|Born||Girish Raghunath Karnad|
19 May 1938
Matheran, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now in Maharashtra, India)
|Died||10 June 2019 (aged 81)|
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
|Alma mater||Karnataka University|
Magdalen College, Oxford
Ajit Shenoy in YRF Spy Universe
|Spouse||Dr Saraswathy Ganapathy|
|Children||Raghu Karnad, Shalmali Radha|
Girish Karnad (19 May 1938 – 10 June 2019) was an Indian actor, film director, Kannada writer, playwright and a Jnanpith awardee, who predominantly worked in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi films. His rise as a playwright in the 1960s marked the coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi. He was a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.
For four decades Karnad composed plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He translated his plays into English and received acclaim. His plays have been translated into some Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B. V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan, Amal Allanaa and Zafer Mohiuddin.
He was active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada cinema, and has earned awards.
He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and won four Filmfare Awards, of which three are Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada and the fourth a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award. He was a presenter for a weekly science magazine programme called "Turning Point" that aired on Doordarshan in 1991.
Early life and education
Girish Karnad was born in Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin family of Matheran, in present-day Maharashtra, in 1938. His mother Krishnabai (née Mankikar) was a young widow with a son who belonged to a poor family. Since it was necessary for her to earn a living, she began working as a nurse and cook (general housekeeper) for the bedridden wife of a certain Raghunath Karnad, a doctor in the Bombay Medical Services. He was from the Konkani speaking Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community.
Some five years later, and while the first wife was still alive, Krishnabai and Dr. Raghunath Karnad were married in a private ceremony. The marriage was controversial not because of bigamy (it was legal until 1956 for a Hindu man to have more than one wife) but because of the prevailing social prejudice against widow remarriage. Therefore, the wedding was held privately, and under the dispensation of the Arya Samaj, a reform organization that condones widow remarriage. Girish was the third of the four children born thereafter.
Karnad's initial schooling was in Marathi. Later, after his father was transferred to Sirsi in the Kannada-speaking regions of Bombay Presidency, Karnad was exposed to travelling theatre groups and nataka mandalis (theatre troupes), which were experiencing a period of efflorescence during the iconic Balgandharva era . As a youngster, he was an ardent admirer of Yakshagana and the theater in his village. His family moved to Dharwad in Karnataka when he was fourteen, where he grew up with his two sisters and a niece.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and statistics from Karnataka Arts College, Dharwad (Karnataka University), in 1958. After graduation, he went to England and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalen in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (1960–63), earning his Master of Arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics. Karnad was elected the President of the Oxford Union in 1962–63.
After working with the Oxford University Press, Chennai for seven years (1963–70), he resigned to take to writing full-time. While in Madras (now known as Chennai) he got involved with local amateur theatre group, The Madras Players.
During 1987–88, he was at the University of Chicago as visiting professor and Fulbright playwright-in-residence. During his tenure at Chicago Nagamandala had its world premiere at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis based on Karnad's English translation of the Kannada original.
He served as director of the Film and Television Institute of India (1974–1975) and chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy of the performing arts (1988–93). He served as director of the Nehru Centre and as Minister of Culture, in the Indian High Commission, London (2000–2003).
Karnad is known as a playwright. His plays, written in Kannada, have been translated into English (mostly translated by himself) and some Indian languages. Kannada is his language of choice.
When Karnad started writing plays, Kannada literature was highly influenced by the renaissance in Western literature. Writers would choose a subject that looked entirely alien to manifestation of native soil. C. Rajagopalachari's version of the Mahabharata published in 1951, left a deep impact on him and soon, sometime in the mid-1950s, one day he experienced a rush of dialogues by characters from the Mahabharata in Kannada.
"I could actually hear the dialogues being spoken into my ears ... I was just the scribe," said Karnad in a later interview. Yayati was published in 1961, when he was 23 years old. It is based on the story of King Yayati, one of the ancestors of the Pandavas, who was cursed into premature old age by his preceptor, Shukracharya, who was incensed at Yayati's infidelity.
Yayati, in turn, asks his sons to sacrifice their youth for him, and one of them agrees. It ridicules the ironies of life through characters in Mahabharata. The play in Hindi was adapted by Satyadev Dubey and Amrish Puri was lead actor for the play. It became an instant success, immediately translated and staged in several other Indian languages.
Karnad found a new approach of drawing historical and mythological sources to tackle contemporary themes and existentialist crisis of modern man through characters locked in psychological and philosophical conflicts. His next was Tughlaq (1964), about a rashly idealist 14th-century Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq, and allegory on the Nehruvian era which started with ambitious idealism and ended up in disillusionment. This established Karnad, now 26 years old, as a promising playwright in the country. It was staged by the National School of Drama Repertory under the direction of Ebrahim Alkazi, with the actor Manohar Singh, playing the visionary king who later becomes disillusioned and turns bitter, amidst the historic Purana Qila in Delhi. It was staged in London by the National School of Drama for the Festival of India in 1982.
Hayavadana (1971) was based on a theme drawn from The Transposed Heads, a 1940 novella by Thomas Mann, which is originally found in the 11th-century Sanskrit text Kathasaritsagara. Herein he employed the folk theatre form of Yakshagana. A German version of the play was directed by Vijaya Mehta as part of the repertoire of the Deutsches National Theatre, Weimar.
Naga-Mandala (Play with Cobra, 1988) was based on a folk tale related to him by A. K. Ramanujam, brought him the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award for the Most Creative Work of 1989. It was directed by J. Garland Wright, as part of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis. The theatre subsequently commissioned him to write the play, Agni Mattu Male (The Fire and the Rain). Though before it came Taledanda (Death by Beheading, 1990) which used the backdrop, the rise of Veerashaivism, a radical protest and reform movement in 12th century Karnataka to bring out current issues.
Karnad made his acting as well as screenwriting debut in a Kannada movie, Samskara (1970), based on a novel by U.R. Ananthamurthy and directed by Pattabhirama Reddy. That movie won the first President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.
In television, he played the role of Swami's father in the TV series Malgudi Days (1986–1987), based on R. K. Narayan's books, directed by Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag. He also hosted the science magazine Turning Point on Doordarshan, in the early 1990s.
He made his directorial debut with Vamsha Vriksha (1971), based on a Kannada novel by S. L. Bhyrappa. It won him National Film Award for Best Direction along with B. V. Karanth, who co-directed the film. Later, Karnad directed several movies in Kannada and Hindi, including Godhuli (1977) and Utsav (1984). Karnad has made number of documentaries, like one on the Kannada poet D. R. Bendre (1972), Kanaka-Purandara (English, 1988) on two medieval Bhakti poets of Karnataka, Kanaka Dasa and Purandara Dasa, and The Lamp in the Niche (English, 1989) on Sufism and the Bhakti movement. Many of his films and documentaries have won several national and international awards.
His Hindi movies include Nishaant (1975), Manthan (1976), Swami (1977) and Pukar (2000). He has acted in a number of Nagesh Kukunoor films, starting with Iqbal (2005), where Karnad's role of the ruthless cricket coach got him critical acclaim. This was followed by Dor (2006), 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) and Aashayein (2010). He played a key role in movies "Ek Tha Tiger" (2012) and its sequel "Tiger Zinda Hai" (2017) produced by Yash Raj Films.
Karnad has acted in the Kannada gangster movie Aa Dinagalu.
Awards and honours
- Rajyotsava Award – 1970
- Sangeet Natak Akademi award and Varthur navya Award – 1972
- Padma Shri – 1974
- Padma Bhushan – 1992
- Kannada Sahitya Parishat Award – 1992
- Sahitya Academy award – 1994
- Jnanapith Award – 1998
- Kalidas Samman – 1998
- Honorary doctorate by University of Southern California, Los Angeles – 2011
- 1971: Best Direction: Vamsha Vriksha (with B. V. Karanth)
- 1971: Best Feature Film in Kannada: Vamsha Vriksha
- 1973: Second Best Feature Film: Kaadu
- 1977: Best Feature Film in Kannada: Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane
- 1978: Best Screenplay: Bhumika (with Shyam Benegal and Satyadev Dubey)
- 1978: Best Feature Film in Kannada: Ondanondu Kaladalli
- 1989: Best Non-Feature Film: Kanaka Purandara
- 1990: Best Non-feature Film on Social Issues: The Lamp in the Niche
- 1992: Best Film on Environment Conservation: Cheluvi
- 1999: Best Feature Film in Kannada: Kaanuru Heggadathi
- 1972: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Vamsha Vriksha
- 1974: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Kaadu
- 1978: Filmfare Award for Best Director - Kannada – Ondanondu Kaladalli
- 1983: Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Kannada - Ananda Bhairavi
- 1980: Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay: Godhuli (with B. V. Karanth)
- 1980: Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor: Aasha
- 1982: Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor: Teri Kasam
- 1971-72: First Best Film – Vamsha Vriksha
- 1971-72: Best Dialogue Writer – Vamsha Vriksha
- 1973-74: Second Best Film – Kaadu
- 1989-90: Best Supporting Actor – Santha Shishunala Sharifa
- 1995-96: Best Supporting Actor – Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai
- 1999-00: Second Best Film – Kanooru Heggadithi
- Gubbi Veeranna Award for his services to theatre (as a playwright)
- Karnad served as the director of the Film and Television Institute of India from 1974 to 1975, the Indian co-chairman for the Joint Media Committee of the Indo-US Sub-Commission on Education and Culture from 1984 to 1993, chairman of the Sangeet Natak Academy from 1988 to 1993, and president of Karnataka Nataka Academy from 1976 to 1978.
- Honorary Doctorate from University of Southern California, Los Angeles – 2011
- 1996 -Dr.T.M.A.Pai Konkani Distinguished Achievement Award for Performing Arts
At the Tata Literary Festival held in Mumbai in 2012, Karnad was invited to speak about "his life in theater" in an hour-long session. During his speech, he lashed out at V. S. Naipaul for his "antipathy towards Indian Muslims". Naipaul had earlier been conferred the Lifetime achievement award by the festival's organisers. Karnad also criticized the organizers for having honored Naipaul. The audience, which had gathered to hear Karnad speak, had mixed reactions to the speech. Some, like organizer Anil Dharker, tried ineffectually to steer the speech toward less controversial waters. Others were amused by the episode, and some commented on the research and logic that had gone into the speech (unfortunately overshadowed by its 'scandalous' nature).
In November 2015, during celebrations marking the anniversary of 18th-century Muslim ruler Tipu Sultan's birth, Karnad stated that Bangalore International Airport should have been named after Tipu Sultan instead of Kempe Gowda. This created a furore among many people. Karnad apologised the following day.
While working in Madras for Oxford University Press on his return from England, Karnad met his future wife Saraswathi Ganapathy at a party. They decided to marry but the marriage was only formalised ten years later, when Karnad was 42 years old. Saraswathi was born to a Parsi mother, Nurgesh Mugaseth, and a Kodava Hindu father, Kodandera Ganapathy. The couple had two children. They lived in Bangalore. He was extremely fluent and well-versed in Marathi, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi, and English.
He was a proponent of multiculturalism and freedom of expression. He was a critic of religious fundamentalism. He had publicly condemned the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and later spoke against the attempts to create controversy about the Idgah Maidan in Hubli. He had opposed RSS, BJP and other organizations on several occasions. He opposed Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister's post in the 2014 parliament elections. He was one of the 200 writers who put out an open letter against hate politics and for “diverse and equal India” during the 2019 general elections. With a tube in his nose, he wore a placard saying "Me Too Urban Naxal" at the first death anniversary of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh. Karnad claimed that Tipu Sultan was the greatest king Karnataka had in 500 years, on a religious controversy about the king. Karnad was a supporter of the Forum for Communal Harmony.
"After a discussion with his son, it was made clear to us that his last wish was to not have any floral procession, VVIPs or visits of any dignitaries. Hence, it will be a simple affair."
Plays in Kannada
- "Maa Nishaadha" (One Act Play)
- "Yayati" (1961)
- "Tughlaq" (1964) (translated in Hindustani by B. V. Karanth. Major Indian directors who have staged it: Ebrahim Alkazi, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Dinesh Thakur & Shyamanand Jalan (in Bengali).
- "Hayavadana" (1971)
- "Anjumallige" (1977) (translated in Bengali name "JAMINI", by Dr. Biswa Roy, Director Film and T.V media. Published by Papyrus, in the year January 2007. )
- "Hittina Hunja" aka "Bali" (The Sacrifice) (1980)
- "Nagamandala" (1988) (Play with Cobra), based on the script of this play, Nagamandala, A movie in Kannada language was released in 1997, starring Prakash Raj and Vijayalakshmi.
- "Taledanda" (1990) (Death by Beheading), in Hindi it is known as Rakt-Kalyan translated by Ram Gopal Bajaj, first directed by Ebrahim Alkazi for NSD rep., then by Arvind Gaur (1995–2008, still running) for Asmita Theater Group, New Delhi.
- "Agni mattu Male" (1995) (Agni Aur Varsha, The Fire and the Rain), first directed by Prasanna for NSD Rep.
- "Tipu Sultan Kanda Kanasu" (The Dreams of Tipu Sultan)
- "Odakalu Bimba" (2006) (Hindi, Bikre Bimb; English, A heap of Broken Images)
- "Maduve Album" (2006)
- "Flowers" (2012)
- "Benda Kaalu on Toast" (2012)
- "Rakshasa Tangadi" (2018)
Plays translated in English
- Tughlaq, Oxford University Press.
- Hayavadana, Oxford University Press.
- Yayati, Oxford University Press.
- Nagamandala: Play with Cobra, Oxford University Press.
- Fire and the Rain, Oxford University Press, 1998.
- Bali : The Sacrifice, Oxford University Press.
- Tale Danda, Oxford University Press.
- Wedding Album, Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Boiled Beans on Toast, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Crossing to Talikota, Oxford University Press, 2019.
- Collected Plays, Vol.1, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2005 (Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Bali: The Sacrifice, and Naga Mandala)
- Collected Plays, Vol.2, Oxford University Press, 2005 (Tale-Danda, The Fire and the Rain, The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Two Monologues: Flowers and Broken Images)
|1971||Vamsha Vriksha||Raju (lecturer)||Kannada|
|1974||Jadu Ka Shankh||Hindi|
|1978||Sandharbha||Psychiatrist||Kannada||Special Appearance in climax|
|1980||Beqasoor||Dr. Anand Bhatnagar||Hindi|
|1981||Shama||Nawab Yusuf Khan||Hindi|
|1982||Umbartha||Advocate Subhash Mahajan||Marathi|
|1983||Ananda Bhairavi||Narayana Sarma||
|Ek Baar Chale Aao||Din Dayal||Hindi|
|1985||Nee Thanda Kanike||Rao Bahadur Raja Ram Mohan Rao||Kannada|
|Meri Jung||Deepak Verma||Hindi|
|Sur Sangam||Pandit Shivshankar Shastri||Hindi|
|Neela Kurinji Poothappol||Appu Menon||Malayalam|
|Naan Adimai Illai||Rajasekhar||Tamil|
|Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe||Hindi|
|1990||Santha Shishunala Sharifa||Govindabhatta||Kannada|
|Nehru: The Jewel of India||Hindi|
|1991||Mysore Mallige||Padma's Father||Kannada|
|Chaitanya||Retired Major Harischandra Prasad||Telugu|
|Kadhalan||Kakarla Satyanarayana Murti
(Governor of Tamil Nadu)
|1995||Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai||Hanagal Kumaraswamiji||Kannada|
|Minsaara Kanavu||Amal Raj||Tamil|
|1998||China Gate||Sunder Rajan
(Black Dog Security Chief)
|April Fool||A. N. Ramakrishnaiah
(Chief Minister of Karnataka)
|Aakrosh: Cyclone of Anger||Rajwansh Shashtri||Hindi|
|1999||Kanooru Heggadithi||Chandregowda||Kannada||Director also|
|Janumadatha||Dr. Akbar Ali||Kannada|
(Home Minister of India)
|Hey Ram||Uppilli Iyengar||Tamil|
|2001||Vande Matharam||Mr. Ballal||Kannada|
|Shankar Dada MBBS||Satya Prasad||Telugu|
|2007||Aa Dinagalu||Girish Nayak||Kannada||Screenplay Writer also|
|Lava Kusha||Ranga Rao||Kannada|
|2008||Chilipili Hakkigalu||School Master||Kannada|
|2009||8 x 10 Tasveer||Anil Sharma||Hindi|
|Life Goes On||Sanjay||English|
|2010||Komaram Puli||Narasimha Rao
|Kempe Gowda||Mahadev Gowda||Kannada|
|2012||Ek Tha Tiger||Dr. Ajit Shenoy
|2013||Sweety Nanna Jodi||Priya's Father||Kannada|
|2014||Samrat & Co.||Mahendra Pratap Singh||Hindi|
|2015||Rudra Tandava||Shivaraj's Father||Kannada|
|Rana Vikrama||K. V. Anand Rao||Kannada|
|Chalk n Duster||Manohar Sawant||Hindi|
|2017||Tiger Zinda Hai||Dr. Ajit Shenoy
|Sketch For Love||Telugu|
- Malgudi Days (1987)
- as Swamy's father in Swamy and Friends (Episodes 1 to 8)
- as the Watchman in The Watchman (episode 17)
- Indradhanush (1989) as Appu and Bala's father
- Khandaan (TV series)
- Apna Apna Aasman
- Swarajnama as the main host and director, aired on DD1 and Doordarshan
- Vamsha Vriksha (1971, Kannada)
- D.R. Bendre (1972, documentary)
- Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane (1977, Kannada)
- Godhuli (1977, Hindi)
- Ondanondu Kaladalli (1978, Kannada)
- Kanooru Heggadithi (1999, Kannada)
- Kaadu (1973, Kannada)
- Durga in Mahendar
- Utsav (1984, Hindi)
- Woh Ghar (1984, Hindi), based on Kirtinath Kurtakoti's Kannada play Aa Mani
- The Lamp in the Niche (1990) (documentary)
- Cheluvi (1992, Kannada and Hindi (dubbed))
- Chidambara Rahasya (2005, Kannada) (tv film for DD1)
- Om Namo (A mini series for Dooradarshan, directed by K M Chaitanya)
- Kusuma Bale (A mini series for Dooradarshan, directed by K M Chaitanya)
- Evam Indrajit (English) by Badal Sircar. Translated by Girish Karnad. 1974.
Works in translation
- Yayati. Oxford University Press.
- Yayati (Hindi). Tr. by B. R. Narayan. Rajkamal Prakashan Pvt Ltd, 2008. ISBN 81-7119-627-6.
- Tughlaq: A play in 13 scenes, Oxford Univ. Press, 1972
- Tughlaq (Assamese). Translation Utpal Datta. Assam Publication Board. 2005
- Nagamandala (Assamese) Translation. Utpal Datta. Assam Publication Board. 2005
- Hayavadana, Oxford University Press, 1975.
- Tughlaq (Marathi), Tras. Vijay Tendulkar. Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 81-7185-370-6.
- Three Plays: Naga-Mandala; Hayavadana; Tughlaq. Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-19-563765-8.
- Tughlaq (Hindi). Tr. by B. V. Karanth. Rajkamal Prakashan Pvt Ltd, 2005. ISBN 81-7119-790-6.
- Collected plays Vol 1: Tuglaq, Hayavadana, Bali: The Sacrifice, Naga-Mandala. Oxford University Press. 2005. ISBN 0-19-567310-7.
- Collected Plays: Taledanda, the Fire and the Rain, the Dreams of Tipu Sultan, Flowers and Images: Two Dramatic Monologues: Flowers : Broken Images, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, USA. 2005. ISBN 0-19-567311-5.
- Three plays by Girish Karnad. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-563765-8.
- Cheluvi (Assamese). Translation Utpal Datta.
- ‛Aadaadtha Aayushya’, published by Manohara Grantha Mala, 2011.
- "Girish Karnad passes away, end of an era in Indian theatre and cinema". The News Minute. 10 June 2019. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- "Sahitya Akademi : Who's Who of Indian Writers". Sahitya Akademi. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Drama between the lines". Financial Express. 28 January 2007. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Jnanpith for Dr Girish Karnad". Rediff.com. 21 January 1999. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- AWARDS: The multi-faceted playwright[Usurped!] Frontline, Vol. 16, No. 3, 30 Jan.–12 Feb 1999.
- "The untold story of Girish Karnad". mint. 13 June 2019. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- "Girish Karnad, the artiste as a brave intellectual". Hindustan Times. 12 June 2019. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
- "How a Brahmin woman broke into the twentieth century". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
- Kumar, p.115
- "Conversation with Girish Karnad". Bhargavi Rao on Muse India. Muse India. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- "Conversation: 'I wish I were a magician'". Livemint. 11 October 2013. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "Presidents of the Union since 1900". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. pp. 527–532. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
- Sachindananda, p. 57
- "PROFILE: GIRISH KARNAD: Renaissance Man". India Today. 12 April 1999. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- Sachindananda, p. 58
- Don Rubin (1998). The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Asia. Taylor & Francis. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-415-05933-6. Archived from the original on 4 July 2023. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "USC News". Mobile.usc.edu. 14 April 2011. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- "25th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "25th National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "Biography and plays of Girish Karnad". Archived from the original on 4 December 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2004.
- "Honorary Doctorate for Karnad". Sify. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- Girish Karnad slams V S Naipaul for his anti-Islam views, questions his Mumbai fest award Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Indian Express, 3 November 2012.
-  Archived 10 November 2012 at the Wayback MachineDeccan Chronicle.
- "Rabindranath Tagore a 'second-rate playwright', Girish Karnad says". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Karnataka Simmers Over Tipu Sultan Row, Girish Karnad Offers Apology". NDTV. 12 November 2015. Archived from the original on 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "Girish Karnad offers apology over remarks on Kempegowda". The Hindu. 12 November 2015. Archived from the original on 4 January 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "WebHost4Life | Web Hosting, Unix Hosting, E-Mail, Web Design". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Girish Karnad: An activist who fought for liberal values". Hindustan Times. 10 June 2019. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Girish Karnad Caught in Web of 'New Language' of Hindutva Politics". www.google.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Girish Karnad: Writer, actor and activist who too was on the hit list". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Girish Karnad, veteran actor and playwright, dies at 81". Hindustan Times. 10 June 2019. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- "Girish Karnad, veteran actor and playwright, dies at 81 and it's a great loss for Karnataka". PINKVILLA. 10 June 2019. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- Kumar, p. 114
- Drama critics. "Girish Karnad's Rakt Kalyan (Tale-Danda)". Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
- "Realism, a myth". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 June 2019.[dead link]
- Frontline. S. Rangarajan for Kasturi & Sons. 1992. Archived from the original on 4 July 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "ಕಾರ್ನಾಡರ ಜತೆಗಿನ 'ಆ ದಿನಗಳು'". Prajavani. 11 June 2019. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- Nand Kumar (2003). "Myths in the Plays of Girish Karnad". Indian English Drama. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 978-81-7625-353-6.
- Sachindananda (2006). "Girish Karnad". Authors speak. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-1945-8.
- Dr. Prafull D. Kulkarni (2010). The Dramatic World of Girish Karnad. Creative Books Nanded. ISBN 978-81-906717-5-0.
- Dr. Prafull D. Kulkarni (2010). The Enchanting World of Indian English Drama A Socio-Cultural Review. Lulu, USA. ISBN 978-0-557-74285-1.
- Jaydipsinh Dodiya, ed.,The Plays of Girish Karnad: Critical Perspectives Prestige Books, New Delhi, 1999.
- Pradeep Trikha, Multiple Celebrations, Celebrating Multiplicity in Girish Karnad – A Monograph
- Chhote Lal Khatri, Girish Karnad: Naga-mandala : a critique. Prakash Book Depot, 2006. ISBN 81-7977-165-2.
- Dr. Prafull D. Kulkarni, The Dramatic World of Girish Karnad. Creative Books Nanded, 2010. ISBN 978-81-906717-5-0.
- P Dhanavel, The Indian Imagination of Girish Karnad, Prestige Books, New Delhi, 2000.
- G Baskaran, ed., Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani: Methods and Motives, Yking Books, Jaipur, 2012.
- Vanashree Tripathi, Three Plays of Girish Karnad: Hayavadana, Tale-Danda, The Fire and the Rain, Prestige Books, New Delhi, 2004.
- Neeru Tandon (2006). "Myth and Folklore in Girish Karnad's Fire and the Rain". Perspectives and challenges in Indian-English drama. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 978-81-269-0655-0.
- Julia Leslie, "Nailed to the Past: Girish Karnad's Plays" Journal of South Asian Literature, 1999, 31–2 (for 1996–7), pp. 50–84. JSTOR
- Julia Leslie, "Understanding Basava: History, Hagiography and a Modern Kannada Drama" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1998, 61, pp. 228–61. DOI
- Zinia Mitra " A Tale of Subversion with a Conundrum of Mask: A Reading into Girish Karnard's Naga Mandala" in Indian Drama in English ed.K.Chakraborty, Delhi, PHI,2011,ISBN 978-81-203-4289-7, INR:295.00 395 pp.
- Jolly Das. 'Tracing Karnad's Theatrical Trajectory: An Integrated Approach to His Life and Creativity'. New Delhi: Paragon, 2015.