Girish Karnad, well-known writer, playwright, actor and public intellectual passes away

Published: June 10, 2019

Girish Karnad (81), well-known writer, playwright, actor and public intellectual, has passed away on June 10 in Bengaluru. Born in May 1938, he was one of the most prominent theatre personalities of the 60s and 70s, a period regarded as the Renaissance of Indian theatre. He worked with mythology and history and gave them a contemporary resonance in plays such as Nagamandala, Tughlaq and Hayavadana. He wrote his first play Yayati in 1961 when he was a Rhodes Scholar in England. Karnad translated most of his plays himself. His last play was ‘Rakshasa Tangadi’, published in 2018, set in the last years of the Vijayanagar empire. He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award — the highest literary honour conferred in India. He was also conferred the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and had won several accolades for direction in Kannada cinema. He predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. In 2012, he played the role of RAW chairman, Shenoy, in Salman Khan-starrer ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. He reprised his role of Shenoy in ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’. Karnad was also a presenter of award-winning TV series – Turning Point on Doordarshan National during the 1990s. The show was based on science and new discoveries.

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