Many have been paying their homage to multilingual scholar-actor Girish Karnad who passed away on Monday at the age of 81. Among those who remembered him was UPA chairperson and Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi, who, while condoling his death, also said that he was a man who fought for freedom of expression.

In a condolence letter to his wife on Tuesday, Sonia remembered the Jnanpith winner as having been a man with the utmost integrity and a towering figure in India’s cultural, artistic and political world.

“He was a literal genius in both Kannada and English, a superb playwright, actor and director. He was a man of utmost integrity, honour and unflinching courage who throughout his life fought for freedom of expression, social justice and secular values, often at enormous personal cost,” IANS quoted her as having written.

Gandhi said Karnad, who passed away in Bengaluru, was a huge inspiration for all those who value liberty and equality.

“Our country is so much poorer and darker without him. His loss leaves a void that is impossible to fill,” she said, adding that the scholar has left behind a priceless legacy in literary work which will keep his memories alive and honoured forever.

Showing her support to the bereaved family, Gandhi said: “My thoughts are with you at this hour of grief… I know that he (Girish Karnad) had been in poor health for some time. I am sure that you, your son and your daughter looked after him with utmost care and devotion during his illness and you must all have been a source of great pride and joy to him.”

With Inputs From IANS