Veteran actor, director, playwright and Kannada writer Girish Raghunath Karnad passed away on Monday morning at a hospital in Bengaluru. He was 81 years old.
Girish Karnad was a Rhodes scholar who predominantly worked in the South Indian film industry and Bollywood. He is also credited for bringing in the age of modern Indian playwrighting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi.
Having brought about a Renaissance in Indian theatre, the veteran actor also acted in parallel cinema, in notable works like Manthan( 1976), Samskara( 1970) to commercial blockbusters like Ek Tha Tiger( 2012).
He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.
Karnad was also a prolific writer, his work has been translated into English and other Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, BV Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey among others.
He also was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian government and won 4 Filmfare awards, of which three are for Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada and the fourth a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.
Many notable writers, celebrities and personalities have taken to Twitter to express condolence at the news.
PM Narendra Modi wrote: ” Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.”
Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2019
Amitav Ghosh 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.”
— Amitav Ghosh (@GhoshAmitav) June 10, 2019
Former CM of Karnataka Sadananda Gowda tweeted, in Kannada: “The news of the death of Gyanapitha awardee, senior theatre artist Dr Girish Karnad, was revealed. His contribution to the Saraswat world is vast. Let us pray in the Lord that peace be to the soul.”
ಜ್ಞಾನಪೀಠ ಪುರಸ್ಕೃತ,ಹಿರಿಯ ರಂಗಭೂಮಿ ಕಲಾವಿದ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಡಾ.ಗಿರೀಶ್ ಕಾರ್ನಾಡ್ ನಿಧನ ರಾದ ಸುದ್ದಿ ತಿಳಿಯಿತು . ಸಾರಸ್ವತ ಲೋಕಕ್ಕೆ ಅವರ ಕೊಡುಗೆ ಅಪಾರ .ಅಗಲಿದ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ದೊರೆಯಲೆಂದು ಭಗವಂತನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸೋಣ . pic.twitter.com/C9an457xv2
— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) June 10, 2019
Shruti Haasan wrote, “May you rest in peace Girish Karnad sir. Your talent humour and sharp intellect will be missed.”
May you rest in peace Girish Karnad sir. Your talent humour and sharp intellect will be missed 🙁
— shruti haasan (@shrutihaasan) June 10, 2019
The passing away of veteran actor and theatre personality Sh. #GirishKarnad is a very sad news. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May his soul rest in peace.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) June 10, 2019
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) June 10, 2019
Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Jnanpith laureate writer and iconic actor/film maker, Sri #GirishKarnad .
His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered.
In his death, we lost a cultural ambassador. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/s5bfbh0VgE
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) June 10, 2019
Just heard about #GirishKarnad. Two favourites:
1. As actor, he brought enormous dignity to the emotionally cuckolded husband in SWAMI (a great double bill with the more violent NISHANT)
2. As director, he brought alive the languorously erotic UTSAV, one of our great historicals
— Baradwaj Rangan (@baradwajrangan) June 10, 2019
Mr.Girish Karnad, His scripts both awe and inspire me. He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers. Their works perhaps will make his loss partly bearable.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) June 10, 2019