Home Art/Culture Veteran actor, playwright Girish Karnad no more

Veteran actor, playwright Girish Karnad no more

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TCN News

Legendary actor, playwright, Rhodes scholar, public intellectual, director Girish Karnad breathed his last today morning at his residence in Bengaluru. Girish Karnad, 81 years, was being treated for a prolonged illness and this morning succumbed to multiple organ failure.

Regarded as one of the most prominent theatre personalities of the 60s and 70s, a period regarded as the Renaissance of Indian theatre, he wrote his play Yayati in 1961.

He authored the famous play ‘ Thuglaq’ on the life of the Sultan of Delhi Mohammed Bin Thuglaq, whose rule despite his great vision was a failure. This play was also a commentary on contemporary politics.

He wrote and translated his plays which were staged and even made into films in southern languages and also Hindi.

Girish Karnad also acted in movies in south including Hindi such as Teri Kasam, Manthan, Meri Jung, Nishant, Ek tha Tiger, Tiger zinda hai, Chalk and duster to name some. His last film which he scripted is ‘Kondura’  released in January 2019 in Hindi and Telugu. He also acted in television serials, the most popular one being ‘Malgudi Days’

Girish Karnad was conferred with the Jnanpith Award in 1998 for his contribution to literature and arts. Karnad was also honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

He was targeted by the right winged groups for his opinions especially on the ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan on whom he authored a play and showered praises calling Tipu calling among great kannadigas in the last 500 years. It was believed that Karnad was on the hit list of the gang that killed Gauri Lankesh and was given security by the state police.

The Karnataka Government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges and three-day state mourning. He is survived by his son Raghu Karnad, daughter Shalmali Radha Karnad and wife Saraswati Ganapathi.

The last rites of the veteran will be held at Kalpalli crematorium in Bengaluru.