Veerendra Kumar presented Amrita Keerthi award

Kollam (Kerala): India`s unity and integrity were essentially rooted in its spirituality and culture that had uninterruptedly flourished through centuries, eminent writer and veteran politician M P Veerendra Kumar said today.

"India exists not on its military strength. It has survived through the centuries by drawing strength and inspiration from its spiritually-oriented culture," Kumar said after receiving the Amrita Keerthi literary award instituted by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math.

The award was presented to Kumar by Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan in the presence of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the Amritapuri Ashram near here. Union Ministers Vilas Rao Deshmukh and K C Venugopal were also present.

Hundreds of devotees from different parts of the world turned up at the function, organised on the occasion of the 58th birthday of Amritanandamayi Devi, known worldwide as "Amma" or Mother.

Lauding the services of Amma, Kumar said through her spiritual guidance and acts of charity transcending national borders she helped humanity experience love, mercy and grace in a world of hard realities.

Kumar, CMD of Mathrubhumi media group and Chairman of Press Trust of India, was chosen for the honour for his widely-acclaimed work `Haimavathabhoovil`, which narrates the author`s journey along the Himalayan ranges and reflects the Indian thought and vision.

The award consists of Rs 1,23,456, a memento and citation.