Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Girish Karnad passes away at 81

Girish Karnad passes away at 81

He was a Rhodes scholar in the 1960s and earned a master of arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics, the Press Trust of India news agency said. The CM also declared one-day public holiday. As per his last wish, the family has made a decision to not follow any religious and state honour during his last rites.

Karnad breathed his last at his residence at Lavelle Road in Bengaluru at 6.30am.

He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian government.

Born in Mumbai (then Bombay Presidency) on May 19, 1938, Girish Karnad wrote his first play, "Yayati", at the University of Oxford.

Karnad, who had vehemently criticised attacks on journalists and writers across the country, was given security by the Karnataka Police after his name was found to be in the list of ultra right-wing activists that had planned to kill him. Ali also said he was fortunate enough to work with him and the kind of experience he brought in on the sets was incredible, he always had something new and more to add. Karnad made his acting debut and screenwriting debut in iconic Kannada movie, "Samskara" (1970).

He was popular on television as well, especially for playing a role in "Malgudi Days".

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President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda have offered their condolences. Karnad received the nation's highest literary award, the Jnanpith, in 1998 besides winning several national and state awards for films he had written or acted in.

"Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums".

His second play gave him national recognition after it was staged in Mumbai and also translated to Bengali and Marathi. "Tiger Zinda Hai" director Ali Abbas Zafar also reacted to the filmmaker's demise.

His tweet further stated that the state had lost its cultural ambassador.

Girish is considered one of the most prominent playwrights in Kannada literature.

Three years later, in 1964, Karnad wrote Tughlaq, another play based on the story of the 14th-century king Muhammad bin Tughluq.

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