The Karnataka government on Monday announced a three-day state mourning following the demise of multi-lingual actor and noted writer Girish Karnad.

Declared by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the state mourning means that all schools, colleges and government offices in the state will remain closed till Wednesday.

A one-day public holiday has also been declared as a mark of respect for Karnad. Reports say this might lead to a postponement of a proposed expansion of the Cabinet.

“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,” Kumaraswamy tweeted.

 

His demise was also mourned by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“Sad to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad, writer, actor and doyen of Indian theatre. Our cultural world is poorer today. My condolences to his family and to the many who followed his work,” President Kovind wrote on Twitter.

 

“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,” PM Modi tweeted.

 

Karnad, 81, died at his residence in Bengaluru earlier today due to multi-organ failure.

A Rhodes scholar who predominantly worked in the South Indian film industry and Bollywood, Karnad is also credited for bringing in the age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada.

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.

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 in Kannada and the fourth a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.