Here in this Hall of Fame, you would hear briefly about some of the famous alumni of VICTORIA. Please note that the list would grow in the days to come.....
MR Nair (SANJAYAN) - 1903 – 1944: Sanjayan is the pseudonym of Professor Mannikoth Ramunni Nair or M.R. Nair, who wrote satire articles stuffed with humor and social criticism.
Sanjayan was born Born on 17 June 1903 in Thalassery, a small town in the Malabar Coast of Kerala. His father was Madaavil Cherukunhiraman Vaidyar of the well known Madaavil family and Paru Amma.
Sanjayan's contribution to the Malayalam literature were mainly satirical essays criticizing the contemporary social state.He was closely related with a journal called "Kerala Patrika". He was a Government Servant and Teacher in his early days. Later, he turned to the field of journalism and was the editor of Kerala Pathrika, Viswaroopam and Sanjayan magazines. The humorous yet highly critical essays on contemporary societal issues appeared in Sanjayan brought fame to him. He was a scholar not only in Malayalam but in English and Sanskrit also. He also translated plays of Shakespeare into Malayalam.
While living in the Main Hostel, he had published a Hostel magazine named VICOHOMA (Victoria College Hostel Magazine), a copy of which was available in the Hostel Library-cum-Reading room till the 60s. Inspired by the laout of the Magazine, The Men's hostel cabinet of 1961-62 ventured to bring out a manuscript Magazine by the same name; the same year, the magazine was printed and circulated to all the inmates of the hostel during 1961-62.
OV VIJAYAN - (July 2, 1930–March 30, 2005)
Oottupulackal Velukkutty Vijayan, popularly known as O. V. Vijayan was born in Palakkad on 2 July 1930.His father O.Velukkutty was an officer in Malabar Special Police of the erstwhile Madras Province of the British India. As a child, he was largely homeschooled.His first taste of formal schooling was at the age of 12 when he joined Raja’s High School, Kottackal in Malabar Kerala, directly to sixth standard. The informal education for which his father had made arrangements during the absentee years was sufficient to keep him at par with the fellow students. The next year he had to change school to Koduvayur in Palakkad, where his father decided to temporarily anchor the family lest his frequent transfers may ruin the domestic composure.He graduated from Victoria College in Palakkad and got his masters degree in English literature from Presidency College in Madras.
Vijayan wrote his first short story, "Tell Father Gonsalves", in 1953. He went on to write five novels and translated some of his own work into English. His first and most famous novel, Khasakinte Ithihasam (The Legends of Khasak, 1969) tells the story of a teacher named Ravi dispatched to a newly created school in remote Khasak. He brought about a sea-change in Malayalam literature with this novel: so much so that it can be divided into pre-Khasak and post-Khasak eras, named after Vijayan's pioneering first novel. The former era was romantic and formal; the latter is modernist, post-modernist and post-post-modernist, with tremendous experimentation in style and content. In a way, Vijayan released Malayalam fiction writing from the shackles of tradition. He wrote many other short stories, essays and satire. He was also an editorial cartoonist whose works appeared in various news publications including The Statesman and the Far Eastern Economic Review. He worked for The Hindu also.
O. V. Vijayan was almost certainly India's foremost fabulist in the recent past. An extraordinary writer with enormous range, he wrote everything from a semi-fictional history of his feudal-landlord family, 'Generations' to the scatological 'The Saga of Dharmapuri'. The sweep of his writing is evocative of such giants as William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez.
While Khasak continues to be his best-known work as an angry young man, his later works, Gurusagaram (The Eternity of Grace), Pravachakante Vazhi (The Path of the Prophet) and Thalamurakal (Generations) bespeak a mature transcendentalist.
While he lived outside Kerala for most of his adult life, spending time in Delhi and in Hyderabad (where his wife Teresa was from), he never forgot his beloved Palakkad, where the 'wind whistles through the passes and the clattering black palms'. He created a magical Malabar in his works, one where the mundane and the inspired lived side-by-side. His Vijayan-land, a state of mind, is portrayed vividly in his work.
O V Vijayan was unlucky not to win India's principal literary prize, the Jnanpith, possibly because he did not endear himself to the political powers-that-be through his trenchant cartoons. Vijayan's fans were also perennially hopeful that the Nobel Prize would finally recognize him. In 2003, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Vijayan struggled with Parkinson's Disease for 10 years and finally succumbed to organ failure in a Hyderabad hospital at age 75. His wife Dr. Teresa Vijayan died a year after his death. Their son Madhu Vijayan lives in Los Angeles, CA.
M.T. VASUDEVAN NAIR: Born on 15 July 1934. Father: T.Narayanan Nair. Mother: Ammalu Amma. M.T.Vasudevan Nair is a versatile novelist of Malayalam and Jnanapeeth laureate. He wrote stories while he was a student and won first place in all Kerala level short story writing contest conducted by the Mathrubhoomi weekly. He has written many novels and short stories. He won many awards like Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award. He produced and directed a number of films in Malayalam.His film “Nirmalyam” won President’s Gold Medal. He was the Editor of Mathrubhum weekly. He is the visiting Professor of Pune Film Institute. Government of India awarded Padmabhooshan to him in 2005. He was also awarded Vallathol Sahithya Puraskaran for his comprehensive contributions in the field of literature. Important works: Nalukettu, Murappennu, Asuravithu, Kaalam, Randamoozham, Manju. He was the Secretary of the malayalam association during his final year degreee in GVC. His first collection of short stories "VALARTHU MRIGANGAL" was a compilation of stories he wrote during his college days.
TN SESHAN: Tirunellai Narayanaiyer Seshan was the 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India, serving from December 12 1990 to December 11, 1996. His firebrand leadership qualities earned him very creative sobriquets like 'Alsatian' (rhyming on his last name), by the Indian Press.
Tirunellai Narayana Iyer Seshan (born in Tirunellai in Palakkad district, Kerala) was the 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India, serving from December 12, 1990 to December 11, 1996. After his Intermediate class in GVC, Seshan graduated from the prestigious Madras Christian College were he was also a lecturer for quite sometime . His firebrand leadership qualities earned him very creative sobriquets like 'Alsatian' (rhyming on his last name), by the Indian press.
An officer of the Indian Administrative Service, he also held the posts of director, Ministry of Atomic Energy; joint secretary, Ministry of Space; secretary, Department of Agriculture; Government of Tamil Nadu; Member (Personnel), Oil & Natural Gas Commission, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Space, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Defence, and secretary, Internal Security. He went on to occupy the post of Cabinet Secretary - the senior most position in the Indian Civil Service hierarchy, and member, Planning Commission of India, before being appointed the Chief Election Commissioner.
As the Chief Election Commissioner of India he made history by introducing innovative electoral reforms and making the Election Commission a powerful body. He may be rightfully termed as the most visible and controversial public figure who redefined the status and visibility of a CEC in India. His name became synonymous with transparency, efficiency and forward vision during his tenure as the CEC. He used this to hone his political ambitions by contesting for the post of President of India in 1997 (though he lost it to K.R. Narayanan). He came up with the vision of an election-card for every rightful voter in India, something that is being regarded as the Indian equivalent of the US Social Security card. He is often known for his crisp one-liners, be it during his service to his superiors and ministers or while handling the media. He won the prestigious Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1996. After retirement he founded the Deshbhakt Trust, an NGO forum for like minded citizens concerned with social reforms in India.
Dr. E. SREEDHARAN (Elattuvalappil Sreedharan)
Born on 12.6.1932. in Palghat District of Kerala. Father: Shri K. Neelakantan Moosad. Mother: Smt. Ammalu Amma
Dr.Sreedharan is the man who “achieved the near impossible”. He graduated from Victoria College, Palghat, and then from Government Engineering College, Kakinada, in April 1953. After a small stint as Lecturer in Civil Engineering in Kerala Polytechnic, Calicut, he joined the Bombay Port Trust following which he was selected to the Indian Railway Service of Engineers. Then there was no looking back for this eminent and dynamic personality. He has executed innumerable and prestigious Railway projects. He held many key positions in the Government of India including that of CMD, Cochin Shipyard, General Manager, Western Railway and Member Engineering, Railway Board & Ex-officio Secretary to Govt. of India. After a successful stint as Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Konkan Railway Corporation, he was chosen as the first Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Dr. Sreedharan has transformed the transport scenario of India’s capital. Success and virtue - a rare combination in today's world run side by side in this “Metro Man’s” life.
Dr. E. Sreedharan is the recipient of many prestigious Awards include Railway Minister’s Award for restoring the Pamban Railway Bridge in 1963,“S.B. Joshi Memorial Award, 1995” for excellence in bridge engineering, “FIE FOUNDATION AWARD, 1995” – for outstanding contribution in efficient implementation of Konkan Railway Project, “Most Outstanding National Bridge Award, 1995” instituted by the Indian Institute of Bridge Engineers, for the Konkan Railway,“ICI – FOSROC AWARD, 1996” for the Most Outstanding Concrete Technologist., Sir M. Vishweshwarayya Award – 1996” – from Engineers’ Forum Kolhapur for Best Engineer and Eminent Performer who has brought the Dream of Konkan Railway into reality,“Jury’s Award” for Individual Leadership by CII – Award for Excellence in Infrastructure, 2002,“Public Service Excellence Award” being given by All India Management Association, 2002,Social Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Service given by Godfrey Phillips India Limited, “Padma shri” – The National Award Knight of the Legion of Honour – “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, 2005” – by President of Republic of France,“Doctor of Science” (Honoris Causa) – 2005 by Indian Institute of Technology, “Doctor of Science” (Honoris Causa) – 2006 by Kurukshetra University , Kurukshetra (Harayana) etc.
Chakkupurayil Radhakrishnan, born 1939 February, 1, eldest son of Parappur Madathil Madhavan Nair and Chakkupurayil Janaki Amma. Completed his education at Guruvayoorappan College (Kozhikkode) and Palakkad Victoria College (Post-graduation).
1960-62 - Scientific assistant at the Astrophysical Observatory at Kodaikanal.
1962-64 - Officer-in-charge of the World Wide Seismological System, Pune station.
1964-68 - Member, Editorial board, Science Today, Times of India, Bombay.
1968-72 - Assistant editor, Link and Patriot, Delhi.
1980-82 - Editor, Veekshanam Daily, Kochi.
1995-97 - Editor-in-charge, Bhashaposhini and Year Books, Malayala Manorama, Kottayam.
1997-99 - Consultant editor, Madhyamam Daily, Kozhikkode.
Two-time member of Indian National Film Award Committee.
Two-time member of Indian Panorama Film Screening Committee.
Member of Kerala Film Development Corporation Director Board for one term.
Captain of the group of writers who traveled on foot from Kasargod to Trivandrum to spread the message of peace, in 1984.
'Hiroshima-Nagasaki Fast' - Took a fast for three days along with various social workers for world peace, in 1985.
Chairman of SPCS for one term, and member of the board for two terms.
State Chairman of Yuvakalasahithi for one term.
Born in Walluvanad Taluk in 1942, C.C. Unnikrsishnan was an alumnus of GVC during his B.Sc course. He did his B.Ed from Feroke Training College. Unnikrishnan commenced his career as a Teacher in 1963 and later joined Central Secretariat Services in Govt of India in 1966. He pursued his higher studies in Advanced Financial Management at Strathclyde University (Scotland) and in Public Sector Management from Leeds University.
His fiirst story was published in 1963. In his novel "Neelamalakalile Suvarna Nnjhorikal", one can nostalgically experience the bondage amongst the old Victorians during their college days and thereafter. His literary creations include:
Short stories collection: Ha Paris, Thiruvazhiydinte Kathakal
Novels: Hippy, Oru Dhwani Aayiram Prathidhwani, Maranathinte Niram, Nakhakshathangal, Panam, Driksakshi, Choothattam, Neelamalakalile Suvarna Nnjhorikal, Layanam, Manassakshi
Noveletttes: Velichhathinte Porulukal, Nakhachitrangal, Sisiranidra.
Radio Plays: Thaalam Thavalam, Aahuthi.
Unnikrishnan was the recipient of Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1992 for his novel “Driksakshi”. Married to Sridevi, they have three children, Amrita, Namrata and Abhilash and are now residing in Delhi at 44 A - Pocket IV, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Delhi 10091.
T.A.Rrajaleksmy was born on June 2, 1930 at Cherpulassery, Palakkad to Marath Achutha Menon and Kutty Malu Amma. She is an alumnus of Victoria College, Palakkad. Rajalekshmy was a blessed writer who contributed much to the short story and novel fields. Her stories reflected the miseries and despairs experienced by women of the society. As a notable writer she got Kerala Sahithya Academy Award in 1960 for her work “Oru Vazhiyum Kure Nizhalukalum” (A Path and a Few Shadows). It later became a popular TV serial. Another famous novel written by her was Njanenna Bhavam. Her famous poem is “Ninne Njan Snehikkunnu.” Her last days were really painful. She chose to end her life on 18 January 1965
Shri. Olancherry Rajgopal was born on September 15, 1929, in an agricultural family of Manappadam village in Palakkad district of Kerala, Mr Rajagopal completed his primary education at Alathur, graduated from Victoria College, Palakkad and did his graduation in law from Law College, Chennai. He practised as an advocate from 1966 to 1968 at Palakkad District Court. Mr Rajagopal joined Jana Sangh in 1962 and was the member of its National Executive Committee from 1964 onwards until the party merged with Janata party. He was the Founder State President of Bhartiya Janata Party, Kerala.Mr Rajagopal was elected to Rajya Sabha in June 1992 and again in June 1998 from Madhya Pradesh. He is the Deputy Leader of BJP in the Rajya Sabha. He has been the Chairman of the Committee on Petitions and Member of the Standing Committee on Communications and Consultative Committe for the Ministry of External Affairs. He has been actively associated with various social and cultural organisations. Mr Rajagopal became Union Minister of State for Law, Justice and Company Affairs on October 13, 1999 and later on he was given additional charge of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs on November 25, 1999. The Minister subsequently held portfolios of Minister of State for Railways and Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.
A rare example of a communist leader who, hailing from a traditional landlord family, went on to become the foremost leader of the proletarian revolutionary movement, Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, popularly known as EMS, was a scholar, Marxist theoretician, voracious reader, columnist and a revolutionary in perception, but a Gandhian in practice. EMS was born in an aristocratic and orthodox family in Palakkad district on June 13, 1909. He was educated in the Victoria High school and Victoria College, Palakkad and St.Thomas College, Thrissur.
As a young man, he became greatly involved in the social reform movement against caste. Gokhale, Gandhi and Tilak were among the greatest influences on him during college days. EMS participated in the freedom movement launched by Gandhiji in the early 1920's. He was arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment, when he was studying for graduation, and was later released when Gandhiji withdrew the satyagraha movement.
EMS was one of the founders of the Congress Socialist Party in Kerala. When he became acquainted with Marxism, EMS was greatly inspired by the Marxian ideology, and was one of the five members who formed the founding group of the Communist Party in Kerala in 1936.
After the state of Kerala was formed, in the first elections in 1957, the Communist Party won a majority and E M S Namboodiripad became chief minister of the first elected communist ministry in India. EMS Namboodiripad was elected General Secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1977 and he led the Party in this capacity till the 14th Congress in 1992 when he stepped down due to ill-health.
Among his outstanding contributions are the application of Marxism-Leninism to Indian society and working out the strategy and tactics of the Indian revolution. He is a monumental writer and his writings on land relations, Kerala, society and politics, Marxist philosophy, literature and history mark him out to be one of the most influential communist thinkers of the country and the world.
In 1957 he headed the first democratically elected communist ministry in Kerala, the first of its type in the world, but the ministry did not last long and was brought down by the congress. In 1967, he again came to power by forming a coalition with the Communist Party of India. The government fell in October 1969 when the CPI outsmarted the CPI-M. Even though he ruled only for a short period, EMS laid the foundation for all the achievements the state made in the socio-economic front. His land reform and education policy brought revolutionary changes in the state.
This veteran leader passed away on March 19, 1998, at the age of 89.
P. R. Pisharody was born on February 10, 1909 in the town of Kollengode in the Indian state of Kerala.His parents were Sivaramakrishnan alias Gopala Vadhyar and Lakshmi Pisharassiar. He had two other brothers Balan and Rajan. Balan was a famous chemist and was heading the Central Medical Stores at Madras Medical College. Whereas Rajan was an eminent chemist working with the famous SAIBOL company.He completed his early education in Kerala. Having done his Physics BA honours from St. Joseph's College, Trichinopoly, Madras state, he went on to do his MA (Physics) from Madras University. He then proceeded to work as a college lecturer in Physics at Loyola College at Chennai during 1932-1941. During the summer vacations he used to work under Prof. C. V. Raman at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. On being recommended by Raman, Pisharoty joined the India Meteorological Department in 1942. There he carried out research on thunderstorms, western disturbances, movement of monsoon depressions, orographic rain, etc. He then joined the University of California for further studies where he worked under renowned meteorologist Jacob Bjerknes. His published two reports titled Some aspects of geostrophic poleward sensible heat and The kinetic energy of the atmosphere. He obtained his MS (in Meteorology) and PhD degrees by 1954.
Pisharoty served as the Director, Remote Sensing and Satellite Meteorology, at ISRO Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad during 1972-75. He was a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of World Meteorological Organization from 1963 to 1968 and later its Chairman. He also served as the Vice-President of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and as a member of Joint Organising Committee for Global Atmospheric Research Programme from 1969 to 1977. He worked at PRL until the early nineties when he retired for health reasons.
Pisharoty was elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1957 and a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy in 1978. In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri national civilian award of the Indian government in 1970. He was the first recipient of the Raman Centenary Medal in 1988. He was awarded the IMO Prize by the WMO in 1989. He also received the K.R. Ramanathan Medal established by Indian National Science Academy in 1990.
Pisharoty died on the morning of September 24, 2002 at Pune, at the age of 93.
Being added soon....
Unnikrishnan Puthoor, OV Usha, Neelamperoor Madhusudanan Nair, EM Sankaran Namboodiripad, late KP Kesava Menon, VK Madhavankutty, VR Krishna Iyer, Dr. PR Pisharody, Dr K N Panikker, ........... (and this may not be the end!!)