C.V. Kunhuraman (1871-1949)
Sreevarahom Balakrishnan

C.V. Kunhuraman, distinguished man of letters, was an eminent social reformer, founder of Kerala Kaumudi, pioneering journalist and renaissance leader as well.

Born as the son of Velayudhan and Kunhichali at Mayyanad near Kollam, he stopped his schooling at the eighth standard. He, however, made good by hardwork, learnt the epics in earnest and became an enlightened scholar enabling him to fight against superstitions of every sort.

He began contributing poems and articles on Sujananandini published by Paravoor Kesavanasan. Subsequently he served as its sub editor. C.V., as he was popularly known, started a school for low caste Hindus at Vellamanal, Mayyanad, Quilon and became its headmaster.

An untiring activist of SNDP Yogam, he was elected its general secretary in 1928 and 1931. Valmiki Ramayanam, a prose rendering of the great epic, was his first work to come out in print, in 1901. It won him wide acclaim prompting him to write Vyasabharatam and Panchavadi. Meanwhile, Karthikodayam brought out his prowess as a poet.

It was as the founder-editor of 'Kerala Kaumudi' that C.V. evinced his insight and farsight as a journalist. Started in 1911, in Mayyanad, it had grown over the years as one of the most influential dailies in Malayalam, that has raised its voice against injustice on all fronts.

He had been on the editorial board of Malayala Rajyam, Navajeevan, Navasakthi, Malayala Manorama, Bhashaposhini, Kathamalika, Vivekodayam and Yuktivadi. He had also been a lawyer and a member of Sree Moolam Prajasabha.

C.V. has been hailed for his role behind the historic Temple Entry Proclamation (1936). Credited with an austere but lucid style, he has enshrined himself into the annals of Malayalam letters.

He passed away in 1949 after a fruitful innings spanning nearly six decades.

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