Remembering Girish Karnad, playwright and activist

Today marks the fifth death anniversary of this prolific writer and defender of liberal values

Updated - June 10, 2024 11:23 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 11:02 am IST

A file photo of Girish Karnad.

A file photo of Girish Karnad. | Photo Credit: K. Bhagya Prakash

Eminent playwright, writer and actor Girish Karnad passed away at the age of 81 on June 10, 2019, at his Bengaluru residence due to multiple organ failure. He had a multifaceted career.

As a writer of historical drama, he delved into the unanswered questions in history, as in his play Rakshasa Tangadi or Crossing Over to Talikote; as an activist, he made a statement with his “Me Too Urban Naxal” placard at an even to commemorate slain journalist Gauri Lankesh in 2018.

Karnad has written plays for over half a century, exploring identity and desire, reworking myths and questioning traditional morality. In his plays, he has humanised demons and written extensively on the plight of the underclass. For his social consciousness, he has repeatedly come under fire from extremist forces.

Three years after his death, the playwright’s voice was brought to life again, with the Bangalore International Centre (BIC) hosting a nine-part podcast titled ‘The River has no fear of Memories’ in 2022. The podcast featured extensive conversations Arshia Sattar had with Girish Karnad for a week in June, 2019, cut short by his death on June 10. The Jnanpith awardee in the conversations looks back on his life, work, and concerns.

Here is a collection of stories from our archives to shed light on Karnad, the playwright and activist.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.