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Amid Condolence Messages for Girish Karnad, Hate Comments Make Way on Social Media

Karnad's name also featured in the 'hit-list' that was recovered from the main accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder. However, the playwright didn't pay much heed to the threats.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:June 11, 2019, 7:41 AM IST
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Amid Condolence Messages for Girish Karnad, Hate Comments Make Way on Social Media
Actor-filmmaker Girish Karnad passed away on Monday.

Bengaluru: Several eminent personalities, right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, took to social media to pay tribute to deceased theater personality Girish Karnad. However, there were some who posted controversial messages owing to his "critic of Hindu extremism" image.

Karnad was among the 600 theatre personalities who had signed a letter ahead of the Lok Sabha polls asking people to "vote BJP and its allies" out of power, arguing that the idea of India and its constitution were under threat. He also led protests after the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.

At an event last year, he was seen wearing a placard which read, "#MeToo Urban Naxal", following which an FIR was lodged against him.


Karnad's name featured on top of the 'hit-list' that was recovered from the main accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder. However, the playwright didn't pay much heed to such threats.

He had also criticised Nobel laureate VS Naipaul for his controversial views on Muslims in India, saying the writer had no idea of the community's contribution to the country's history. Calling Naipaul an unreliable writer of non-fiction as far as India was concerned, Karnad had said, "He really doesn't pay much attention to the details of the texts he studies."

Following a controversy over Karnataka government's decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, Karnad had said the 18th century Mysore ruler would have been celebrated as much as Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, had he been a Hindu not Muslim.

The incidents led many to criticise Karnad after the news of his demise hit social media. "His hatred for Hinduism is unpardonable," one Manujula Nagraj commented. Noted historian Ramchandra Guha's condolence message too, was received with objectionable comments against the actor.

Many users soon reported the abusive messages and tried to get Chief Minister HD Kumarswamy and home minister MB Patil to intervene by tagging them with screenshots of these comments on various social media platforms.

"These are all armchair people who only sit and tweet, without even knowing the person. When Girish Karnad supported the naming of Bangalore airport after Tipu Sultan, immediately he was ridiculed for supporting a historical figure with a Muslim name, these are the kind of people. Maybe some action should be taken, cases should be filed against them-the worst comments should be listed and cases should be filed then maybe others will be wary," said filmmaker Kavita Lankesh, who saw her slain sister Gauri being subject to hatred on social media two years ago.

"A person like Pramod Muthalik can say things like Modi can't mourn for every dog that dies and he gets away with it, they dont arrest him, these are the people spreading hate toward other people. People like Pratap Simha, Anant Kumar Hegde the kind of hate they are instilling why are they not behind bars, now-a-day when you joke about a minister you are behind bars but not these people," she added in anguish.​

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