Girish Karnad : A Tribute

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Ritu Saxena


Girish Karnad is a writer, dramatist, director and actor par excellence. He
belongs to a generation that has produced Dharamveer Bharati, Mohan Rakesh
and Vijay Tendulkar who have created a national theatre for modern India, which
is the legacy of his generation. Jnanpitha Awardee, Karnad is the author of many
well known plays in Kannada and English. He has represented Indian art and
culture in foreign lands.
Girish Karnad was a conscious writer, who had keenly observed cultural
and political upheavals in India and brings in a new equation in his plays. In this
paper, I propose to analyze the selected plays of Indian playwright Grirish
Karnad who has experimented with the fusion of the traditional and the modern
dramatic forms and content. Karnad is most famous as a playwright and his plays
have become a byword for imagination, innovation and craftsmanship. In the
subsequent years, Karnad continued to post script narratives, interpreting for us
histories and myths, forging an idiom of writing that was tethered to both the past
and present. Karnad's practice of drawing source from myths and tales lends the
play an immediacy of appeal.
This paper thus studies Karnad's selected plays from the point of view of
themes and techniques. While doing so, the focus will mainly be on the history
and myth in his dramatic works-Karnad's journey from his first drama 'Yayati
holds a mirror to the very evolution of a truly 'Indian theatre.'

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