Veteran actor Kamal Haasan: "Girish Karnad, His scripts both awe and inspire me". His wish was that there should be no religious last rites for his mortal remains. Karnad received the nation's highest literary award, the Jnanpith, in 1998 besides winning several national and state awards for films he had written or acted in.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also conveyed his heartfelt grief by posting a tweet which said, "Sad news coming in the morning about the passing away of veteran noted actor and playwright Girish Karnad". He was aged 81 and survived by his wife Saraswathi, son Raghu Karnad and daughter Radha.
Modi said Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. His works will continue being popular in the years to come.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda have offered their condolences. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. Saddened by his demise. She wrote on Twitter, "May you rest in peace Girish Karnad sir".
The state government in Karnataka has declared a day of mourning.
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He was a reputed scholar, who raised his voice on socio-political issues.
Girish Karnad forayed into films with the Kannada movie Samskara in 1970.
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.
Girish Karnad was born in Matheran, Maharashtra, on 19 May, 1938. He graduated from the Karnataka University, and was a Rhodes Scholar in the University of Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. 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. He has also worked with directors like Satyajit Ray and brought in actors like Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Shekhar Suman and Sonali Kulkarni, and cinematographer Rajeev Menon to Hindi cinema.
Karnad was also tapped as the head of the Film and Television Institute of India in 1974-75, Sangeeta Natak Academi from 1988-93 and Nehru Center in London from 2000-03.