess, but never for one to see. But if writer C Radhakrishnan and Akhila Kerala Ezhuthachan Samajam can be believed, the decision on Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the State’s highest literary prize, was swayed by flaunting the
Radhakrishnan has alleged that he was denied the prize due to the threat by the Samajam, a community organisation.
The award was denied after the Samajam leaders met culture minister K. C. Joseph and threatened him that the community would vote against the UDF if he was selected for the award, the author told DC.
The Samjam was angry that Radhakri -shnan portrayed Ezhu- thacahan as a Nair in ‘Theekadal Kadanju Thiru- maduram’, his fictional biography of the father of modern Malayalam.
“Ever since I wrote the book, I have been under attack from the Samajam,” the writer said. “Its leaders met the culture minister, president of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, director of the State Institute of Languages and vice-chancellor of the Malayalam University and warned them against giving me the award.”
Prof T. B. Vijayakumar, the general secretary of the Ezhuthachan Samajam, admitted that they met the minister in December.
“The award would have gone to Radhakrishnan but for our intervention. We have produced a truckload of facts to substantiate our claim,” he said.
“We told the minister that the 18-lakh-strong community members will vote against the UDF if the award was given to Radhakrishnan. We have a say in 10 constituencies,” Prof Vijayakumar added....