Life Chronology

Born to Chacko and Mumnayat Eliyamma in 1914, Dominic Chacko Kizhakemuri showed all signs of making it big in life from a very early age. He became a teacher at a young age of 16 and was much loved by his students. Fondly known as Kochusaar, mesubng young teacher, DC was a figure the students looked up to. From founding the NBS, to writing acclaimed political satires for Malayalam dailies to being a recipient of the Padmabhushan on January 26th, 1999 – the day he breathed his last; DC’s achievements are many.
A look into his illustrious life that had a striking milestone on every turn�

Year Milestones
1914 Dominic Chacko Kizhakemuri was born to Chacko and
Mumnayat Eliyamma
  • Passed Secondary School Learning Certificate.
  • Became a teacher when he was just 16 years of age at Kanjirappally. He was known as ‘Kochusaar’.
  • Later, passed TTC from Changanassery. Served 12 years as a teacher.
  • Became a part of the INC and conducted many freedom fight meetings.
1937 Active member of the INC who conducted meetings with K.J. Thomas.
1942 Founded the Sahrudaya Granthasala (Library) with K J Thomas as secretary and DC as a committee member..
  • Became the editor of the Annual Publication of Sahrudaya Granthasala
    • Resigned as teacher and became a farmer.
    • Accepted Ponkunnam Varkey’s invite and came to Kottayam to start National Book Stall.
    • Started NBS in Kalarickkal with 5 members. It lasted only for a month. Ponkunnam Varkey then took over the entire partnership and became the owner. That didn’t last long to. Finally, P T Chacko, Mathew Msubangadan, M C Mathew, V T Mammen and DC decided to run the bookstall.

April 30

    • Sahitya Pravartaka Sahakarana Sangham was registered and started operation.
    • DC was the fifth partner in SPSS. Their first publication was ‘Thakazhiyude Kathakal’


    • Became the Manager at NBS.
    • It was after reaching Kottayam that he came to be known as DC.


  • DC was one of the founding fathers of the Kerala Granthasala Sangham which was started in Ambalappuzha.
Year Milestones
1946-47 November 1946

  • Imprisoned as a C-class detinue for participating in the freedom struggle.
  • Wrote a column named ‘Karuppum Veluppum’ for C M Stephen’s newspaper, ‘Pauraprabha’.
  • For the next six years, wrote for A V George’s, ‘Keralabhooshanam’.
  • Wrote ‘Karuppum Veluppum’ in Mathrubhumi on AP Udayabhanu’s request, who was the Joint Editor of Mathrubhumi.
  • Wrote ‘Karuppum Veluppum’ for the magazine ‘Manoraajyam’.
  • Worked as a journalist for ‘Democrat’, ‘Prasanna Keralam’, and ‘Chitrodayam’ magazines.
1947 December

  • DC took over NBS by buying off the partners shares.
  • DC’s ‘Karuppum Veluppum’ was published as a book. The book was an amalgamation of the articles published in the newspapers, ‘Pauraprabha’ and ‘Keralabhooshanam’. It was a satire on social issues and the political scenario in old Travancore and the Kingdom of Kochi.


  • DC’s book ‘Elivaanam’ was published through SPCS. The book had 15 satirical essays which shed light into Diwan Ramaswamy Iyer’s governance. Kesari A Balakrishnan Pillai’s critical analysis of the book was added in the 2nd edition.
1949 June

  • Became the General Manager of NBS.
1950 August

  • DC’s ‘Kuttichool’ was published. It was a collection of 18 satirical essays about Travancore politics between the period of 1947-1950
  • The sales tax for printed books was abolished at the behest of DC. A far reaching milestone prompted Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to recommend the same on a national level.
1955 April

  • ‘Methranum Kothukum’, a collection of 11 satirical essays about bishops and politics was published. The book has a foreword by Ananthakuttan
1956 February

  • DC kept Thakazhi on house-arrest after Thakazhi went on delaying the submission of ‘Chemmeen’s manuscript. The book was completed and the work went to be printed in a few weeks. When 11 prints were sold, DC edited the 337 page magnum opus to 264 pages and had 11,000 copies printed at Rs.1.50/- The book sold like hot cakes.
  • At the National Book exhibition held at Delhi, the responsibility of setting up the Malayalam section was entrusted with DC. He managed to get the abridged Bible (1772 Rome), New Testament (1811, Bombay and 1829, CMS). The exhibition was visited by Jawaharlal Nehru.

October 3-7

  • DC organized the five-day all Kerala Sahitya Parishad programme.
  • Took charge as Kottayam Public Library Secretary. Organised Lottery Scheme for raising funds for the library. It worked out well. The library was inaugurated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 1st July 1966.
1963 August 26

  • Got married to Ponnamma, daughter of P.V. Isaac. She was a teacher at Thiruvalla Balikamadhom. The wedding was solemnized at Lourde church, Kottayam.
Year Milestones
1964 August 15

  • DC started a new scheme called ‘Selection of stories’ (Thiranjedutha Kathakal). He published the stories of the following authors as a collection: Ponkunnam Varkey, Keshavadev, Thakazhi, Karur and S.K.Pottekad. These books came out with a hardbound cover with beautiful illustrations.
1965 June 30

  • Became SPCS Secretary.
    Introduced new schemes such as Book Installment Scheme(BIS), Home Library Scheme (HLS) and Pre-publication Schemes to increase the sales of the books. The idea of pre-publication scheme was originally conceived by DC. A catalogue enlisting all the Malayalam books was published. The publication date for C.Madhavan’s English-Malayalam dictionary was 15th March 1966. Around 10,000 people made use of this scheme.
1966 October 2

  • It was decided to publish ‘Vishwavigyanakosham’ in ten volumes. This was made possible by DC’s efficient time management.
1967 March

  • With sanction from the then Governor, the second lottery for Kottayam Public Library was initiated under the guidance of DC. The prize money was to be Rs. 1 lakh and the ticket price Rs.1/-. The demand for the ticket was phenomenal and the prize money was soon raised to Rs.1,20,000/-. Using the profit, the library acquired several acres of land. Also the number of books was increased from 7000 to 1,00,000.
  • At that time, the Government decided to start a lottery of its own. The then Finance Minister, P.K. Kunju, came to Kottayam and consulted DC to know more about the management of lotteries. DC gave the machine which was used for the Library lottery for free. In short, it was the Kottayam Public Library Lottery Scheme that acted as model for Kerala State Lotteries.
  • ‘Kottaram Shankunni Smaraka Samithi’ was founded with Malayala Manorama Chief Editor K.M. Cherian as President and DC Kizhakemuri as Vice President.
  • An unabridged edition of A.R.’s ‘Kerala Panineeyam’ was published by DC, which was warmly welcomed by booklovers.
  • On the occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of SPCS, the Chief Minister
  • appreciated DC’s relentless efforts.

April 30

  • The first two volumes of ‘Vishwavijnanakosham’ were published.
  • DC was suspended from the position of SPCS Secretary
1971 October 19

  • The suspension was withdrawn. He was given the temporary post of ‘Special Officer for Planning and Development
1972 January 30

  • DC was reappointed SPCS Secretary as per the decision of the Director Board.

February 1

  • Took charge as SPCS Secretary

September 15

  • Received honorary award for taking part in the freedom struggle.


  • Nominated as a member of the steering group of the State Planning Board’s 5th Five Year Plan.
Year Milestones
1973 December 31

  • DC retired as SPCS Secretary
1974 August 29

  • Making use of the retirement benefits (gratuity, PF), DC started a new bookstore named DC Books. In a rented room at the second floor of M.D. Commercial Centre, DC Books was inaugurated by Adv. N.Krishnan
1975 August

  • DC was nominated to the Malayalam Official Language Committee by the Government.

December 14

  • Kerala Publishers and Booksellers Association elected DC as their President.
1976 April 29

  • Akashavani broadcast DC’s speech on the topic �Book Publishing: Achievements of the cooperative sector in the last ten years
1977 November 1

  • DC took over Current Books which then had only 6 branches and made them into retail outlets.

November 6

  • DC presented an essay on ‘Journalism and Book Publication’ in the first World Malayalam Conference held at Thiruvananthapuram.
1978 March 30

  • Published three volumes of ‘E.V. Krithikal’ (E.V’s Writings) DC unveiled E.V. Krishnan Pilla’s oil painting at the Kottayam Public Library. E.V’s wife B. Maheshwariamma and son Adoor Bhasi were also present at the ceremony.


  • Nominated as Advisory Committee member for the Malayalam section of the National Book Trust at Delhi.
  • Became a member of Kerala State Small Industries Association’s Kottayam Executive Committee.


  • With the Chief Minister as Chairman and DC as a member, the official language committee was reorganized.
1979 April

  • DC was nominated as the Consultant of the documentary ‘Achadiyude Katha’ (The story of Publishing) by the Government. The documentary was made by the Kerala Government Film Development Corperation on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of publishing in Kerala.


  • DC was the Technical Director at the seminar conducted by the National Book Trust, India, at Thiruvananthapuram. The topic of the three day seminar (Nov 26 � Nov 28) was ‘Malayalam Book Publishing in the next decade’.
1981 July 16

  • The Kerala State Freedom Fighters Association’s State Council selected DC as their Treasurer under the Chairmanship of K. R. Ilankkath.


  • With DC as Editor, Current Books began publishing Current Books Bulletin from Kottayam.


  • DC was elected as the president of the Publishers Association of Kerala for the following two years, at the Publishers Association meeting held at Ernakulam.
Year Milestones
1982 January 21

  • DC’s talk with CM A.K. Antony, on the issue of providing for the sustenance and development of art and culture proved fruitful. The newsletter of DC Books, ‘DCB News’ in which DC wrote about the importance of maintaining and developing the arts played an important role in moulding the government’s decision of giving due significance to the fine arts.

February 15

  • DC received the National award for the outstanding printing quality and direction of the book ‘Samkshepavedhaartham’ from President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy at New Delhi.
1983 May

  • DC published a concise version of T.Ramalinga Pillai’s English-English-Malayalam Dictionary (3 Volumes). The book was edited by M.S.Chandrashekharan Warrier. It became India’s largest selling bilingual dictionary.

December 4

  • Akashavani broadcasted ‘Indian Swaathanthrya Samarathinte Kadha’, a programme conceptualized by DC.
1984 February 26

  • DC was elected as the president of the Kerala State Freedom Fighters Association.


  • DC started writing a column ‘Cheriya Kaaryangal Maathram’ for the weekly, ‘Kumkumam’.
  • Akashavani telecasted DC’s speech on the books, �Naduvaazhiyude Mookku’ by V.P.Muhammad and �Priyadarshini’ by Tatapuram Sukumaran


  • A criticism about Kerala Congress in DC’s �Karuppum Veluppum’ was presented in the Legislative Assembly by Lonappan Nambadan.
1989 May

  • DC Books started Malayalam DTP (Desktop Publishing), the first in Indian regional languages.
  • DC was elected the State President of �Navabharathavedi’


  • DC won Thrissur Sahrida Vedi’s award for his admirable contributions in promoting language and culture.
1990 October

  • DC received Dr. Nelson Mandela at Delhi on 15th October, as a member of the National Reception Committee.
1992 July

  • DC Kizhakemuri was unanimously elected as the vice president of the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP). It was the first time that a Malayalee publisher took charge of an organization with representatives from all over India.
Year Milestones
1994 July 19

  • DC won the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies Award for completing 50 years in the publishing business.
1995 January 1

  • DC completed 50 years as a publisher and Managing Partner of DC Books and Current Books.


  • DC was awarded the M.K.K Nair award instituted by the Fact Lalithakala Kendram for his outstanding contribution to the growth and publicity of Malayalam literature.
1996 January

  • DC received the Cyriac Kandathil Award for his selfless contributions as the founder of the SPCS, owner of DC Books, social worker, freedom fighter and as an orator.


  • DC received the ‘Distinguished Publisher of the Year’ Award, an award constituted by the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP). He received the award on 19th August, 1996 at the function held at Delhi.
  • DC received the Veteran Publisher Award constituted by the Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India.
1998 September

  • DC received the Rajeev Gandhi National Award instituted by the Rajeev Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies on the occasion of India’s 50th year of independence.


  • Akhila Vigjyanakosham (revamped edition) was released. Though DC was ailing during that time, he participated in the event, full of enthusiasm and energy, showing no traces of illness. Though, the organizing committee had arranged a wheel chair for him at the entrance, he walked to the stage with a dignity that came naturally to DC, without pausing to look at the wheel chair. This was the last social event DC participated in.

November 8

  • DC received the Swadeshabhimani Smarakasamiti’s 4th award from Opposition Minister Shri. A.K. Antony at a function arranged by the committee at DC’s residence.

November 29

  • DC received the Kodupunna Award from M.G. University Vice Chancellor, Dr. V.N. Rajashekharan Pillai at the function organized at DC’s residence, ‘Devalokam’.


  • DC Kizhakemuri’s name found a place in the Indian Institute of Book Publishing’s, Publishing Hall of Fame at New Delhi.
1999 January 12

  • DC Kizhekemuri’s 85th birthday was celebrated at his residence, ‘Devalokam’, for which all the staff of DC Books and Current Books were present. An ailing DC told his friends and staff, ‘I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to celebrate this day with all of you.’

January 26

  • The Padmabhushan Awards Committee chose DC for the Padmabhushan Award.

January 26, 11.59 pm

  • DC Kizhakemuri breathed his last.

March 23

  • Shrimati Ponamma DC received the Padmabhushan Award from President K.R.Narayanan at New Delhi, on behalf of her husband, Late DC Kizhakemuri.

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