Girish Karnad is no more

Noted actor, writer and playwright Girish Karnad passed away in Bengaluru today. He was 81.

He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian government. He had also received four Filmfare Awards, including for the Best Director – Kannada.

He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award — the highest literary honour conferred in India. Karnad was a prominent playwright for four decades, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues.

His plays have been translated into English and several Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, BV Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan, Amal Allana and Zafer Mohiuddin.

He began his cinema career in 1970 with Samskara, and went on to act in the classic television show Malgudi Days.
Recipient of the 1998 Jnanapeeth award, Karnad has also been honoured with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. He is celebrated internationally for his plays such as the critically acclaimed Yayati (1961), the historical Tughlaq (1964), and his three seminal works Hayavadana(1971), Nagamandala(1988) and Taledanda(1990). These works link folklore, mythology, and history while tackling the contemporary crisis of the modern man.

Many have taken to Twitter to express their sorrow at the news, including author Amitav Ghosh, who wrote: “Saddened to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad – a great writer and a very important public voice. Thoughts are with @rkarnad and his family.

For four decades Karnad has composed plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He has translated his plays into English and has received acclaim.
His plays have been translated into some Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B. V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan, Amal Allana and Zafer Mohiuddin.