ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS The funeral of noted playwright, actor and filmmaker Girish Karnad who passed away on Monday morning in Bengaluru will be a low- key affair. Honouring his last wishes, his family has decided to avoid any sort of processions or public viewing.
Karnad is said to have suffered multiple organ failure and breathed his last around 6.30am. According to reports, the cremation, which will not include any religious rituals, will be held at an electric crematorium in Baiyappanahalli. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced a holiday for government offices, schools and colleges on Monday following his demise. Taking to Twitter, he called Karnad's demise the ''loss of a cultural ambassador'.
Not just as a cultural figure, Karnad was known for his secular voice that championed the cause of freedom of expression. A striking image of Karnad from recent times is that of him, not in the best of health, at an event to mark the first death anniversary of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru. With a tube in his nose, Karnad was seen with a placard around his neck which read: 'Me Too Urban Naxal'.
Karnad was born in Matheran, Maharashtra in 1938. A Rhodes scholar in Oxford, Karnad has written several plays in Kannada and is considered one of the most prominent playwrights in Kannada literature. While at Oxford, Karnad wrote his first play, the critically acclaimed Yayati in 1961. His other acclaimed works include Tughlaq (1964), Hayavadana (1972) and Nagamandala (1988).
The Jnanapith Award recipient made his acting and screenwriting debut in the Kannada movie Samskara in 1970, based on a novel by U.R. Ananthamurthy and won the first President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema. He made his directorial debut with Vamsha Vriksha (1971), based on a Kannada novel by S.L. Bhyrappa. Other popular films in Kannada include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane (1977) and Ondanondu Kaaladalli (1978).
It is the end of an era as the ace playwright and actor, also known for his comments on social and political issues, breathes his last.
Tributes have been pouring in, with politicians and celebrities remembering his outstanding contributions.