Veteran actor, playwright Girish Karnad passes away

Veteran actor, playwright Girish Karnad passes away”

Noted playwright, actor, director and Jnanpith award winning writer Girish Karnad, also a Rhodes scholar, had passed away after prolonged illness.

"The state government has declared holiday for all schools, colleges and offices for the day (Monday) and three-day mourning till June 12 as a mark of respect to Karnad", the official of the Chief Minister's Office told IANS. He was born in Matheran, Maharashtra.

Shyam Benegal's 1975 drama Nishant saw Karnad take on the role of the school master, who mobilises an entire village to stand up against their oppressors and bring justice to his sexually abused wife, played by Shabana Azmi. Then he went to Karnataka, where he started attending theatre groups, Natak Mandalis.

Karnad, who often used history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues, had his works translated into various Indian languages and helmed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B V Karanth and Alyque Padamsee among others. He made his movie and screenwriting debut with the adaptation of U R Ananthmurthy's seminal Kannada novel "Samskara" in 1970.

He was conferred with Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992. The film won Best Marathi film award at National Awards and it is considered as "a honest cinematic statement on the theme of a woman seeking to establish her identity by pursuing a career, even at the risk of alienation from her family".

Karnad played Swami's father in the TV adaptation of R K Narayan's "Malgudi Days" and hosted "Turning Point", a science programme.

Many of his Bollywood movies include Nishaant, Manthan, Swami, Pukar, Iqbal, Dor, 8 x 10 Tasveer and Aashayein.

He provided the voice of late President APJ Abdul Kalam in the audiobook of Kalam's autobiography "Wings of Fire". The film was adapted to screen from Kannada writer Kuvempu's novel Kanooru Subbamma Heggadithi and marked the first instance where a Jnanpith recipient directed a film based on the work of another Jnanpith awardee.

Javed Akhtar (L) and Girish Karnad discuss notes during the release of book "Deshakaala" at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bangalore in 2010. "May his soul rest in peace", the Prime Minister tweeted.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar also tweeted his condolences, "Deeply saddened by the news of demise of Girsh Karnad ji".

Not just literary works, the multifaceted personality got himself involved in films.

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