Complete set of 3 nos of commemorative postage stamp on the Gyanpeeth Award Winners : Malayalam : G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt and Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 9, 2003
Issued for : The Jnanpith awards for literary excellence, covering all the languages listed in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India, symbolises the unity of vision in Indian culture. They celebrate the vibrant creative energy of Indian literature by recognising the masters whose writings have enthralled readers in different parts of the country. Continuing with the series on Jnanpith laureates, which started in 1997, the Department of Posts now issues a set of three commemorative postage stamps on three writers in Malayalam, namely G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt and ThakazhiSivasankara Pillai.
Design : The stamp designs incorporate visuals that recall the life and times of the three writers, apart from their portraits. Thus, the stamp on G. Sankara Kurup carries pictures of the writing desk and chair reminiscent of his intense intellectual pursuits. The next stamp, featuring S. K. Pottekkatt who was a legendary traveller, has a vintage steam locomotive chugging away in the distance. The third stamp which honours Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai has water wheel in the background, a regular sight in the paddy field of Kuttanad, the background of most of his stories.
Stamp : Namboodiri
FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma; based on the ‘Bhartiya Jnanpith’ publications.
Type : Horizontal Se–tenant Strip of 3 Stamps, Mint condition
Watermark : No
Colour : Two colour
Denomination : 500 Paise each
Overall Size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Printing Size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated stamp paper in Sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : Eighty Thousand Mixed Sheetlet
Number per issue sheetlet : 15
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Printing Process : Photogravure
Name : G. Sankara Kurup
Born on Jun 3, 1901 at Nayathode, Kingdom of Cochin, India
Died on Feb 2, 1978 at Vappalassery, Angamaly, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Name : Sankaran Kutty Pottekkatt
Born on Mar 14, 1913 at Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Died on Aug 6, 1982 at Kerala, India
Name : Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
Born on Apr 17, 1912 at Thakazhi, Alleppey, Kerala, India
Died on Apr 10, 1999 at Thakazhi, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
- G. Sankara Kurup was a poet in the mystic mould whose poetry was marked by a refined diction, careful artistry and pervading intellectualism. There are about forty publications to his credit which include dramas and essays also, apart from poems. It is said that four phases – often intermingled – can be observed in his creative evolution, namely, romanticism, mysticism, nationalism and humanism. Sandhya Taram (Twilight Star), Sooryakanti (Sunflower) and Pushpageeti (Song of Flower) are all romantic and lyrical. Azhimukham (Harbour Mouth), Raktabindu (Drop of Blood) and the like express an intense nationalistic spirit. In Pathikante Pattu (Song of Wayfarer) his universal humanism comes across in a touching fashion. Odakkuzhal (The Flute), the Jnanpith-winning collection of poems is a work which the whole of India can be proud of, where one finds romanticism of the purest kind set to the backdrop of exalted mysticism.
- S. K. Pottekkatt (1913-1982) was a writer, traveller and political idealist whose humanitarian vision left a deep imprint in the minds of his contemporaries. As a writer he was adept in different genres like the short story, novel, play, poetry and travelogue. Invariably carrying an element of surprise, his stories left readers pondering over the immense ironies behind human relations. A keen observer of men’s habits and mannerisms, Pottekkatt is seen at his best in his novels, combining a romantic sensibility with a realistic outlook. Works like Nadan Premam (Village Love-story), Oru Desathinte Katha (Story of a Country-side) and Oru Theruvinte Katha (Story of a Street) brought him renown as one of the leading novelists of India. He believed that a writer had a responsibility towards shaping the destiny of society, and this responsibility often charted the direction that his writings took. Pottekkatt was one of the pioneers of travel writing in the country. His travelogues, a unique blend of information, personal impressions and anecdotes made as exciting reading as any well-written thriller.
- Telling rustic stories of Kuttanad (the rural belt from where he hailed), Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (1912-1999), through his homespun, multi-layered narrations taking a loving view of that land and its people, transcended the boundaries of space and emerged as a chronicler of mankind. Concern for the underprivileged came through strongly in his works; but the portrayals, clearly, were characterised by objectivity, not sentimentalism. Such concerns dominated his early novels like Thottiyude Makan (Scavenger’s Son) and Randidangazhi (Two Measures), which held hard-hitting social messages. The trend began to change with the popular classic Chemmeen (Shrimps), where the story per se and the techniques of story-telling had received increased attention from the author. Thakazhi’s dichotomous perception of ‘art’ and ‘life’ evolved further through his subsequent works like Enippadikal (Rungs of the Ladder) and Chukku (Dried Ginger) and culminated in Kayar (The Coir Rope), considered by many as his magnum opus. Apart from his immensely popular novels, Thakazhi also wrote numerous articles, biographical notes and travelogues.
- Text: Based on inputs from Bhasha Samanwaya Vedi – Kerala, Department of Culture, Government of Kerala and Sahitya Akademi publications.