Udayavni Special

Eminent Malayalam writer UA Khader passes away


PTI, Dec 13, 2020, 11:46 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Eminent writer UA Khader, who enriched Malayalam language and literature with his unique style, died at a private hospital here on Saturday evening.

An active participant in literary and social gatherings here for decades, the 85-year old Khader was under treatment for cancer for sometime, family sources said.

A recipient of various honours, including the Sahitya Akademi award, he had authored hundreds of books, including novels, novellas, short stories, travelogues and non-fiction and his works had been translated into various languages, including English, Hindi and Kannada.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala were among those who condoled the death of Khader.

Born in 1935 to Moidootti Haji, a migrant to the then Burma, and Burmese citizen Mamaidi, Khader lost his mother three days after his birth. His family resettled in his father’s hometown Koyilandi in 1942 following reverse migration from Burma post the second World War.

His novel ”Thrikkottur Peruma” won him the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983. He received the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 for his novella ”Thrikkotlur Novellukar”.

He was the president of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham, an organization of artists, writers and art and literature enthusiasts based in Kerala.

Khader had also written a travelogue, ”Ormakalude Pegoda,” describing his nostalgic trip to his birthplace Yangon in Myanmar, after 70 years of his migration to India.

Condoling his death, Vijayan said Khader was a writer who had engraved local history in his stories and his demise had caused irreparable loss to the Malayalam literature in general and to the progressive literary movement in particular.

Khader took a secular and progressive stand throughout his life and reflected that in his creative literature, he said.

”His departure at this crucial juncture is a great loss to the cultural spheres of Kerala, including literature, and to democratic values including secularism, ” the Chief Minister added in his message.

Born to a Malayali father and Burmese mother, Khader’s creative space was Malabar and its myths and stories, Chennithala said.

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