Girish Raghunath Karnad (Konkani : गिरीश रघुनाथ कार्नाड, Kannada : ಗಿರೀಶ್ ರಘುನಾಥ್ ಕಾರ್ನಾಡ್) (born 19 May 1938) is a contemporary writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language. His rise as a prominent playwright in 1960s, marked the coming of age of Modern Indian playwriting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did it in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi. He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award for Kannada, the highest literary honour conferred in India.
For four decades Karnad has been composing plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He has translated his major plays into English, and has received critical acclaim across India. His plays have been translated into several Indian languages and directed by eminent directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B. V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan and Amal Allana. He is also active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter, both in Hindi and Kannada cinema, earning numerous awards along the way. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
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