Yentha’s new weekly series on historical personalities - those who now live as 'lifeless' statues in various parts of the capital city. A peek into their lives is also a peek into the history of this land and the struggles it has witnessed on its way to becoming one of the socially and economically foremost states in the country.
Here comes the second in the series, which will be featured every Wednesday.
Mahakavi Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer June 6 1877 – June 15 1949
'Ulloor' was actually born in Changanachery, but since his ancestral home was at Ulloor, he came to be known as Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer. His father died when he was young and the shock caused a set back to his studies. His mother helped him to overcome it and Ulloor went on to graduate with honors in Philosophy from the prestigious Maharaja's College. After graduation, he joined the Travancore State Services. He then took a Degree in Law and a Master's in Malayalam and Tamil while serving the Travancore state. A very successful career in the Travancore State Services saw him being appointed as the income tax officer and then as the Chief Secretary of the State. However, his name was to become immortal through his remarkable contribution to the Malayalam language.
Ulloor was a poet who attempted to revive the classical heritage of Malayalam poetry. He published 'Umakeralam' in 1914, which gave him the title of 'Mahakavi'. Kerala University posthumously published his great work 'Kerala Sahitya Charitham', which detailed the history of the Malayalam language and culture in 5 volumes. His best works include 'Pingala', 'Karnabhooshanam', 'Bhaktipeedika' and 'Chitrasala'.
He was a scholar who delved deep into the study of ancient literature and palm leaf manuscripts, bringing out some of the earliest Malayalam literary works like the poem 'Rama Charitham' and the prose 'Dutavakyam'. Ulloor dominated the literary field of Kerala for over 50 years and was one of the three Mahakavis of Malayalam literature along with Kumaranasan and Vallathol Narayana Menon.
The Indian Posts and Telegraphs department issued a special postage stamp in his honour at the time of his demise on June 15, 1949.
Statue unveiled by Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, President of India, on May 15 1981.
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