Veteran playwright and actor Girish Karnad no more

Veteran playwright and actor Girish Karnad no more

Veteran playwright and actor Girish Karnad no more

Girish Karnad (81), the prominent and critically-acclaimed playwright, who also had a stint with acting, is no more.

A Rhodes scholar, Karnad wrote his first play "Yayati" in 1961 at the University of Oxford. Master playwright and multi-lingual scholar, Karnad was the creator of a unique genre of historical plays like Tughlaq and Hayavadana.

Tributes have been pouring in, with politicians and celebrities remembering his outstanding contributions.

Early success in theatre paved the way for films. He entered films as a writer and actor in Samskara in 1970. Since then, he wrote many plays that won him national and worldwide appreciation.

Actor, dramatist and director Girish Karnad is presented the Jnanpith Award by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on March 27, 1999 in New Delhi, India. When hundreds turned up at Karnad's house to pay homage, the family requested them to pay their last respects to him at the crematorium and declined to keep his body for public viewing outside. He is also remembered for his role in the TV adaptation, Swami and Friends, based on R K Narayan's stories of the fictitious town of Malgudi. She met Dr Raghunath Karnad and tied the knot after five years of courtship despite opposition from the conservative Hindu society.

He was also seen in Bollywood's Salman Khan's Tiger Zinda Hai in 2017, which was a sequel of Ek Tha Tiger.

He was the recipient of Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992. He had also received four Filmfare Awards, including for the Best Director - Kannada.

"It will be a holiday today for one day for all government offices, schools and colleges due to the sudden demise of Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad".

Karnad, who straddled the worlds of theatre and cinema in various languages, was born on May 19, 1938 in Matheran. "In his life, he embodied the richness and depth of Indian civilisation more nobly and less self-consciously than anyone else I knew". Several filmmakers expressed condolences as well.

Right-wing Hindu groups targeted him and his work, forcing a south Karnataka temple to cancel the staging of his play Nagamandala in the summer of 2015 after Karnad participated in a beef-ban protest.

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