Who is Kureepuzha Sreekumar? The Kerala poet who was allegedly mobbed in Kollam district

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New Delhi | Published: February 6, 2018 1:54:50 PM

Kureepuzha Sreekumar: Kerala poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar was allegedly attacked by a group of right-wing supporters at Kottukal near Kadakkal, Kerala on Monday. He is a noted Malayalam poet.

Kureepuzha Sreekumar: Noted Kerala PoetKureepuzha Sreekumar: Noted Kerala Poet

Kureepuzha Sreekumar: Noted Kerala poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar was allegedly attacked by a group of right-wing supporters at Kottukal near Kadakkal, Kerala on Monday (February 5) evening. As per media reports, the poet who was attending the anniversary celebrations of Kairali Library, near Kottukal, is said to have delivered an address mocking right-wing politics and activism. As he was about to return, a group of people allegedly blocked his way and verbally abused him. While there were reports that the poet was mauled by the group, the police ruled out the same and added that ‘the miscreants only shouted at him’.

The arrests in the case took place today (February 6) morning, after the 62-year-old poet filed a complaint with the police. Of the six persons arrested, one is a BJP and panchayat member, as per media reports. The poet said the assailants were upset by the poet’s address at the function, in which he spoke of the ongoing year-long friction between the Dalits and the upper caste Nairs in the area over the building of a boundary wall of a local temple. The wall was cutting off access to an adjacent field on which public functions were held. The Dalits objected, pointing out that the field was public land and a wall would cut off their access to it. The wall was dubbed a “caste wall” by Dalits — indicating it was being built to keep out the lower castes.

Who is Kureepuzha Sreekumar?

Kureepuzha Sreekumar was born on 10 April 1955 in Kureepuzha, Kollam, Kerala. He is a noted Malayalam poet. His started his poetic journey with Habibinte Dinakkurippukal, his first, published in 1984. Some of his famous works are Sreekumarinte Dukkangal, Rahulan Urangunnilla, Amma Malayalam, Keezhaalan, and Suicide Point. He is a celebrated Kerala poet as evident from the awards that he has received. He also won the Best Poet Award in 1975 from Kerala University, the 1987 Vyloppilli Award for Malayalam poetry, and the Kerala Sahithya Akademi Sree Padmanabhaswamy Award for 2003 for the best work in children’s literature for his work Penangunni.

He got embroiled in a controversy when he refused to accept the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Award as it was named after a Hindu God. In 2011 he won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (Poetry) for his work Keezhalan. Nastik Nation, an atheist and free-thought organisation, has created a meme from one of his poems since he is an outspoken atheist too.

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