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Jnanpith award, the highest literary honour conferred upon any Indian writer, has been awarded 51 times since its inception in 1961. But only two Tamil writers have been honoured with the award so far, although south Indian languages like Kannada and Malayalam have bagged an enviable eight and five awards respectively .
Tamil author Akilan was the first writer from the state to receive the award in 1975. After 27 years, Jayakanthan was feted with it.

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