Kainikkara Padmanabha Pillai

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Swathithirunal Kainikkara Padmanabha Pillai (1898–1976) was a Malayalam author and actor, a prominent speaker, teacher and thinker. His plays addressed serious themes such as patriotism, sacrifice and justice. He created characters of great heroism in his plays, which may show some influence by Shakespeare.[1] He also drew on the heritage of E.V. Krishna Pillai (1895–1938) with his works Veluttampi Dalava (1932) and Kalvariyile Kalpapadapam (1934).[2] Veluttampi Dalava describes the deeds and death of a minister of the state of Travancore.[3]

His 1959 book The red interlude in Kerala published for the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee gave a thoughtful discussion of how the communists came to power in Kerala, often quoted in analyses of the politics of that period.[4][5] He was given a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967.[6]

His brother, Kainikkara Kumara Pillai also became a famous playwright, with classics such as "Harichandra".[7]

Selected works[edit]

  • Veluttampi Dalava (1932) - about a patriot who fought British imperialism in the 19th century
  • Calvaryile Kalpapadapam (1935) - "Calvary's Wish-fulfilling Tree" on Christ's last days, considered his masterpiece.
  • Vidhimandapam (1955) - "Court of Judgment"
  • Agnipanjaram (1962) - "Skeleton of Fire"
  • Swati Tirunal Maharaja (1966) - about a famous Kerala king
  • Kainikkara Padmanabha Pillai (1959). The red interlude in Kerala. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. 



  1. ^ K. M. George (1998). Western influence on Malayalam language and literature. Sahitya Akademi. p. 151. ISBN 81-260-0413-4. 
  2. ^ "Drama and the Stage". Government of Kerala. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  3. ^ Sisir Kumar Das (2006). History of Indian Literature: 1911-1956, struggle for freedom : triumph and tragedy. Sahitya Akademi. p. 656. ISBN 81-7201-798-7. 
  4. ^ R. Ramakrishnan Nair (1965). How communists came to power in Kerala. Kerala Academy of Political Science. 
  5. ^ Thomas Johnson Nossiter (1982). Communism in Kerala: a study in political adaptation. C. Hurst for the Royal Institute of International Affairs. ISBN 0-905838-40-8. 
  6. ^ "SAHITHYA ACADEMI AWARD WINNERS# from 1959 to 1999..." Malayalam Padam. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  7. ^ "25 Sahityakaranmar". Menon.ca. Retrieved 2009-11-29.