Jnanpith victor, multi-lingual actor Girish Karnad dead


South actor Venkatesh Daggubati who had worked together with Girish in the movie Dharma Chakram, has shared a heartfelt post for the late veteran. According to the wishes of Karnad, his mortal remains were not kept for public viewing, nor was it taken in a procession. As such, his body will be handed over to an electric crematorium.

"Playwright, actor, institution-builder and patriot, Girish Karnad was a colossus".

Survived by his wife, Dr Saraswati Karnad and his two children, the Rhodes scholar had suffered from a prolonged illness related to his lungs that required him to wear a mobile oxygen concentrator during the last few years.

India's president and the prime minister expressed their condolences over Karnad's death at his home in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state.

PM Modi remembered him for his "versatile acting" and tweeted, "Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums". Manohar Granthmala is also credited with popularising Kannada literature as it was one of the earliest publishers of Kannada literary works.

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Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced a holiday yesterday, declaring government offices, schools and colleges remain shut as a mark of respect towards the veteran actor's demise. Saddened by his demise. "May his soul rest in peace".

He was a reputed scholar, who raised his voice on socio-political issues. In 1963, he completed his Master's from Oxford University, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics.

Born in Matheran, now in Maharashtra, Karnad had moved to Dharwad in Karnataka with his parents as a boy.

He made his directorial debut with "Vamsha Vriksha", a Kannada-language movie that won a National Film Award for best direction along with B.V. Karanth, who co-directed the film. "His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered". He became a renowned face in the country after essaying the role of Swami's father in Malgudi Days, the TV series based on short stories by RK Naryanan.

Karnad was a Jnanpith award victor, multi-lingual scholar, master playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and a colossus in India's cultural landscape.