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Girish Karnad Height

Girish Karnad

Name: Girish Karnad

Birthdate: 19th. May, 1938.

Birth place: Mathern, Maharastra.

Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics and Statistics in 1958 from

Karnataka University, Dharwar. Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, England. Earned a Rhodes Scholarship.

Mother tongue: Konkani

Occupation(s): Playwright, Film Director, Actor, Poet

Literary movement:   Navya

Debut work(s): Tughalak (1961)

Girish Karnad is a revered author, thespian, actor and movie director in Kannada language.

In 1999, Karnataka gained a rare literary distinction when the Jnanpith Award - the highest literary honor bestowed in India was conferred upon noted him for his work in Kannada literature. Karnataka became the only state, and Kannada the only language, to have seven Jnanpith Awardees. Not even Hindi, the national language, had that distinction. KARNAD Kannadigas rejoiced, not only due to the rare honor, but also because Karnad deserved the award. Anybody who is even remotely familiar with his work could have seen that.

For over four decades, Karnad has received international accolades composing amazing plays, often drawing references from history and mythology with respect to modern-day concerns.
In his youth, during his college days, Karnad nurtured the dream of achieving international glory, but he imagined that he would do so through literary works in the English language. He went to England and studied at Oxford where he earned a Rhodes Scholarship. In the end, Karnad received widespread recognition in India as well as abroad, through his works in the Indian languages.

His first play, Yahati (1961), was composed neither in English nor in his mother tongue Konkani, but in Kannada. The play, which was an account of the exploits of mythological characters from the Mahabharata, was a resonant success and was translated and produced in several other Indian languages. His gripping parable on the Nehruvian era, Tughlaq was enacted by the National School of Drama.

Karnad had the honor of being a Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Chicago.

When Karnad started writing plays, Kannada literature was highly influenced by renaissance in Western literature. Writers would chose a subject which looked entirely alien to manifestation of native soil. In a situation like that Karnad found a new approach like drawing historical and mythological sources to tackle contemporary themes. His first play "Yayati"(1961), ridicules the ironies of life through mythical characters in Mahabharata and became an instant success, immediately translated and staged in several other Indian languages. "Tughlaq"(1964), his best loved play, established Karnad as one of the most promising playwrights in the country.

Karnad has also ventured into the world of cinema as an actor, director, and screenwriter, and has achieved countless awards during his career. He debuted as a director with the movie "VamshaVruksha", an adaptation of a Kannada novel by S.L. Bhairappa. The movie won several national and international awards. Karnad had also acted in "Samskara" which is a movie based on a novel by U.R. Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhirama Reddy. That movie obtained the first President's Gold Medal Award for Kannada cinema. Later, Karnad directed several movies in Kannada and Hindi as well. Some of his famous Hindi movies include "Utsav" and "Godhuli". Karnad has received critical acclaim for his acting in several movies.

Awards and Honors

For literature

    * Jnanpith Award - 1998
    * Padma Shri - 1974
    * Padma Bhushan - 1992
    * Kannada Sahitya Academy award - 1992
    * Sahitya Academy award - 1994
    * Sangeet Natak Akademi award - 1972
    * Rajyotsava award

For movies

    * President's Gold Medal for the Best Indian film for "Samskara" - 1970
    * National Award for Excellence in Direction for "VamshaVruksha"(Shared with B.V. Karanth) - 1972
    * National Award for the Best Script for "Bhumika" - 1978
    * Golden Lotus for the Best Non-Feature Film for "Kanaka Purandara" - 1989
    * Karnataka State Award for the Best Supporting Actor in "Santa Shishunala Shareef" - 1991
    * FilmFare Award for Best Script for Godhuli(shared with B.V. Karanth) - 1978
    * Mysore State Award for Best Kannada film and the Best Direction for  VamshaVruksha - 1972
    * Gubbi Veeranna Award


    * Tughlaq
    * Hayavadana
    * Nagamandala
    * Agni mattu Male (The Fire and the Rain)
    * Odakalu Bimba
    * Yayaathi
    * Anjumallige
    * Maa Nishaadha
    * Tippuvina Kanasugalu (The Dreams of Tipu Sultan)
    * Taledanda
    * Hittina Hunja


    * Nagamandala
    * Agni mattu Male remade into a Hindi movie titled "Agnivarsha"
    * Tabbaliyu neenade magane
    * Ondanondu Kaaladalli
    * Cheluvi
    * Kadu
    * Kanooru Heggaditi
    * Hindi movies directed by him include "Utsav" and "Godhuli".

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