MP Veerendra Kumar - The legendary writer, philosopher and journalist
With the demise of M P Veerendra Kumar, an era in the political, journalistic, social and cultural sector also has come to an end. He penned many books covering various subjects including politics, economics, environment, philosophy, literature and travelogue. The long articles on different themes attracted the readers with the beauty of language and content. He had a special expertise to present philosophical subjects with a creative element in it.
Veerendra Kumar was one of the best orators in Kerala. His speeches on literature, politics and epics are recorded in the history of Kerala as they reflected deep knowledge. The travelogue 'Hymavathabhoovil' penned by him is the only Malayalam travelogue to achieve Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award. The book has already been in its 56th edition and has bagged over 30 awards so far. 'Amazonum Kure Vyakulathakalum' written by Veerendra Kumar is the first travelogue to receive Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2012, the Kerala Sahitya Akademi honoured him with a distinguished membership.
Hymavathabhoovil, Athmavilekkoru Theerthayathra, Vivekanandan-Sanyasiyum Manushyanum, Adhiniveshathinte Adiyozhukkukal, Amazonum Kure Vyakulathakalum, Budhante Chiri, Changampuzha: Vidhiyude Vettamrigam, Danube Sakshi, Gattum Kanacharadukalum, Irul Parakkunna Kalam, Lokavyapara Samghadanayum Oorakkudukkukalum, Prathibhayude Verukal Thedi, Ramante Dukham, Roshathinte Vithukal, Samanwayathinte Vasantham, Smrithi Chithrangal, Thirinju Nokkumbol, Vichinthanangal Smaranakal and many other books were penned by Veerendra Kumar marking his literary skills.
He is the recipient of more than 100 honours including the C. H. Muhammed Koya Award of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre for the activities for religious harmony in 1991, Kerala Sahitya Akademi C. B. Kumar Endowment Award in 1995, C. Achutha Menon Literary Award in 1995, Mahakavi G. Memorial Award in 1996, Odakkuzhal Award in 1997, Sahodaran Ayyappan Award in 1997, Kesari Memorial Award in 1998, Nalappadan Award in 1999, K. V. Daniel Award in 2000, Abu Dhabi Sakthi Award in 2002, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002, K. Sukumaran Shathabdi Award in 2002, Vayalar Award in 2008, Dr. Shivaram Karanth Award in 2009, C. Achutha Menon Foundation’s K. V. Surendranath Award in 2009, Balamani Amma Award in 2009, Kesavadev Literary Award, K. P. Keshava Menon Award in 2010, first Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for a travelogue for the work Hymavathabhoovil in 2010, Fr. Vadakkan Award in 2010, Malliyoor Ganesha Award in 2011, Amrita Keerti Award in 2011, Swadeshabhimani Award in 2011, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2012, P. Bhaskaran Award in 2012, Kala (Abu Dhabi) Madhyamasree Award in 2012, Veda Ratna Puraskar in 2012, Justice K. P. Radhakrishna Menon Award in 2013, Gandhi Smrithi Award in 2014, Puthoor Award in 2015, Kusumanjali Sahitya Samman in 2016 and Moortidevi Award in 2016.
Under the leadership of M P Veerendra Kumar since 1979, Mathrubhumi became one of the leading media groups in India with 15 editions, 12 periodicals, TV, online, radio and event management platforms. Even when following the new trends in journalism, he strictly adhered to its sense of social responsibility as a corrective force.
Veerendra Kumar has occupied several top posts and was Executive Committee member of The Indian Newspaper Society, Vice Chairman of The Press Trust of India Ltd, Trustee of Press Institute of India, member of International Press Institute, member of Commonwealth Press Union and Executive Committee member of World Association of Newspapers. He also served as the Chairman of The Press Trust of India Ltd. during 1992-'93, 2003-'04 and 2011-'12 , President of The Indian Newspaper Society during 2003-'04. His interventions in the concept of freedom of the press were appreciated in the international level.