G. Sankara Kurup, better known as Mahakavi G (The Great Poet G), was the first winner of the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award. He won the prize in 1965 for his collection of poems in Malayalam Odakkuzhal (The bamboo flute, 1950). With part of the prize money he established the literary award Odakkuzhal in 1968. He was also the recipient of the Soviet Land Nehru Award, in 1967, and the Padma Bhushan in 1968.
Kurup published his first poem, called Salutation to Nature in 1918, while still a student. Apart from 25 collections of poetry.
He also penned the lyrics for P.J.Cherian’s Nirmala, (1948), the first Malayalam film to incorporate music and songs. Kurup also led an active public life as a member (1968–72) of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.
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