Reactions to Girish Karnad’s death | Political, cultural leaders pay tribute

Staged missives: Playwright Girish Karnad spoke of the Myth of the First Performance in the 2002 World Theatre Day message Special arrangement Pushkar V

Staged missives: Playwright Girish Karnad spoke of the Myth of the First Performance in the 2002 World Theatre Day message Special arrangement Pushkar V  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he will be “remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums”.

Veteran actor, writer, playwright, director and Jnanpith Awardee Girish Karnad died at the age of 81 in Bengaluru on June 10.

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.

Magazine: The multifaceted Girish Karnad says theatre is not dead

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.

Celebrities and politicians alike condoled his passing.



Our cultural world is poorer today: President Ram Nath Kovind

“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,” tweeted President Ram Nath Kovind.


Saddened by his demise, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the death on Karnad. On June 10, he tweeted, “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.”


India lost a beloved son: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said India has lost a “beloved son” whose memory will live on in the vast treasure trove of the creative work he has left behind.

“My condolences to his family & fans around the world,” Mr. Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

“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,” he added.


We lost a cultural ambassador, says Karnataka CM

In Karnad's death, we lost a cultural ambassador, wrote Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in his condolence message. "His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered," he added.


Deepest condolences to Karnad's family: Karnataka BJP president

"Saddened to hear the demise of veteran actor-playwright and Jnanapeeta awardee Sri. Girish Karnad. My deepest condolences to Raghu Karnad and his family," wrote Leader of Opposition and BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa.


Telangana CM mourns Karnad's death

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed grief over Karnad’s death.

The contributions made by Karnad in the fields of literature, theatre and films have attained international fame, Mr. Rao said.

Mr. Rao conveyed his condolences to the members of the bereaved family, according to an official release.


He will be remembered for his fight for social justice: Congress

Indian National Congress took to Twitter to pay tribute to Karnad.

"Our heartfelt condolences to the family of Shri Girish Karnad in this time of grief. He will be remembered for his prolific writing, his contribution to Indian culture & his fight for social justice," the party wrote.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Litterateur par-excellence, actor, director, playwright and activist - the passing away of Girish Karnad shall leave an irreplaceable void in the Indian creative arena.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans. May his soul rest in peace,” he added.


Nobody can replace him during these difficult times: Siddaramaiah

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said that Girish Karnad's death has created a great vaccum in the intellectual space.

"Nobody can replace him during these difficult times but I am sure his works will guide millions. May his soul rest in peace," he wrote on Twitter.


We have lost a great personality: Fadnavis

“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.


A great supporter of freedom of expression: Rajasthan CM

In his condolence message, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that Karnad was multi-faceted and a great supporter of freedom of expression. He raised the problems of the common man through his writing and acting, the Chief Minister said.

Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot tweeted, “I condole the demise of great theatre personality and Padma Bhushan Girish Karnad, He will always be remembered for contribution to literature, theater and cinema.”

Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje also expressed grief over Karnad’s demise. She said it is an irreparable loss to Indian cinema and literature.


Literature, cinema world will miss him: Odisha CM

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the world of literature and cinema will miss him.

“Saddened to learn about passing away of iconic actor, litterateur, playwright, Padma Shri #GirishKarnad. He will be missed in the world of literature and cinema. May his soul rest in peace,” Mr. Patnaik said in his twitter handle.

Odisha’s ruling BJD spokesman Sasmit Patra said, “The man who epitomised my childhood through Malgudi Days is no more. A legend across films, television and theatre, he inspired millions.”


Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said Karnad’s demise was saddening.

Mr. 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!” Mr. Pawar said on Twitter.


NCP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar tweeted, “Deeply saddened to hear of the sad demise of Noted Playwright, Actor & Director #GirishKarnad, who won the Jnanpith Award & was conferred with Padma Shri & Padma Bhushan. His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre & films will always be remembered.”


Historian and writer Ramachandra Guha said that it was a privilege to have known Karnad.

"Playwright, actor, institution-builder and patriot, Girish Karnad was a colossus. It was a privilege to have known him, a far greater privilege to have seen his plays and read his work," Mr. Guha said on Twitter.

"In his plays, Girish Karnad beautifully and seamlessly blended North and South, the folk and the classical, the demotic and the scholarly. In his life, he embodied the richness and depth of Indian civilization more nobly and less self-consciously than anyone else I knew," he added.


Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said Karnad's passing 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 Raghu Karnad," he wrote on Twitter, adding that a flame that lit up so many minds has been extinguished.


Girish Karnad was one of modern India's treasures, wrote CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, adding that the veteran playwright had stood out for his commitment to social upliftment, equality and secularism.

"It is a huge personal loss too," wrote Mr. Yechury on Twitter.


Sushma Swaraj called Karnad’s death a "huge loss to the art world."

"I am extremely sorry to hear about the sad demise of Shri Girish Karnad. The passing away of such a talented artist is a huge loss to the art world," she wrote in her message on Twitter.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to express his condolences on Karnad's passing. "Girish ji's views and artistic contribution will be missed by the country," he wrote.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 10:07:49 AM |

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