UPA Chairperson and Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday condoled the death of Jnanpith winner and multilingual scholar-actor Girish Karnad and said he was a man of the utmost integrity who fought for the freedom of expression.
Describing Karnad as a towering figure in India’s cultural, artistic and political world, the Congress leader, in a condolence letter to his wife said: “He was a literal genius in both Kannada and English, a superb playwright, actor and director.”
“He was a man of utmost integrity, honor and unflinching courage who throughout his life fought for the freedom of expression, social justice and secular values, often at enormous personal cost.”
Gandhi said Karnad, who passed away on Monday aged 81 in Bengaluru, was a huge inspiration for all those who value liberty and equality.
“Our country is so much poorer and darker without him. His loss leaves a void that is impossible to fill,” she said, adding that the scholar has left behind a priceless legacy in literary work which will keep his memories alive and honored forever.
Showing her support to the bereaved family, Gandhi said: “My thoughts are with you at this hour of grief… I know that he (Girish Karnad) had been in poor health for some time. I am sure that you, your son and your daughter looked after him with utmost care and devotion during his illness and you must all have been a source of great pride and joy to him.”