Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Karunanidhi demise: State funeral for DMK Patriarch on Wednesday

Karunanidhi demise: State funeral for DMK Patriarch on Wednesday

He actively pursued his passion for screenwriting and remained close to it despite being active in politics.

The passing away of Karunanidhi soon after Jayalalitha has left Tamil Nadu politics without a centre of gravity.

Offering his heartfelt condolences to the departed leader, Patnaik described Karunanidhi as the tallest leader of Tamil Nadu, who played a key role in social change and reforms in his state.

He was being treated for age-related illnesses in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. He contested 12 Assembly elections, losing none. Kauvery Hospital released a statement expressing anguish over his death at 6:10 PM. Since then, he has never looked back, though his six-decade-long political stint was full of thorns. His supporters and fans in Tamil Nadu were anxiously waiting to hear good news about his health after he was admitted to hospital on July 28.

He was arrested by the police in 2001, when Jayalalithaa was chief minister, over alleged corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai.

Karunanidhi, a school dropout, began his political life at the age of 14 when he started a handwritten newspaper called Manavar Nesan. Later, he founded Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram.

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Like his mentor Annadurai, Karunanidhi used his writing skills to further the ideology of the Dravidian movement through Tamil cinema.

He also made huge contributions to Tamil literature and cinema. The movie also introduced two stars Sivaji Ganesan and SS Rajendran.

It wouldn't be until 1989, two years after MGR's death that Karunanidhi would step back into the Chief Minister's chair.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led tributes to the veteran leader. After Annadurai's demise, V.R. Neduncheziyan was a natural choice for successor and was made the acting chief minister. However, a shameful episode in the state assembly that year proved to be pivotal for Karunanidhi and the party.

After DMK's first election, Karunanidhi was promoted as the treasurer of the party in 1961 and became the deputy leader of Opposition in 1962.

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