7 Interesting Facts About Honourary 1998 Jnanpith Award Winner Girish Karnad

Parinika Uchil

June 10, 2019


1 min

1. Girish Karnad was born 9 years before independence

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Girish Raghunath Karnad, also known as Girish Karnad, is one of the biggest contributors to the Sandalwood cinema. An actor, movie director, playwright and contemporary writer in the Kannada language, the son of the state, Girish Karnad has been composing plays for over four decades now! Want to know something even more awesome? The master playwright translated his own plays to English! His efforts have won him many awards over the course of his career and rightfully so.

On his birthday today, we will look at seven super cool things about this legend to say thanks for all his contributions to Namma Karunadu. Alongside the beautiful hills of Matheran, Maharashtra, on 19th May 1938, a legend by the name Girish Raghunath Karnad was born. Having stayed in Matheran and Sirsi (Karnataka) in his youth, he soon became well-versed with both languages.

2. The list of awards won by Girish Karnad will fill you with pride

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For his literary works, the 1998 Jnanpith Award winner has been bestowed with more prestigious awards like the Padma Bhushan (1992), the Padma Shri (1974) and the Kalidas Sanman (1998), amongst others for his literary works.

In cinema, he has won over five awards in each; The National Film Award, Filmfare Awards South, Filmfare Awards Hindi and Karnataka State Film Awards. A great award mention would be the National Film Award for Best Feature Film In Kannada for the movie Ondanondu Kaladalli, available for you to watch on the ZEE5 platform. He also won the Filmfare Awards South for best director Kannada, for the same film! #respect

3. He was exposed to a lot of theatre groups as a child

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After shifting from Matheran to Sirsi, Girish Karnad witnessed many Natak Mandalis (theatre groups) with his parents, who were also fond of the performing arts. Soon, he learnt about Yakshagana (the traditional theatre form of Karnataka) and began to grow a strong liking for it too.

4. Yayati (1961) and Tughlaq (1964) gave him the boost that he needed as a playwright

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Both the plays he wrote, Yayati in 1961 followed by Tughlaq in 1964, were inspired by earlier prominent writers but gave the necessary boost he needed. The first play he wrote was about King Yayati, while the second one spoke about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.

5. Girish Karnad's screenwriting and acting film debut won the President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada Cinema

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Directed by Pattabhirama Reddy, the film Samskara (1970) marked the screenwriting and acting debut of the legend, Girish Karnad. The film won the President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada Cinema (a true pride for the state). A fun fact, the movie was inspired by a novel written by U.R Ananthamurthy.

6. Who remembers Malgudi Days?

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A rage back in its times, almost no one can forget that intro track of the show and the characters. In case you forgot, debutant Girish Karnad played the role of Swami’s father for the first eight episodes of Malgudi Days. #nostalgia

7. Girish Karnad is the voice of APJ Abdul Kalam in his autobiography

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It’s true! Mr Karnad was the voice of APJ Abdul Kalam when his autobiography, Wings of Fire, was turned into an audiobook, by the company Charkha Audiobook.

Don’t forget to wish Padma Bhushan Girish Karnad, a very happy birthday in the space given below.

Watch your favourite Kannada movies, on the ZEE5 Platform by clicking here.

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