Kerala litterateur Prabha Varma awarded Saraswati Samman

Prabha Varma
Prabha Varma

New Delhi | Renowned Kerala poet and litterateur Prabha Varma has bagged the 'Saraswati Samman-2023' for his work 'Roudra Sathwikam', according to a statement.

The award instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991 is recognised as the "most prestigious and the highest literary award in the country", the statement issued by the organisation on Monday said.

'Roudra Sathwikam', a poetic work in Malayalam, was published in 2022 and it has won the 'Saraswati Samman-2023', it said.

The selection for the award was made by a high-level committee -- 'chayan parishad' -- headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, it said.

"Books published between 2013 and 2022 were intensively discussed by 22 language committees and they recommended one book each from 22 languages to five 'kshetra samities' (regional committees). Of the 22 books, this year, five books were recommended by the 'kshetra samities' to the 'chayan parishad'," the foundation said.

These were 'Aakhri Sawariyaan (Urdu novel) by Syed Mohd Ashraf, Mita-Bhas Samagra (Assamese poetry) by Nagen Saikia, Posra (Santhali novel) by Gangadhar Hansda, Banaras Diary (Gujarati poetry) by Harish Meenashru and Roudra Sathwikam (Malayalam poems) by Varma.

One of the most important voices of contemporary Malayalam literature, 64-year-old Varma's poems reflect a confluence of tradition and modernity, according to the statement.

His novel 'Roudra Sathwikam' in poetic verses probes the conflict between power and politics, individual and state, art and power in a unique manner, it said.

Varma is the recipient of more than 70 awards, including the National Sahitya Akademi Award, 'Rajath Kamal' - the National Film Award and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan congratulated Varma on being chosen for the 'Saraswati Samman'.

"Hearty congratulations to Shri Prabha Varma, renowned Malayalam poet on being chosen for the prestigious Saraswati Samman-2023. The award which recognises his devotion to poetry brings great pride to Malayalam literature. May his sublime poetic works continue to enrich Malayalam and Indian literature," he said on X.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also congratulated the poet on winning the award, saying it is a proud moment for the state.

Varma is the media secretary to the chief minister.

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