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Last Updated : Jun 10, 2019 04:41 PM IST | Source:

Veteran film and theatre personality Girish Karnad passes away at 81

He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award -- the highest literary honour conferred in India.

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Veteran film and theatre personality Girish Karnad passed away on June 10 in Bengaluru. He was 81.

He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award -- the highest literary honour conferred in India.

Karnad was also a prominent playwright. His plays were translated into English and several Indian languages.


He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian government. He had also received four Filmfare Awards, including for the Best Director – Kannada.

Girish 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.

Karnad was born on May 19, 1938 in Matheran, Maharashtra. His early schooling was in Marathi. At 14, his parents moved to Dharwad in Karnataka, where he was exposed to travelling theatre groups -- an interest ignited by his parents who were deeply interested in plays. As a youngster, Karnad was an admirer of Yakshagana (a traditional theatre form) and theater in his village.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Karnatak Arts College, Dharwad, in 1958. He then travelled to England and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalen in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (1960–63), earning his Master of Arts (MA) degree in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics.

After working with the Oxford University Press, Chennai between 1963 and 1970, he resigned to take to full-time writing. In Chennai, he was involved with local amateur theatre group -- The Madras Players.

Karnad predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. For four decades, he composed plays using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues.

Girish Karnad

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First Published on Jun 10, 2019 09:43 am
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