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The `kalaignar` of Tamil politics

07 August 2018

Earlier, family members of Karunanidhi led by DMK working president MK Stalin and party officials met Palaniswami and sought space near Annadurai's memorial for burying Karunanidhi's body, DMK leader Duraimurugan told reporters.

DMK president M Karunanidhi died in Chennai today after prolonged illness, the hospital where the leader was admitted announced. Lot of supporters were seen in tears as they expressed their pain on the deteriorating health of their leader.

The supporters of the DMK are mourning the death.

A profile of Karunanidhi by Caravan describes that after the DMK failed to oust the Congress in 1957 and 1962, the party was able to seize a majority in the state in 1967 thanks to his stellar efforts.

As a high school student, Karunanidhi founded the Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, the first student wing of the Dravidian Movement, which campaigned against the notion that Brahmins, the highest caste in Hinduism, in Tamil Nadu and Hindi speakers from northern India were considered superior. The movie did not just have an huge impact on Tamil cinema, but also enormously influenced Tamil Nadu's political scene. Tamil Nadu is now in a risky state of non-governance.

Karunanidhi, who was demanding a separate state flag for Tamil Nadu since 1970, ensured that chief ministers of states' who weren't allowed to hoist the national flag during Independence Day celebrations until 1974, were given the right to do so.

July 27, 1969: Elected as President of DMK, a post he held till the end.

He was one of the few politicians who did not lose even one election to the Legislative Assembly.

The passing away of Karunanidhi soon after Jayalalitha has left Tamil Nadu politics without a centre of gravity. Later, the party was split and actor-cum-politician M G Ramachandran formed a new party under the name All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In 2014, his party contests the election alone and loses.

December 31, 1999- January 1, 2000: Presides over unveiling of the massive 133-feet tall statue of saint-poet Thiruvalluvar at Kanyakumari. Jayalalithaa's woefully corrupt regime enabled Karunanidhi to bounce back to power in 1996 only to lose it to a much wiser Jayalalithaa in 2001. In 2016, DMK became the largest Opposition party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

The `kalaignar` of Tamil politics