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Prabha Varma Bags 33rd Saraswati Samman for ‘Roudra Sathwikam’

Noted Malayalam poet and author Prabha Varma has been selected for the prestigious 33rd Saraswati Samman for the year 2023. He won the award for his novel in verse ‘Roudra Sathwikam’ published in 2022.

The Saraswati Samman, instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991, is one of the highest literary honors in India. It recognizes outstanding literary works in any of the Indian languages published in the last 10 years.

‘Roudra Sathwikam’ – A Philosophical Exploration

According to the Birla Foundation, Varma’s novel “Roudra Sathwikam, written in poetic verse in the Malayalam language, probes the conflict between power and politics, individual and state, and art and power in a unique way.”

The foundation stated that the work “transcends the concept of time and space as it addresses the predicament of dharma (righteousness) and adharma (unrighteousness) in a creatively philosophical way.”

The novel, through its profound poetic narration, delves into complex themes of morality, ethics, human nature and the constant struggle between good and evil forces.

Prabha Varma – An Iconic Literary Figure

Born in 1959 in Thiruvalla, Kerala, Prabha Varma is a towering figure in the Indian literary landscape. He is a prolific writer with over 30 published books across genres like poetry, novels, essays, and socio-political commentary.

Some of his notable works are the poetry collections ‘Souparnika’, ‘Arkkapoornima’, ‘Shyama Madhavam’, novels ‘Chandana Nazhi’, ‘Aardram’, and ‘Kanal Chilambu’. He writes in both English and Malayalam.

Varma has received several prestigious awards including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award, and State and Filmfare awards for best lyrics.

Selection Process and Past Winners

The Saraswati Samman awardee was chosen by a selection committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri.

The first Saraswati Samman in 1991 was awarded to the legendary writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan for his four-volume autobiography.

Last year’s 32nd awardee was Tamil writer Sivasankari for her novel ‘Surya Vamsam’.

With a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, citation and plaque, the Saraswati Samman is a significant recognition of Prabha Varma’s immense contribution to Indian literature.

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