Prominent Malayalam writer UA Khader passes away at 85

 85-year-old UA Khader, a Sahitya Akademi award winner, had been undergoing treatment for cancer for a few time.

Prominent Kerala writer UA Khader gave up the ghost at a personal hospital in Kozhikode on Saturday. a lively participant in literary and social gatherings in Kozhikode for many years , 85-year old Khader had been undergoing treatment for cancer for a few time, family sources said.

A recipient of varied honours, including the Sahitya Akademi award, Khader had authored many books, including novels, novellas, short stories, travelogues and non-fiction and his works had been translated into various languages, including English, Hindi and Kannada.

Born in 1935 to Moidootti Haji, a migrant to the then Burma (Myanmar), and Burmese citizen Mamaidi, Khader lost his mother three days after his birth. His family resettled in his father’s hometown Koyilandy in 1942 following reverse migration from Burma post the second war .

His novel “Thrikkottur Peruma” won him the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983. He received the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 for his novella “Thrikkotlur Novellukar.” Khader had also written a travelogue, “Ormakalude Pegoda,” describing his nostalgic trip to his birthplace Yangon in Myanmar, after 70 years of his migration to India.

He was the president of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham, a corporation of artists, writers and art and literature enthusiasts based in Kerala. UA Khader had also held the post because the chairman of Kerala Sahitya Akademi and was also the member of ‘Kerala Bhasha Institute.’

Condoling his death, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Khader was a writer who had engraved local history in his stories and his demise had caused irreparable loss to the Malayalam literature generally and to the progressive literary movement especially .

Khader took a secular and progressive stand throughout his life and reflected that in his creative literature, he said.

“His departure at this significant juncture may be a great loss to the cultural spheres of Kerala, including literature, and to democratic values including secularism, “ the Chief Minister added in his message.

Born to a Malayali father and Burmese mother, Khader’s creative space was Malabar and its myths and stories, Opposition Leader Chennithala said while condoling the writer’s death.

“He was never confined to divisions like language, region, religion or belief. He strongly persisted to values like humanism, democracy and secularism and he upheld these in his works,” Minister for Culture AK Balan said in his condolence message.

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