Gandhian VP Appukutta Poduval is among four Malayalis who were declared winners of Padma Shri on the eve of the Republic Day on Wednesday.
Historian CI Issac, Kalari gurukkal SRD Prasad and agronomist Cheruvayal Raman are the other Malayalis honoured with the nation's fourth-highest civilian honour this year.
VP Appukutta Poduval (99), a native of Payyannur, was encouraged to join the freedom struggle after listening to Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi during their visits to Kerala.
Poduval was 11 when he heard Gandhi address a crowd at Payyannur. He was led to the movement by his uncle VP Sreekanda Poduval.
Later, he participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was jailed. Poduval was also a proponent of Khadi.
He worked as senior auditor with Akhil Bhartiya Khadi Gramodyog from 1962. He participated in the Land Donation Movement with Vinoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan.
No other Malayalis are in the list of 106 Padma Awardees.
Raman is a tribal farmer at Kammana in Mananthavady in Wayanad. He is popularly known as 'Nellachan' for preserving and cultivating 45 varieties of paddy. Raman began his journey as a farmer at the age of 10.
Raman belongs to the Kurichiya tribe and is hailed for preserving traditional paddy varieties.
Prasad is not only a Kalaripayatt exponent, but he has also been a great promoter of martial arts on national and international stages.
His guru was his father, Kalari icon Chirakkal Sreedharan Nair, who started Rajkumar Kalari at Valapattanam in Kannur in 1935. That is where Prasad began and later became a guru of numerous disciples.
A native of Kottayam, Issac is a historian, who was a member of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR). He is also the Working President of the right-wing think-tank Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. Issac has been a vocal advocate of the 'ghar wapsi' programme of right-wing groups. He has authored 10 books.