Girish Karnad was a man who had the courage to face power: Debesh Chattopadhyay

The last time I met Girish Karnad It was in 2017, in Bangalore. It was August 17. I had gone there to stage my work Tughlaq, which was written by him. I remember asking him: Why did you study mathematics for higher studies? He, in response, asked me: What did you study academically? Chemistry, I said. He smiled and said: 'Look, those who study science have a better understanding and analysis of human problems.' I was extremely ill at that time. He came to the festival with an oxygen tube stuck to his nose. It definitely was not a happy sight.

I am not a playwright. But whatever little I have written so far is deeply influenced by Girish Karnad. What thrilled me was his ability to make a play cerebrally stimulating. At the same time, it was appreciated by the commoners. I realized this while working with a group of Khon artistes in South Dinajpur, in 2013. I staged Girish's Hayavadana with them. Most of the artists were peasants. When I read the text to them, they were fascinated. Not many artists have the courage to stand up against power. Girish Karnad was one such man who had that courage. With his demise, an era of good theater It ended.

- Debesh Chattopadhyay, who adapted two of Girish Karnad's plays, Hayavadana and Tughlaq

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