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Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup (27 May 1931 – 13 February 2016), popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply and endearingly O. N. V., was a renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won the Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala, Trivandrum. O. N. V. is known for his leftist leaning.He was the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the Lok Sabha elections in 1989.He died on 13 February 2016.

O.N.V Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on 27 May 1931 at Chavara, Kollam (Quilon) in Kerala.He lost his father when he was eight. His childhood days were spent in Chavara where he attended the government school. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum) where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts in Malayalam literature.

O.N.V. was a lecturer at Maharajas College – Ernakulam, University College – Trivandrum, Arts and Science College – Kozhikode, and Brennen College – Thalassery. He joined Government Women’s College – Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986.

He received the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honour, for the year 2007.He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award.According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a “progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology”.

He was settled at Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvananthapuram, with his wife Sarojini. His son Rajeev works with the Indian Railways Authority, and daughter Dr.Mayadevi is a noted gynaecologist in Durham, United Kingdom. Malayalam playback singer Aparna Rajeev is his granddaughter.