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M.P. Veerendra Kumar is a famous writer from Northern Kerala. He is also an active member of the Janata Dal (United) and the President of its Kerala state unit. Being the founding Chairman and Managing Director of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, Veerendra Kumar has put his imprints in the fields of Journalism, literature and publishing. He has written over a dozen of books in Malayalam language. One of his literary works in Malayalam language Haimava Bhoovil, a travelogue, has bagged the prestigious Kendra Sahithya Academy Award in 2010. M.P. Veerendra Kumar has immense experience in the field of publishing. In this field, he has occupied many reputed positions in various publishing houses.
Early Life and Education
M.P. Veerendra Kumar was born on July 22, 1936. His parents were Padma Prabha Gowder and Marudevi Avva. He had his formal education from a government school in Kalpetta. After his formal education, the young Veerendra Kumar joined a reputed college in Kozhikode to complete his Bachelor's degree. After his graduation, the septuagenarian completed his Master's degree in Philosophy from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College in Madras, Tamil Nadu. In the later years, he became a follower of Jainism. He is married to Usha. In their marriage, they have one daughter and three sons.
Early Stint in Politics
Veerendra Kumar entered into the state politics while he was doing the schooling. Since then, he has actively participated in various social and cultural activities of the state. As he was an active participant in social movements that swept the state during the emergency period, M.P. Veerendra Kumar was arrested and lodged in jail for revolting against the Indira Gandhi government. During the emergency period, he was attracted towards the concept of Socialism coined by Jayaprakash Narayan. After getting thoroughly convinced about the principles of Socialism, he was at the forefront of the agitation, triggering his arrest and detention. Because of his association with the Socialist Movement, his properties were confiscated by the state government.
Career in Socialist Party
During the emergency period and the Socialist Movement of Jayaprakash Narayan, he gained the stature of an astute politician and gained respectability amongst the other politicians of the state. He was the Treasurer and the National Committee Member of the Samyuktha Socialist Party. After a while, the Samyuktha Socialist Party broke and a new party was formed. It was named as the Socialist Party. After the formation of the Socialist Party at national level, M.P. Veerendra Kumar became the Secretary of its Kerala state unit and one of its All India Secretaries. While working as the state secretary of the Socialist Party, he happened to work closely with the members of other parties to broaden the movement that was sweeping the state. In connection with this, he became the Convener of the Opposition Co-ordination Committee in Kerala.
Career in Janata Party
In 1980s, the Socialist Party broke into a number of groups owing to ideological differences at the national level. Because of this the Socialist government at the center fell. In its place another party with socialist lineage was formed. It was named Janata Party. M.P. Veerendra Kumar was amongst the leaders who formed the new party. In the new party setup, he was made its Vice President, as he was the most agreeable person amongst the warring groups in the party. Later on, he was elevated to its topmost post. Currently, Veerendra Kumar is the President of the state unit of the Janata Dal (Democratic) party. The Janata Dal (Democratic) party is at present an active member of the ruling coalition United Democratic Front in Kerala.
Career as a Minister
From 1987 to 1991, M.P. Veerendra Kumar was an elected member of the State Legislative Assembly. He came to the State Assembly representing the people of Kalpetta. During this period, he was the honorable Minister in charge of Forests for a brief period of time. Later in 1996, Veerendra Kumar was selected to the Lokh Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament. In Lokh Sabha, he represented the people of Kozhikode from the state. When he was the sitting member of the Lokh Sabha from 1996 to 2001, he served as the Minister in charge of Labor with independent charge. Since he was an able administrator, Veerendra Kumar was given additional portfolios such as Parliamentary Affairs, Employment, and Urban Affairs. Later, he was moved to the Finance Ministry.
Career as a Writer
M.P. Veerendra Kumar is a prolific writer in Malayalam language. To his credit, he has got about a dozen titles in Malayalam language. One of his books by the name Ramante Dukham has become so popular that it has undergone 18 re-prints in the market. Another work by him Amazonum Kure Vyakulathakalum has bagged the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award. Yet another work by him Haimavatha Bhoovil has won both Kendra Sahithya Academy and Vayalar Awards. Some of the other works have also generated the interest in the minds of readers. As a writer and thinker, he has won other awards for his contributions to the field of Malayalam literature. Some of the other awards received by him include C.H. Mohammed Koya Award, Dubai Kairali Kala Kendra Award, C. Achuthandan Award, Rajiv Gandhi National Award, Rotary Sahitya Award, etc.
Career in Publishing Industry
Veerendra Kumar has rich experience in the publishing industry of the state. As early as 1979, he took the mantle of running the daily newspaper Mathrubhumi. Since then, he has been holding the dual positions of the Chairman and the Managing Director in the Mathrubhumi group of publications. With 15 editions and 9 periodicals, this group is one of the largest news publishing houses in the country. Other positions held by him in the publishing field include the membership of the National Executive of Indian Eastern Newspaper Society, the Chairman of the regional committee of Indian Newspaper Society (INS), and the Director of the Press Institute of India and the Press Trust of India (PTI).
M.P. Veerendra Kumar is an astute politician and a prolific writer in Malayalam language. He came to the field of politics through the Socialist movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Veerendra Kumar represented the people of Kalpetta in the State Legislative Assembly and became a State Minister. Later on, he moved to the Lokh Sabha and became the Minister in charge of the Labor Ministry. When he was busy with his political activity, he found enough time to pen few books in Malayalam language. Some of his works have bagged national and regional awards. He also has immense experience in the publishing industry. Since 1979, he has been running the Malayalam daily newspaper Mathrubhumi as its Managing Director and Chairman. In addition to this, he has held other coveted positions in the publishing industry at the national level.