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Veteran Playwright Girish Karnad: Things To Know

His writing work includes plays such as Yayati, Ayavandana, Tughlaq

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Girish Karnad was a veteran and film personality awarded with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree in 1992. He was born on 19 May 1938 in Mumbai. He worked as actor, playwright and filmmaker in his career along with the great contribution to various political and social activities.  

He was born on 19 May 1938 in Mumbai. His initial schooling was in Marathi and was exposed to travelling in various theatre groups. He was a great admirer of various traditional forms such as “Yakshagana” and various plays in his village.

Acting and Film Making

The most memorable role played by him is that of Swami’s father in RK Narayan’s Tv series creation “Malgudi Days”. He played a key role in movies "Ek Tha Tiger"(2012) and its sequel "Tiger Zinda Hai"(2017). He was also the brief director of Film and Television Institute, Pune and Nehru Centre in London.


His writing work includes plays such as Yayati, Ayavandana, Tughlaq. He wrote the play in Kannada language and then translates it to English without disturbing the originality of his work.

Social and Political Activist

He worked as a fearless Social and Political Activist. He was among the 200 writers who put a letter against “politics of hate”. He was charged for holding a playing card while protesting against the murder of Gauri Lankesh and even received statements threatening for his life when he spoke that Bengaluru airport should be renamed during the 18th century.


He was a receiver of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India. He was awarded fourth highest Gallantry Award, “Padma Shree” and third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan in 1974 and 1992 respectively with seventeen other awards.

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