JayakanthanWikipedia/ Arunan Kapilan

Firebrand writer Jayakanthan, who is a legend in Tamil writing and literature passed away on Wednesday night after a prolonged illness. He was 81 and is survived by wife, two daughters and a son.

Jayakanthan is known for his revolutionary views and progressive attitude, which reflects in his novels, short stories and essays. His writing revolved around the themes of social injustice, inequality and differences that exist in the Tamil society.

Jayakanthan, who has written 40 novels, 200 short stories and two autobiographies —"Oru Ilakkiyavathiyin Arasiyal Anubavangal" and "Oru Arasiyalvathiyin Ilakkiya Anubavangal" -- is famed for his novel "Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal" that won him a Sahithya Academy Award in 1972.

Jayakanthan was born in Manjakuppam in Cuddalore on 24 April, 1934. He dropped out of school and ran from his home to Madras and became a member of the Communist party. The influence of communist ideology was evident in his writings from his characters and the scenarios around them.

His novels "Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal", "Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiral", "Yaarukkaga Azhudhaan" and "Cinemavukku Pona Chithalu" were adapted as films and he also directed three movies including "Yarukkaka Azhudhaan", "Unnai Pol Oruvan" and "Paathai Theiryuthu Paar."

The Russian government conferred him with the Order of Friendship award in 2011. Indian Government honoured him with Padma Bhushan in 2009 and Jnanpith Award in 2002.

Besides being a writer, Jakanthan was a known as a prolific orator. He spoke his mind and often landed in controversies. 

Jayakanthan's body is kept at his K K Nagar residence for people to pay their last respects. The cremation of the legendary writer will take place around 3 pm at the Besant Nagar crematorium.