K Mohanan was born to Shri Kalavara Krishna Pillai and Smt Pandavath Kuttiyamma on 5 April 1940 in Pallana, Thrukkunnapuzha, near Karthikappilly, Alapuzha district. Traditionally Pandavarath tharavadu contributed much to the growth of the communist party in the central Travancore region. So, for Mr. Mohanan journalism and politics were identical. His uncle Mr.R.Sankara Narayanan Thampi was the first speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
After getting a degree in Economics, from the University College Trivandrum, Mr.Mohanan joined Deshabhimani, and started his career in journalism from Calicut unit. He used to write articles in the Chinta weekly which made him a prominent figure among journalists. In 1965, he was transferred to Trivandrum with a portfolio of assembly reporting, which he continued for 15 years. In addition to the assembly reports, his investigative and political reports made him a journalist to be reckoned with.
The series of reports published by him on the controversial Idukki Hydro -electric project created much hue and cry which led to appointment of an enquiry commission on the matter. The commission later found that what Mohanan reported was absolutely right.
While working in Kochi unit during the emergency period, he played a key role in overcoming the pre censorship imposed on the paper. He worked as the personnel assistant to EMS and as political secretary to EK Nayanar during their tenure as Chief Ministers. In 1982, Mr.Mohanan was elected to Rajya Sabha and served as a member of various Parliamentary committees. He was promoted first to the position of the Resident editor and later the General Editor of Deshabhimani in Trivandrum unit.
His hilarious political satire – Thalashtani – which appeared in Deshabhimani during that period was an eye-opener to the general public. He chaired the Kerala Press Academy twice - first during 1988-91, and then in 1999 – 2001. His leadership qualities made an indelible mark as the president and the secretary of Trivandrum Press Club several times.
Mr. Mohanan is one of the pioneers of the students’ movement in Kerala. He has been honoured several times for his voluminous contribution in the field of journalism with recognitions such as Kesari memorial Award, Kerala Press Academy Award, Vijayaraghavan Award, etc. His wife Padmavathi is the niece of AKG. He is blessed with two daughters - Indu, an employee with Deshabimani, and Bindu an advocate.