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One of Kerala's most important writers, K Ayyappa Paniker is a pioneer of modernism in Malayalam literature. He is also regarded as one of the foremost Indian poets and critics of the post-independence era.

Ayyappa Paniker's influence has been quite profound and far-reaching in the cultural and intellectual life of the Malayali. If Paniker could be seen as the harbinger of a new voice in poetry, in the field of literary criticism, he ushered in a paradigm shift towards a new awareness and sensibility.

A widely travelled scholar and poet of international renown, he was also respected as an inspiring and influential teacher.