Delectable director, music director, theatre personality Padmasri Babukodi Venkataramana Karanth (71 years) who started a new path in film music from ‘Chomana Dudi’ died in his residence after a prolonged illness. His illustrious wife Prema Karanth and many others were attending on him in the critical days.
B.V.Karanth and Girish Karnad were long regarded as twins of modern Kannada cinema till they found their own paths. Karanth a product of famous Gubbi Company learnt the basic of theatre from B.Puttaswamaih. In his childhood days was attracted by Yakshagana in his hometown. He left his education after completing 8th standard. After gaining initial theatre experience he joined the National School of Drama in Delhi. Soon after he introduced many Kannada stage plays to Hindi and got recognition at the national and international level. With Vamshavruksha he entered arch lights with Girish Karnad.
The first Swarna Kamal award came for Kannada from Karanth’s ‘Choma Dudi’ (Choma’s drum). Later he made path- breaking films like Kaadu, Hamsageethge, Phaniyamma (directed by his wife Prema Karanth) and picked laurels. He virtually became indispensable as a music director for these kinds of films for a long time and produced unconventional music rooted to the soil and using ethnic instruments. The call of theatre was too strong for him to resist. Stones bricks wooden blocks were used in creating music for stage play ‘Huttava Badidare’. That is a sample of his ability. UP, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi remember him for his exemplary capacity in directing dramas.
He is the winner of Kendriya Sahitya Nataka Academy, Rajya Sangeetha Nataka Academy state film awards. He is the winner of Padmasri in 1981. He worked in several posts of government and private bodies.
The Vibha-Karanth episode was only a black spot in his career. Later the investigations revealed that he is clean in the episode that took the life of Vibha.
Prominent persons of the Karnataka state S.M.Krishna, Dr.Rajkumar family, G.V.Iyer, K.S.L. Swamee, several others paid last respect to B.V.Karanth at his residence.