Kesari Balakrishna Pillai (1889–1960), was a Malayalam writer, art and literary critic, journalist, thinker and visionary.
Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, who was known by the name of the newspaper he ran, Kesari. He was also a literary critic, essayist and translated literary works form French and other languages to Malayalam in order to give guidance to other writers. Kesari is the most influential figure in modern Kerala's intellectual life. M. N. Vijayan has compiled many of Kesari's works with the title Kesariyude Lokangal. He was a mentor of many writers. The Trivandrum Kesari Memorial Hall is named after him. When Travancore rulers banned his newspaper, he left Trivandrum and the rest of his life was spent at Paravoor.
Kesari was born in 1889, his parents being Akathoot Damodaran Kartha and Parvathy Amma. Pillai belonged to the Pulickal Mele Veedu family of Thampanoor, Trivandrum.
His father was a scholar of some repute. Later his father divorced his mother. Pillai had his primary education in Trivandrum and Quilon. He took his B.A in history from Maharaja's College, Trivandrum with distinction. He taught in Women's College, Trivandrum and Trivandrum Maharaja's College for some time. Kesari took his law degree while working. As he was not very successful as a lawyer, he took up journalism career. He died on 18 December 1960.