Kizhakke Potta Kesava Menon (1 September 1886 – 9 November 1978) was a patriot, idealist and Indian independence activist.[1] He was born in Tharoor village of Palakkad as the grandson of the Maharajah of Palghat and as the son of Bhiman Achan. He graduated in Arts from Madras University and Bar-at-law from Middle Temple. Menon was the founder of Mathrubhumi, a popular daily newspaper which earned the second place in circulation in Kerala.


Kesava Menon married Akathethara Manikyamelidam Laxmi Nethyaramma (daughter of the then Maharajah of Palghat). Palakkatsseri Valiyaraja Manikyamelidam Shekhari Varma (the former Maharajah of Palghat) was the second of his five children (Since the first and second Rajas are residing outside India, it was the third Raja, KK Itti Pangi Achan who performed the religious duties on their behalf). The other four children are: Chellamma, Thankam, Padmini and Leela.

Political life

After his education he became the secretary of Malabar Home rule League.He joined the Indian National Congress in 1915 and served as the secretary of the Malabar branch of the Home Rule League after setting up practice in Calicut. He was a member of the Home Rule League under Annie Besant which proceeded to London to present a memorandum to the Secretary of State in 1917. He also wrote a dozen of books and collections of essays. In 1919, in Madras he organised sweepers and rikshaw drivers. He was among the earliest in Kerala to argue for abolition of 'untouchability'[2]

[3][verification needed]


Kesava Menon established Mathrubhumi in 1923. He was its Chief Editor from the beginning till his death, except for a brief interregnum he moved out of Kerala and went to practice law in Malaysia and Singapore. There also he was actively involved in nationalist movements. His autobiography has been published by Mathrubhumi Books. He was a recipient of the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan.[4]


  1. ^ Who is who of Freedom Fighters in Kerala - K. Karunakaran Nair -Regional Records Survey Committee, Kerala State, 1975 - Kerala – page 212
  2. ^ Social History of India – SN Sadasivan – Page 511
  3. ^ "Kerala News - പാലക്കാട് വലിയരാജാവിന് സിംഗപ്പുരില് നൂറാംപിറന്നാള് - India, World News — Mathrubhumi Newspaper Edition". Mathrubhumi.com. 9 January 2011. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.