The legendary personality of South India M. Karunanidhi is no more. The fierce fighter for federalism and state’s rights, a consistent opponent of communal and Hindutva fringe elements, secular to the core and strict adherence to the Constitutional ethos died at the age of 94. Having won 13 state elections must be a world record. He was really political stalwart and five times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. A writer, orator, and journalist, who founded the DMK’s official organ Murasoli, Karunanidhi’s end has come nearly a year after the platinum jubilee of the newspaper was celebrated. He was central to the Dravidian politics for last fifty years. He was the voice of Tamil people. We will remember him forever.
This great leader of the DMK party, who was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times definitely goes to prove how famous he was and liked by the people of Tamil Nadu. Also, his closeness with the Congress party over a long period is another added attraction. Certainly, the Congress party and their leaders should feel very sad over his loss as he had extended his support to this party at crucial times. Besides being such a famous personality in Tamil Nadu, he was liked by many other state leaders. His loss is a big blow to the DMK party as well as to the people of this state. It is sincerely hoped that his son MK Stalin will carry on the good work of his beloved father and keep his party alive at all times.
He will live in the memory of women for his historic act of entitling ladies share of the family property. His contribution to the Tamil language, his spirited opposition to the imposition of Hindi, his safeguarding the oppressed castes, his political wisdom, his timely criticisms of undesirable happenings, his contribution to the rights of states etc. will be remembered forever. He had a penchant for solutions to the problems faced by the government.
He was popular as a writer, as a pioneer in Tamil cinema dialogue and screenplay, and of course as a politician dedicated and committed to the cause of the people of Tamil Nadu. After Arignar Anna Durai’s death in 1969, M. Karunanidhi took charge as the CM on Feb 10, 1969, and he became a DMK Icon. MK was only 44 when he took over the rein. His multiple tenures as CM speak volumes of his astounding ability to lead and guide the people of Tamil Nadu.
His death news came as a shock after 11 days of struggle and his death was considered like a Captain leaving the ship at the middle of the ocean and it made me think is it the end of Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu. Muthuvel Karunanidhi was an able administrator. His political astuteness was unbeatable. His legacy is mixed. He will particularly be remembered for his high sense of humour and sidelining Brahmin community from all areas under the control of the government. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, a prolific thinker, an accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor. His role in Hindi agitation in TN caused a big loss to the people in the state from learning the national language.
The pillars of Tamil Nadu politics Annadurai, MG Ramachandran, J. Jayalalithaa and now M. Karunanidhi all left the Tamil Nadu people and the void created by their death will not be filled for many years. Karunanidhi’s demise has created a deep void in the state. May his soul rest in peace!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)