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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 19 April 2024 8.20 PM IST

Economist and Dalit thinker Dr M Kunjaman passes away

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Dr M Kunjaman, a distinguished economist and significant Dalit thinker passed away at his home in Thiruvananthapuram. Known for his academic prowess and principled stances, Kunjaman had a notable career trajectory.

He achieved first rank in MA Economics from the University of Calicut becoming the first Dalit student since KR Narayanan to attain this honor. He served as a lecturer at the Kariyavattam Campus of Kerala University for 27 years and later became a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Maharashtra. Kunjiraman also held a pivotal role as a member of the high-powered committee of the UGC, overseeing the higher education sector in India.

In recognition of his literary contributions, Dr. Kunjaman was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Autobiography alongside Dr TJ Joseph for "Attupokatha ormakal." However, Dr Kunjaman respectfully declined the award expressing his reluctance to be associated with such honors in the academic or intellectual realm.

His life stands as a testament to resilience in the face of caste-based discrimination. Despite societal challenges, Kunjaman exhibited exceptional academic excellence that compelled acknowledgment from all quarters. He was admired and respected by political stalwarts like EMS and VS who valued his critical insights.

Dr Kunjaman's unwavering dedication to his ideologies led him to forego various esteemed positions including a Rajya Sabha membership offered by Mayawathi's party. He remained steadfast in his commitment to uphold his principles, even in the face of tempting political opportunities.

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