Veteran actor, playwright and director Girish Karnad passed away on Monday (Jun 10) in Bengaluru, India. He was 81, reports city times.
Karnataka has declared a holiday for schools, colleges and government offices in the state on Monday and a three-day mourning until Wednesday as a mark of respect to Jnanpith awardee, multi-lingual actor and noted writer, an official from the Chief Minister's Office said.
A Rhodes scholar, Mr Karnad debuted in films in 1970 and acted in nearly a 100 movies since then.
But he is perhaps best-known for his incisive plays which are widely seen as a commentary on contemporary India.
Tributes from Indian writers, intellectuals and politicians have been pouring in on Twitter.
Born in Maharashtra's Matheran in the year 1938, Karnad rose to fame with a Kannada play named Tughlaq which he had written at the age of 26. Karnad, known for his work in the field of literature and cinema, also became a renowned face in the country after essaying the role of Swami's father in Malgudi Days TV series.
He was outspoken about his political views and participated in protests against a spate of lynchings that targeted Muslims in recent years.
He was conferred with Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992.
For his outstanding contribution towards literature, Bharatiya Jnanpith also awarded him with Jnanpith, the highest Indian literary award in 1998, four years after winning the Sahitya Academy award in 1994.