Speech by Shri.Sikander Bhakth, His Excellency the Governor of Kerala under the auspices occasion of C.V.Kunhuraman Foundation on 15 November 2002

I am very happy to participate in this function that has been convene to release the 'Selected Works of C.V.Kunhuraman'.

May I , at the outset, compliment the C.V.Kunhuraman Foundation on its initiative to compile the major works of the celebrated author and bring it out in a comprehensive volume.

The cultural excellence of a country is best reflected in the breadth of vision and brilliance of its people in relation to their responses to the exigencies of life. Meanwhile, the behavioural nuances of a people depend to a great extent on the depth and development of their language and literature. Much more refined they will be, if their world of letters is better shaped and streamlined in terms of expression and aesthetic exploration.
In fact, every country-that has a lofty heritage owes a lot to its classical literature which includes the Epics, Myths, Legends and the Scriptures. As we all know, India has had the timeless impact of the twin-epics, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, both stirring sagas of human endeavour soaring to sublime heights.
Apart from the devotional and didactic resonance they abound in what accounts for their perennial appeal is the beauty and profundity of articulation with which the exciting stories are elucidated in canto after canto. So unique and all embracing is their import that they have become an integral part of Indian heritage. And no other work has inspired and initiated the course of life and literature of successive generation as these two have.
We also owe much to a band of masterminds who have enriched the social fabric of our country and enshrined themselves in the annals of history by their words and deeds. I am glad to know that the late C.V. Kunhuraman, whose collection of literary pieces is being released today, was a stalwart on several fronts, and had served the community in his multiple-capacity as social reformer, pioneering journalist and distinguished writer.
I am reminded of the words of Shri K.R. Narayanan, our former President, while paying a glowing tribute to C.V. Kunhuraman: �He has dominated the socio-political and literary spheres of Kerala for over fifty years, with his versatile genius.�
I understand that among the major contributions of C.V. Kunhuraman are the Malayalam renderings of 'Vyasa Bharatam' and 'Valmiki Ramayana'. As an old saying goes, �the Ramayana will be spread, read and re-read as long as the mountains and the rivers exist on the earth.� To quote Monier Williams, 'it will ever have its supreme place amid the most significant and sublime creations in literature that has emerged anywhere and at any time.'
'The Mahabharata', in the meantime, is comparable to Homer's immortal classic, 'The Iliad'. The more one is exposed to its manifold splendours, the worthier one will be to inherit the earth. It goes to C.V. Kunhuraman's credit that he did the translation of both, though in condensed form, more than seven decades ago. He had also been praised for his prose style, as being crisp, lucid, concise, and 'one of the finest in the language'. Simple but saucy, and sprinkled with wit and wisdom, it is enchanting to say the least.
The founding of 'Kerala Kaumudi' was yet another achievement. Started in 1911 as a weekly journal, it has grown over the years as one of the leading dailies in Malayalam. His translations of the Shakespearean plays 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Merchant of Venice', 'Twelfth Night' and 'The Tempest' also merit mention.
A society, anywhere in the world, is judged by the art and literature it produces. They are the reflection of the vitality of a race. They decline when the people suffer from spiritual exhaustion. As Dr. S. Radhakrishnan has observed with prophetic insight, 'If some of us suffer from boredom and triviality, it is because we are neglecting the spirit in man and making him a subject of economic greeds or a bundle of conditioned reflexes.'
In this age of aggressive agitation and constant competition, our minds are in conflict and confusion. It is for the men of letters, the artistes and the thinkers to re-capture the dignity of human race and re-define its destiny in tune with the expanding horizons of universal harmony.
I once again congratulate the organizers of this auspicions function and wish them all the best in their worthy endeavour.
Thank you.
Jai Hind.

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