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  5. Girish Karnad dies: Nation mourns the loss of great actor and noted playwright

Girish Karnad dies: Nation mourns the loss of great actor and noted playwright

The 81-year-old actor, who was also branded an Urban Naxal for standing up and fighting for the freedom of expression.

India TV Entertainment Desk Written by: India TV Entertainment Desk New Delhi Updated on: June 10, 2019 20:03 IST
Girish Karnad, 81 passes away
Image Source : INSTAGRAM

Girish Karnad, 81 passes away

 Political leaders, theatre personalities and artists from the entertainment industry, on Monday, condoled the death of Girish Karnad, saying they will miss the brilliance of the iconic playwright-actor-director and his immense contribution to art and culture. Karnad, 81, died on Monday after prolonged illness at his Bengaluru residence. He was a progressive voice that championed the freedom of expression. He worked across industries - Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Marathi. 
President Ram Nath Kovind called Karnad's death an irreparable loss to the world of Indian theatre."Sad to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad, writer, actor and doyen of Indian theatre. Our cultural world is poorer today. My condolences to his family and to the many who followed his work #PresidentKovind," the tweet by the president read.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Karnad for speaking up about causes dear to him."Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace," the tweet by the PM read.
Politician and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also condoled Karnad's death."Heartfelt condolences on passing away of one of modern India's treasures, Girish Karnad. A writer, dramatist, director and actor par excellence. He stood out for his commitment to social upliftment, equality and secularism. It is a huge personal loss too,"Yechury tweeted.
South star-turned-politician Kamal Haasan lauded the rich legacy of the veteran writer and director."Mr Girish Karnad, His scripts both awe and inspire me. He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers. Their works perhaps will make his loss partly bearable," Haasan tweeted.
Chandrashekhar Kambar, president, Sahitya Akademi said he lost a "very intimate friend" in Karnad."He was my colleague. We wrote plays in a very competent manner. He came all the way from Bombay and acted in my play 'Jokumaraswamy'. When he got the Jnanpith Award I celebrated, when I got one he celebrated. I'm very sad," Kambar told PTI.
Choreographer-actor Prabhu Dheva recalls working with him in his 1984 film "Kadhlan" directed by S Shankar. "He was such a nice person, intelligent and incredibly humble. He was so talented, (he was) the smartest. I still remember shooting the film with him. I remember meeting him often at airports. He always surprised me with his humility," Prabhu Dheva told PTI. 
Actor Sonam Kapoor wrote on Twitter, "Rest in peace. I loved his work."
The influence of Karnad's work was massive and spread across a generation of artists from veteran star Kamal Haasan to the younger, Bollywood actor Ali Fazal said. "One of my first big production at the Doon School was #GirishKarnad's 'Hayavadana'. A masterpiece that I got to perform. I remember it so vividly. An extraordinary man. He will be remembered for his unique sense of style and persona. In writing in acting and in life," Fazal wrote on Twitter. 
Actor Tisca Chopra recalled how conversations with Karnad on theatre and writing have had a huge impact on her life. "Deeply saddened at the passing of #GirishKarnad... He was kind to let me rent his house in #Bandra when I first came to Mumbai. Spent many evenings chatting with him about theatre and writing... Those chats had a deep impact on my choices at work.. #RIP dear friend. You will be missed," she tweeted. 
Anil Kapoor remembered the old times and tweeted, "I met Girish Karnad way back when he was the principal of the film institute & then worked with him in Pukar. He was a great man & playwright. His stories will forever remain in our hearts & minds. Sending my prayers & heartfelt condolences to his family."
Actor Shruti Haasan also took to Twitter and wrote, "May you rest in peace Girish Karnad sir. Your talent humor and sharp intellect will be missed."
Actor Siddharth tweeted, "Rest in peace great sir. #GirishKarnad." 
Shabana Azmi tweeted, "Deeply saddened to learn about Girish Karnad. Haven't yet been able to speak with his family. Its been a friendship of 43 years and I need the privacy to mourn him. I request the media to kindly excuse me from giving quotes".
Manoj Bajpayee tweeted, "Huge huge loss for the world of theatre cinema and literature! The creative world will always be indebted to him. We lost our inspiration. Girish Karnad sir".
Director Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted, "Deeply saddened by the news of demise of Girsh Karnadji. He will be remembered for his work as a theater personality, film actor, and director. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans".
Gulshan Devaiah tweeted, "A playwright, filmmaker, actor, thinker, scholar and literary giant. Goodbye good sir! And thank you Girish Karnad 1938-2019".
Playback singer Papon also tweeted, " Don't see the point writing personal feelings on twitter but just couldn't stop myself to tell the world that today I again feel loss in a true sense! One actor we all loved and respected is no more Girish Karnad a person I connected at various levels. Praying for the his soul."
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to twitter and shared a heartfelt note,which says, "This is a devastating loss. Just a few months ago he sent me the draft of his brilliant new historical play. He was at the peak of his creative talent. Profound condolences to his devoted wife Saras & brilliant son @rkarnad. A flame has been extinguished that lit up so many minds"
Bollywood actress Divya Dutta also tweeted, "RIP Girish Karnad sir... One actor whose inherent goodness reflected in his eyes. The thorough gentleman. Exceptional playwright. 'Swami Ratnadeep Manthan' embedded in my childhood memories. A gem we lost today."
Kabir Bedi tweeted, "Deeply saddened by the passing of playwright Girish Karnad. My biggest break in theatre was playing the title role in his 'Tughlaq', directed by Alyque Padamsee, which led me into the film industry in 1970s. One of India's great'playwrights, immortalised by his creativity. RIP."
Anupam Kher took to Twitter and wrote, "Deeply saddened to know about the sad demise of Sh. #GirishKarnad ji. He was a great artist, scholar and a brilliant playwright. My first small appearance in the film Utsav was under his direction. Also acted in both #Tuglaq and #Hayavadan - plays written by him. On Shanti."
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Playwright, actor, director but above all a great human being, in Girish Karnad’s passing India has lost a beloved son, whose memory will live on in the vast treasure trove of creative work he leaves behind.My condolences to his family & fans around the world."

Though he started off his career in cinema as an actor, he is best known as a writer and thinker. Karnad was one of the most prominent artistic voices of his generation. He was an eminent playwright with works such as "Nag-Mandala", "Yayati" and "Tughlaq", which was one of the most successfully performed plays, to his credit.
He also worked in Hindi cinema's parallel film movement in movies such as "Swami", and "Nishant".His TV credits include "Malgudi Days" in which he played Swami's father and a hosting stint in the science magazine "Turning Point" on Doordarshan in the early 1990s. 
In later years, Karnad was seen in commercial films such as Salman Khan's "Tiger Zinda Hai" and Ajay Devgn-starrer "Shivaay".