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Veteran actor Thilakan, who recently won a special mention jury award in the recently-announced National Awards for his outstanding performance in Ekantham (2007) directed by Madhu Kaithapram, has been selected for this year's Yukthiwadi M.C. Joseph Award instituted by the Rationalist Association of India, India's largest rationalist organization, founded in 1949, in memory of Mookencheril Cherian Joseph, an eminent rationalist from Kerala.
The award is mainly given to writers and artistes who live without any kind of association with religion. Association General Secretary Sreeni Pattathanam said that the award would be presented to Thilakan at a function to be held at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club auditorium on September 18.
M.C. Joseph, born on January 6, 1887 at Thripunithura, was one of the founders of Yukthivadi (1929), the first ever rationalist/ atheist magazine in Malayalam. Two years later, he took over the editorship and successfully brought out the monthly without any interruption for the next 45 years. During his tenure as its editor, the magazine got identified with its editor and his famous column 'Kurippukal' (Notes) carried scathing criticism of all organized religions, superstitions and undemocratic and authoritarian political systems. He died on October 26, 1981. According to his wishes, the body was handed over to the Calicut Medical College.
As in Ekantham which tackles the subject of old age issues, Thilakan has been zeroed in a similar powerful role in the forthcoming Orkkuka Vallapozhum by popular mini screen director Sohanlal. Produced by Vinu Y.S. under the banner of God's Own Movies, the movie will feature Thilakan as Sethumadhavan, aged 75, who makes feeble attempts to return to the innocence of his past. Scripted by the director himself, the movie is expected to start shooting by the end of September at Kuttikkanam, Idukki.