In deference to Karnad’s wishes, the family had decided not to follow any religious ceremonies or accept state honours during cremation
RENOWNED playwright, actor and Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad, who left his indelible mark in the world of literature, theatre and cinema spanning five decades, passed away at his residence here on Monday after prolonged illness, his family said. A multi-hyphenate personality, who often courted controversies for his fearless vocal stance on several issues, Karnad, 81, is survived by wife Saraswathi, son Raghu Karnad, a journalist and writer, and daughter Radha. Raghu said his father was suffering from lung-related illness.
“He passed away some time this morning and we found his body at 8.30 am. He was sleeping. As you all know, he was quite unwell for some time. He had a lung illness- that is what finally took his life,” Raghu told reporters here. “I’m so grateful to all his fans, his admirers and we hope that his memory will last with everyone in Karnataka for a long time,” he added. A recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Karnad was one of the most important literary minds of the present era, who enriched the Indian literature with his seminal works in his native language Kannada. He wrote, acted in and directed several plays and movies that earned critical acclaim.
His most well known works include the plays “Yayati”, “Tughlaq” and “Naga-Mandala”, which have been translated from Kannada to English and other Indian languages. Karnad was also a well-known face in Kannada and Hindi cinema ranging from parallel films such as “Samskara”, “Nishant”, “Manthan” to commercial outings such as “Tiger Zinda Hai” and “Shivaay”. The mortal remains of Karnad were cremated at Kalpali electric crematorium in the city in the afternoon. In deference to Karnad’s wishes, the family had decided not to follow any religious ceremonies or accept state honours during cremation. Karnataka Ministers D K Shivakumar, R V Deshpande, several personalities from theatre and film, including B Jayashree and Suresh Heblikar, paid their last respects. Declaring a holiday on Monday as a mark of respect to Karnad, the Chief Minister’s office in a statement also announced a three-day State mourning.
The CMO had announced that Karnad will receive state honours, which is in line with respect given to other Jnanpith awardees in the past. However, state honours were not given, respecting the wishes of the Karnad and his family. “I had a meeting with family members- Karnad’s son, daughter and friends. They have declined it as per the wish of their father, and thanked the Government,” Shivakumar said. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Karnad, saying he will be remembered for his work for years to come. Kovind said with Karnad’s demise, India’s cultural world has become poorer. Modi said 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,” he posted on Twitter. Mah politicians pay tribute to Karnad: POLITICIANS cutting across party lines in Maharashtra paid glowing tributes to noted playwright and actor Girish Karnad who died Monday after a prolonged illness.
“With the demise of noted actor, writer and Jnanpith Awardee Girish Karnad, we have lost a great personality of Indian cinema, especially theatre. He was also associated with Marathi theatre. My humble tribute.. Deepest condolences to his family, friends & fans! #GirishKarnad,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted. NCP President Sharad Pawar said Karnad’s demise was saddening. Pawar said the Jnanpith awardee had made a huge contribution in the spheres of literature and culture. “This artist made valuable contribution in Marathi theatre’s matured movement. Tributes to him!” Pawar said on the micro-blogging site. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan observed Karnad was a sensitive artist, who was aware of social issues. The Shiv Sena also paid tributes. Party spokesperson Manisha Kayande has lauded Karnad for creating a separate identity in the area of literature.