The man who is known to have shaped modernist Indian theatre, Girish Karnad died his morning at a hospital in Bengaluru after a long illness at the age of 81. The veteran actor was known for his political voice and talking about causes that were dear to him.

He made his acting debut and screenwriting debut in iconic Kannada movie, "Samskara" (1970), based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy. It was directed by Pattabhirama Reddy and the film won the first President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema. Though he started off his career in cinema as an actor, he is best known as a writer and thinker.

“Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace” tweeted the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

President of India Ram Nath Kovind also tweeted his condolence.

“Sad to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad, writer, actor and doyen of Indian theatre. Our cultural world is poorer today. My condolences to his family and to the many who followed his work”

Karnad was awarded the Padma Shri in 1974 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992. He also received the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary prize in 1999 for his contributions to literature and theatre.

“Jnanapith Awardee noted actor and playwright, Mr Girish Karnad is no more. He was very close to the Institute. In him, IIC has lost a trusted guide and philosopher” posted Indian Institute of Cartoonists.

‘Nation loses a precious gem” posted Syed Ahmed.

“Playwright, actor, director but above all a great human being, In Girish Karnad’s passing India has lost a beloved son, whose memory will live on in the vast treasure trove of creative work he leaves behind. My condolences to his family and fans around the world” says Rahul Gandhi.