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Girish Karnad (1938-2019): Playwright who engaged with history to articulate India’s modernity


Till the end, through six decades of public life, Girish Karnad continued to pitch himself — his frail body, his breathless self — into the battles of the present.

For one of India’s greatest modern playwrights, modernity was not a repudiation of the past but a conversation with it. (Express archive photo)

Girish Karnad wrote his first play on a ship to England. He was 22, travelling to Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship and leaving behind a family acutely anxious about the departure of their son to foreign lands. In that “intense emotional turmoil”, he found himself writing in Kannada ...


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