Bhubaneswar: Noted filmmaker, actor and Jnanpith awardee GirishKarnad passed away this morning at the age of 81. He was suffering from a prolonged illness. He is an eminent playwright, film director, actor and recipient of the prestigious Jnanpith Award. For decades now, Karnad had been an unequivocal voice against majoritarianism and excesses of the state. Girish Karnad was conferred the Jnanpith award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan .