NEW DELHI: Girish Karnad, a top Indian playwright, actor, director and a rights activist, has died after a prolonged illness. He was 81. Girish Karnad

A screenshot of Girish Karnad taken from a YouTube video. Photo Courtesy: YouTube
India's president and the prime minister condoled Karnad's death on Monday at his home in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. A renowned theatre personality, he predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. He was a Rhodes scholar in the 1960s and earned a master of arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics, the Press Trust of India news agency said. President Ram Nath Kovind said with Karnad's demise India's cultural world has become poorer. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums.