Thrissur (Kerala): Malayalam writer Sukumar Azhikode died at a private hospital here on Tuesday morning, family sources said. He was 85. After being detected with bone cancer, Azhikode was admitted to hospital on Dec 7 last year and his condition deteriorated in the past few days. The end came at 6.33 a.m.
Family sources said his body would be taken to his home here and then moved to the Sahitya Academy hall where it will be kept till 4 p.m. His body will then be taken to his home town in Azhikode in Kannur district and the funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon at the Payamabalam beach.
Azhikode was a bachelor and he retired as pro-vice chancellor of Calicut University in 1986. A multi-faceted personality, Azhikode won 12 awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy visited ailing Azhikode two days back. Soon after he fell ill, Chandy had announced that the state government would foot the writer's medical bill.
Azhikode's most famous work is "Tatvamasi" (1984, Malayalam), an authoritative book on Indian philosophy, Vedas and Upanishads. This work won him 12 awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award and Rajaji Award.
In January 2007, the writer refused to accept the Padma Shri, stating that such honours are against the constitution.
"The constitution says everyone should be treated as equal. Giving such honours at different levels, the state discriminates between people. I see the Padma Shri conferred on me as an opportunity to expose this discrimination," he had said.