Born on 2 January 1937 in Ghodgeri village in Belgaum district of Karnataka, Shri Chandrasekhar Kambara is a leading figure in contemporary Indian drama. While he has won a distinct place for himself as a playwright in Kannada, he is also well known as a poet, novelist, and folklorist. A former Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, Shri Kambara has also served as President of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy and as Chairman of the National School of Drama in Delhi. He has taught Kannada literature at several universities.
Shri Kambara’s dramatic oeuvre has drawn upon the folklore and theatrical forms of Karnataka, particularly the Bayalata and Yakshagana, and distilled the perception contained in them to explore contemporary reality. His first effort in this direction, Jokumaraswamy (1972), resonated with comment on agrarian questions, though couched in the style of a folk play on fertility. His subsequent plays such as Jaisidanayaka (1975), Sangya Balya Anabeko Naadolaga (1975), Huliya Neralu (1984), and Siri Sampige (1986), probe a variety of themes ranging from the social-political to the philosophical, employing forms appropriate to the content. They stand apart for their vigorous dialogue and music, often composed by the playwright himself. His plays have been staged in several Indian languages. Other than drama, Shri Kambara has published ten collections of his poetry, five novels including Shikhara Soorya (2007) and a number of works on Kannada folklore. Films directed by him such as Kaadu Kudure (1987) and Sangeeta (1981) have won critical acclaim.
Shri Kambar is the recipient of a number of awards for his wide-ranging work. These include the Padma Shri (2001), the Sahitya Akademi Award (1991), the Kabir Samman (2002), the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award (1989), the Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya Award for his play Jokumarswami (1975), Vardhamaana Prasasti for his play Jaisidanayaka (1975), and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for playwriting (1983).
Shri Chandrasekhar Kambar is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian theatre.