Born: 2 January 1937
- He is a prominent Indian poet, playwright, folklorist, film director in Kannada language and the founder-vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi also president of the Sahitya Akademi, country’s premier literary institution, after Vinayak Krishna Gokak (1983) and U.R. Ananthamurthy (1993).
- He is known for effective adaptation of the North Karnataka dialect of the Kannada language in his plays, and poems, in a similar style as in the works of D.R. Bendre.
- His plays mainly revolve around folk or mythology interlinked with contemporary issues, inculcating modern lifestyle with his hard-hitting poems.
- He has become a pioneer of such literature.
- His contribution as a playwright is significant not only to Kannada theatre but also to the Indian theatre in general as he achieved a blend of the folk and the modern theatrical forms.
- He has been conferred with many prestigious awards including the Jnanpith Award in 2011 for the year 2010, Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri by Government of India, Kabir Samman, Kalidas Samman, and Pampa Award.
- After his retirement, he was nominated as the Member of Karnataka Legislative Council, to which he made significant contributions through his interventions.
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January 2, 2020