Girish Karnad Height
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)
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.
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
* Jnanpith Award - 1998
* President's Gold Medal for the Best Indian film for "Samskara" - 1970
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