Cannankaraveetil Velayudhan Raman Pillai was a playwright of Malayalam literature born to middle class parents. His early education included learning Sanskrit and Ayurveda. He graduated from the University of Madras.
C.V. Raman Pillai is considered a pioneer in the field of Malayalam journalism. He worked with many Malayalam and English dailies. The gifted Pillai edited news papers and wrote novels and plays in Malayalam. His sharp and incisive pen first brought forth the news paper “The Kerala Patriot” (1882), followed by the “Malayali” in 1886, “Vanchiraj” in 1901 and finally “Mitabhashi” in 1920.
Pillai’s works are classed with the greats in Indian literature like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Harinarayan Apte. The novels “Marthanda Varma“, “Dharmaraja” and “Ramarajabahadur” are classics that undoubtedly put him in the ranks of world literary genius. He drew inspiration from his roots enriched with tradition and wove them into unforgettable epics.
Modern Malayalam drama traces its origins to Pillai’s work. Malayalam in prose form began with his eleven farces. They set the tone and paved the way for present day Kerala theatre.
He used history as a means to unfold the intricacies of human life, both on the sociopolitical and on the psychological planes. The first book published by C.V. Raman Pillai was a satire called “Chandramukhivilasam“. He has to his credit a number of novels and satirical plays including “Marthanda Varma“, “Premamritam“, “Dharma Raja” and “Ramaraja Bahadur“. “Kuruppillaakkalari“, “Tentanamkotu Harischandran“, “Doctorkku Kittiya Micham” are among his humorous plays.