Born on 19th May 1938, Girish Raghunath Karnad is a multi-faceted artiste; he is not only an actor, but also a writer, director and playwright. He has mainly worked in South Indian films. He was awarded the Jnanpith Award during 1998; this award is the highest literary recognition in India. Girish Karnad has been working on plays for around 40 years. His subject of interest is mythology and history. He has also done translation of his plays into English language. Moreover, his translated plays in regional languages were directed by many directors.
During the 60s Karnad was an outstanding playwright and Kannada world witnessed Modern Indian playwrighting through him. Kannada literature was carried away by the Western literature during the time when Karnad stepped into writing plays. Here, then Karnad used historical and mythological sources to handle contemporary issues. “Yayati”, his first play, condemns life’s ironies with the help of characters in Mahabharata. This new theme got immediate response and was much appreciated. Another play of his, Tughlaq, made Karnad as one of the worthy playwrights to look out for.
Girish Karnad is most prominent in Hindi and Kannada industry. He has Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan to his credit and he is also the proud recipient of 4 Film Fare awards. Karnad has worked in Hindi movies including Godhuliand, Utsav and Pukar. His film titled Kanooru Heggaditi received critical recognition. It is the adaptation of a novel of Kannada writer.
Girish Karnad had donned various roles in his career and he adopted writing as a full-time career for some time. He is known for his narration in the famous audio book series for children,
. He has also voiced Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in the audio book “Wings of Fire”.
Girish Karnad has got international acclaim as a playwright, actor, director, poet, translator and critic. His strong point as a playwright is that he tries to establish a link between the present and the past. And in fact, he has indeed gained the acclaim that he truly deserves.