P. Kesavadev born in 1904, is the best known literary figure in Malayalam. He created a milestone in the history of Malayalam literature, where the peasants, beggars, farmers, prostitutes etc became heroes and heroines. His childhood and youth were punctuated by the changes that occurred around him and his speeches and writings reflected his earnest anguish against social injustice and communal discrimination. He lived approximately 80 years of which half were pre independent and latter post independent period in the Indian history.
Kesavadev's childhood was a time when casteism was practiced rigorously. Distraught at the customs and taboos, young Kesavan abandoned studies and left home when he was barely 14. He didn't study beyond middle school. But he could read whatever he could gather and that instilled in him a tendency to revolt against oppression, the less privileged class where subjected to. Though born in a feudal family, Kesava Pillai joined Aryasamaj and changed his name to Kesavadev, so that his name has became unindicative of his superior caste. He is better known as an excellent orator, than a writer, and his speeches were so rich and unique in its content and presentations. He was imprisoned several times. From the knowledge he gathered through bitter life events and extensive traveling, he became a prolific writer. Dev got very little time to write but whatever he has written, has added to the depth and variety of Malayalam literature and Culture. Dev was a rebel in his life fighting against social injustice and caste inequalities and in literature against established customs and conventions.
P.Kesavdev trust was formed in the year 2001 in memory of late P.Kesavadev, the world renowned novelist, short story writer, social reformer, freedom fighter and eloquent orator whose name and works are closely linked to the history of evolution of modern Kerala.
This is a charity organisation actively involved in literary activities, promoting and preserving health & social and mental well-being of the economically backward population in the state of Kerala and elsewhere.
The major annual literary event organized by.P.Kesavdev Trust since 2005 is the P.Kesavdev Awards.