Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, tweeted, "Playwright, actor, director but above all a great human being, in Girish Karnad's passing India has lost a beloved son, whose memory will live on in the vast treasure trove of creative work he leaves behind. My condolences to his family and fans around the world."
Karnad, 81, who succumbed to an extended illness, was conferred with India's highest civilian honours- the Padma Bhushan (1994) and Padma Shri (1974). He has also conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award (1994).
He was a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University, in the 1960s.
After rising in fame as a Kannada playwright in the 1960s, Karnad made his debut on screen and as a screenwriter with a Kannada film Samskara in 1970.
Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis took to Twitter to post "With the demise of noted actor, writer and Jnanpith Awardee Girish Karnad, we have lost a great personality of Indian cinema, especially theatre. He was also associated with Marathi theatre. My humble tribute. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans!"
His theatrical and film ventures revolved around the weaving in of conventional literature and the pathos of classicism with modernistic viewpoints.
His theatre plays in Kannada have been translated to English and various Indian languages and subsequently directed by directors from India and globally by acclaimed directors such as Ebrahim Alkazi, BV Karanth and Alyque Padamsee among others.
Shashi Tharoor, the union minister of state from Thiruvananthapuram, tweeted, "This is a devastating loss. Just a few months ago he sent me the draft of his brilliant new historical play. He was at the peak of his creative talent. Profound condolences to his devoted wife Saras and brilliant son @rkarnad. A flame has been extinguished that lit up so many minds."
Karnad has been strongly accredited for his acting works in TV series like 'Malgudi Days' where he played Swami's father and recently also starred in Bollywood films like 'Ek tha Tiger' and "Tiger Zinda hai".
His directorial ventures like 'Kaadu' and 'Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane' received distinct appreciation from all over the world.
Karnad worked at the Oxford University Press office in Chennai for seven years before he went on to serve as the director of Film and Television Institute of India from 1974-1975. Post this; his he chaired the 'Sangeet Natak Akademi' from 1988 to 1993.
Karnad's work on a global platform extends to his tenure as a Minister of Culture in the Indian High Commission of London.
Deputy Karnataka Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara posted on Twitter "Deeply saddened by the demise one of our greatest playwrights and theatre artists, Shri #GirishKarnad. He was among the eight crown jewels of Kannada art and literature world to be conferred with Jnanpith Award. He and his works will be cherished for long. Om shanti."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted "Sad news coming in the morning about the passing away of veteran noted actor and playwright Girish Karnad. Girish ji's views and artistic contribution will be missed by the country."
Kerala Chief Minister CM Pinarayi Vijayan has condoled the passing away of renowned playwright Girish Karnad. In a message, CM extended his deepest condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and readers of the great writer.