M. Karunanidhi, the people's leader was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for a record 12 times as an MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly). He also served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times - a rare feat in Indian politics!
Widely popular and well known for his wit and oratory skills, M. Karunanidhi gradually grew to be a popular politician among the masses. He rose to fame as a scriptwriter and was well known for his works in the Tamil film industry. M. R. Radha gave him the title of Kalaignar, which means an 'artist'
Greatly inspired by speaker Azhagirisamy, who was considered the pillar of the justice party, M. Karunanidhi became an activist at the tender age of 14. He engaged himself in social movements and with the help of some students he formed 'youth revitalised the organisation', that aimed to help young people develop their inspiration and writing
A screenwriter, poet, novelist are few of the facets of his illustrious career. M. Karunanidhi founded the 'Murosoli' at the age of 14 which grew to become DMK's official newspaper. Karunanidhi's family also owns the Sun TV group, which is one of biggest media organisation in Tamil Nadu
In picture: Karunanidhi with his wife Dayalu Ammal
M. Karunanidhi contributed immensely to Tamil literature through his poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historical novels, stage-plays, dialogues, movies and so on. What's more? Karunanidhi also constructed a 133-foot high statue of Thiruvalluvar, a Tamil poet and philosopher, at Kanyakumari
In 2006 after winning the elections and being re-elected as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the fifth time, M. Karunanidhi became the oldest serving Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at the age of 82
M. Karunanidhi's DMK government was indicted by the Central Government following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. The interim report of Justice Milap Chand Jain, looking into the conspiracy angle to the assassination held Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and his DMK responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers
In picture: Karunanidhi with the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray
M. Karunanidhi the Kalaignar never lost an election since 1957. From becoming an MLA from Kulithalai to becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times, he won every election that he contested. Except in the 1980s when he was an MLC which is the upper house
During the Emergency, DMK was the only ruling party that opposed the move, that was imposed during Indira Gandhi's rule. For opposing the Emergency, Karunanidhi's government was summarily dismissed by Indira Gandhi's government.
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with BJP veteran, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee
M. Karunanidhi was loved by the masses all across the globe. He even delivered a speech at the inaugural day of the 3rd World Tamil Conference held at Paris in 1970, and on the inaugural day of 6th World Tamil Conference held at Kuala Lumpur in 1987.
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K Advani
M. Karunanidhi was married thrice. His first wife was Padmavathy Ammal with whom he had a son M K Muthu, both died at a young age. After that, he was married to Dayalu Ammal. MK Azhagiri and MK Stalin are his sons from his second marriage. Azhagiri is a former Cabinet Minister while Stalin is serving as the working president of DMK party. Later, he married Rajathiammal and had a daughter Kanimozhi who is now Rajya Sabha MP
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with family
A well-known scriptwriter and novelist, M. Karunanidhi wrote many books which include Thirukkal Urai, Thenpandi Singham, Sanga Thamizh, Iniyavi Irubathu, Vallikizhami, Romapuri Pandian and Kuraloviam to name a few. Rightly so, he was awarded the "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for his book Thenpandi Singham
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with Bill Gates and Dayanidhi Maran
M. Karunanidhi was the man responsible for the breakthrough films for both MGR and Shivaji Ganeshan. Parasakthi the movie in which Sivaji Ganesan made his debut was written by Karunanidhi and was a film that acquired cult status in Tamil Cinema. While on the other hand, history has it that Manthiri Kumari is the film which gave MGR his breakthrough in Tamil Cinema and was also written by the Kalaignar!
In picture: The late, M. Karunanidhi with former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh
The 1997 film 'Iruvar' directed by Mani Ratnam featuring Mohan Lal, Prakash Raj, Aishwarya Rai and Tabu in the lead was apparently based on M. Karunanidhi's relationship with actor and friend MGR
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with Indian cricketer M.S Dhoni
Ellis Roderick Dungan, an American film director was well known for working in Indian films, predominantly Tamil cinema, from 1936 to 1950. Manthiri Kumari was his last Tamil film and its screenplay was written by none other than the Kalaignar - M. Karunanidhi himself
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with former Congress President Sonia Gandhi
In picture: M. Karunanidhi with former President of India, late APJ Abdul Kalam
In pic: M. Karunanidhi with Sonia Gandhi, Dayanidhi Maran and Mehbooba Mufti
In pic: M. Karunanidhi with Narendra Modi
In pic: M. Karunanidhi with Rahul Gandhi. This photo was clicked on June 4, 2017
A file picture of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi with his son MK Stalin on his 63rd birthday in Chennai on March 1, 2015
In this file picture, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi is seen with Tamil film icons Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth
In pic: M. Karunanidhi with B. S. Yeddyurappa, the three times Chief Minister of Karnataka and the BJP state president
To his supporters and followers, he was a 'Thalaiva', truly a people's leader. For his oppositions, he was a shrewd, intelligent, and master strategist. To the literature geek, he was the champion of Tamil art, literature and language. And to one and all across the globe, M Karunanidhi was 'Kalaignar' the artist!
On this day in 2018, M. Karunanidhi fondly called as 'Kalaignar' by his supporters passed away due to age-related illness and multiple organ failure at the age of 94. A leader par excellence, Karunanidhi who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for over two decades was also the President of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). Screenwriter, poet, novelist, and politician are a few of the facets of his illustrious career and life! On his first death anniversary, we bring to you interesting facts about the 'Kalaignar' and his rich political legacy.
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