Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Row over burial site for Karunanidhi; DMK moves Madras HC

Row over burial site for Karunanidhi; DMK moves Madras HC

The leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), who was popularly known as Kalaignar, or poet and artist, helped shape Tamil politics and was a fixture in state politics for more than half a century.

Meanwhile there are reports that his son MK Stalin had left the Cauvery Hospital around 10 pm on Monday night.

"His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out", Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted following the veteran's demise.

But sharp-tongued, quick-witted M Karunanidhi had other plans.

State opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala was among those who expressed grief over the death. Here is a brief history of his compelling, and equally engaging, journey from M Karunanidhi to Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He is considered a man who has the knowledge of the pulse of the lasses and is considered as one of the greatest intellectuals of his time.

Five months earlier, after the death of party founder C.N. Annadurai, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

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Karunanidhi's predecessor Annadurai was also in office when he died.

In 2007, his remarks over Lord Rama in conection with Ramsetu bridge stormed a huge political controversy when he allegedly said, "Some say there was a person over 1.7 million years ago". He had been married three times and had six children. He had resigned as MLA in 1983 over the Srilankan Tamils issue.

On July 26, Kauvery Hospital said Karunanidhi was being treated for fever due to urinary tract infection with intravenous antibiotics and fluids at his home in Chennai.

His five reigns as chief minister spanned from 1969-1971, 1971-1976, 1989-1991, 1996-2001 and 2006-2011.

With Sivaji Ganesan making his debut, it marked the beginning of a new era.

Mr Karunanidhi was a successful film screenwriter, penning multiple hit movies, before moving to politics. He formed the AIADMK, which would prove to be Karunanidhi's biggest rival. He was the party's first treasurer and was elected to the assembly in 1957. Roads outside the hospital and at Karunanidhi's residence were packed with people. With time, he rose in power and position within the party and was the party's treasurer by 1961. Governor Purohit and Minister D. Jayakumar were also present.

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