KOLLAM: George Varghese Kakkanadan was laid to rest with full state honours at the Polayathode burial ground near here at 4 15 p.m. on Thursday.
Amidst an air resonant with eulogies, Kerala bid a tearful farewell to its beloved story teller, in the presence of his family members, circle of friends and admirers. A police contingent paid honours to the writer by the customary gun salutes.
The funeral ceremony was held at the St Thomas Mar Thoma Chapel at Polayathode and Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, head of the Mar Thoma Church, led the funeral rites.
Earlier, there was a steady flow of friends and admirers from various walks of life at the Municipal Town Hall, where the body was kept, to have a final glimpse of their beloved writer.
Those who paid tributes at the Town Hall include, Kerala Sahithya Academy presidentPerumbadavam Sreedharan, N Peethambara Kurup MP, publisher Ravi DC, cartoonist Yesudasan, poet Rosemary, MLAs C Divakaran, A A Azeez and P K Gurudasan, senior Congress leaders V M Sudheeran, Rajmohan Unnithan and Kadavoor Sivadasan, former minister N K Premachandran, Planning Board member C P John, noted film director K G George, writer Babu Kuzhimattom, poet Gireesh Puliyoor and Kerala Sahithya Academy secretary R Gopalakrishnan.
Earlier in the day, Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph and Labour Minister Shibu Baby John paid homage and placed wreaths on the body of Kakkanadan at his house in Eravipuram. Joseph said that the State Government would initiate steps to build a ‘smrithi mandapam’ in memory of the novelist. Collector P G Thomas placed wreaths on behalf of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Defence Minister A K Antony.
The body was taken to the Town Hall for public viewing around 1 p.m. and Fr Johnson Varghese, parish priest of St Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Thevally, led the prayers.