The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is celebrating the 98th birth anniversary of paryy founder M Karunanidhi. He died on August 7, 2018.
Tamil Nadu chief minister and Karunanidhi’s son MK Stalin visited his father’s memorial in Chennai and paid tributes. In a message posted on the DMK’s Twitter handle, Stalin said, “Celebrating the birthday of the artist who is indelibly imprinted on our hearts.”
Karunanidhi contested 12 assembly polls and personally never lost an election. He entered the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly at the age of 33, representing Kulithalai constituency. He was Tamil Nadu Chief Minister five times between 1969-71, 71-76, 89-91, 96-01 and 2006-11.
Karunanidhi displayed his determination when his party could not make a come back to power for well over a decade between 1977-89. During that period, AIADMK founder and his friend turned rival MG Ramachandran was Chief Minister.
During such trying times, he held the party flag high, leading a series of agitations to keep the political pot boiling targeting the ruling AIADMK.
He constantly kept his ear to the ground, engaging party workers through his Kalaignar Kaditham (Kalaignar’s letter to cadres) in party mouthpiece Murasoli. Through his Nenjukku Neethi, a kind of memoir, he kept in touch with party functionaries.
He came back to power in 1989, but suffered a setback when his government was dismissed in January, 1991.
He weathered tough times be it the exit of MGR in 1972 or the expulsion of Vaiko by him in 1993 when the latter took along with him hordes of partymen including district secretaries.
Karunanidhi also penned scripts for famous Tamil movies Parasakthi and Manohara dating back to 1950’s and his last movie was Ponnar Shankar in 2011.
(With inputs from agencies)