No funeral procession, tributes: Karnad's cremation as per last wishes

Veteran film and theatre personality Girish Karnad passes away at 81

He studied math and statistics at the Karnataka Arts College in Dharwad and then at Magdalen College in Oxford, U.K. and was a Rhodes Scholar. The CM also declared one-day public holiday.

"Though the Karnataka government made a decision to conduct Karnad's last rites with state honours, we have chose to respect his wishes and allowed his family to do it accordingly", an official told IANS.

A large number of people from the worlds of literature, cinema and politics gathered at the Kalpalli electric crematorium where he was cremated in the afternoon.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala: "Litterateur par-excellence, actor, director, playwright and activist- the passing away of Girish Karnad shall leave an irreplaceable void in the Indian creative arena".

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Considered one of India's distinguished playwrights, Karnad wrote his first play in 1961. He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda have offered their condolences. In a career spanning six decades, Karnad acted in Kannada, Hindi and Marathi films, in both mainstream and parallel cinema.

Karnad received India's top literary prize, the Jnanpith Award, and two national awards, the Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992, for his body of work. He became a renowned face in the country after essaying the role of Swami's father in Malgudi Days, the TV series based on short stories by RK Naryanan. "His outstanding contribution to literature, theatre and films will always be remembered". His plays were translated into English and several Indian languages. "In his death, we lost a cultural ambassador".

Girish Karnad (81), the prominent and critically-acclaimed playwright, who also had a stint with acting, is no more. His latest play was Rakshasa Tangadi, published previous year. It was a privilege to have known him, a far greater privilege to have seen his plays and read his work. Actors like Kamal Haasan, Sonam Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar spoke about him.

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