Puthan Veetil Narayanan Nair (October 26, 1925 – June 22, 2006) was a well-known rationalist, literary critic and left wing political activist from Kerala, India.
Pavanan (a.k.a. Puthan Veetil Narayanan) was born on October 26, 1925 at Vayalalam, Thalassery, Kerala, India. His father was Kuttamath Kunniyur Kunhisankara Kurup and mother, Puthan Veetil Devaki Amma. He had his education at Raja’s High School, Nileshwaram, Kasaragod and at Brennen College High School, Thalassery.
During 1944–46, Pavanan served in the Indian Army of British India. Later, after leaving the army, he worked as an Inspector in Co-operative Department in north Kerala.
Since 1949, Pavanan took up journalism as his career along with his left-wing political activism. He first stint as a journalist was as an editorial board member of the Malayalam journal, Jayakeralam, published from Chennai then known as Madras. During 1952–53 he worked as a sub-editor of Pourashakthi before becoming a staff-reporter with Deshabhimani, the Malayalam organ of the undivided Communist Party of India. During 1965–67, he worked as the editor of Navayugam and as correspondent of India Press Agency. He was a style editor with Soviet Information Office, Chennai during 1970–75 and General Editor with Manorajyam group of publications during 1984–86. He then, during 1988–94, worked as Director-in-Charge of Vishwa Vijnana Kosham, an Encyclopedia published by Government of Kerala. Pavanan was Assistant Secretary of Kerala Sahitya Academy between 1975–78 and its Member Secretary during 1978–84.
As a rationalist, Pavanan was the founder-Chief-editor of Yukthirekha, the organ of Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham, a well-known rationalist group in Kerala. He was the organization’s president for a long time before he was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease from which he had been suffering for the last 4–5 years of his life.
Pavanan was awarded the Sovietland-Nehru Award (twice), Kerala Sahitya Akademy Award, G. Sankara Kurup Award, Puthezhan Memorial Award, Vailoppally Memorial Award, M.C. Joseph award as well as V.T. Bhattathrippad Memorial Award for his contribution in the fields of journalism and literature. He received Emeritus Fellowship (1989–93) from Human Resource Department, Government of India.
Pavanan died on June 22, 2006 at Trissur at 7:15 am, after a prolonged illness.
After his death, his eyes were donated to an eye bank. Following his wishes, he was cremated without any religious ceremonies thus upholding his rationalist ideal until his death.
Pavanan wrote more than 40 books in Malayalam and English languages. Some of the titles are: