Karnad’s strong political opinions often took centerstage in his life. Amitav Ghosh, another Jnanpith awardee, called Karnad “a great writer and very important public voice.” Historian Ramachandra Guha, who in June 2017 participated in the “NotInMyName” campaign, alongside Karnad, against lynch-mob incidents across the country, was also all praise for the late artiste.

Last year, despite being ill, Karnad attended a protest march against the murder of Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh. Karnad, too, was on the hit-list, investigations later revealed.

Karnad was a harsh critic of religious fundamentalism and Hindu nationalism. He was also a vocal dissenter against prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist outfit.

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