Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi dies

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi dies

Cheryl Sanders
August 7, 2018

Karunanidhi, 94, was admitted to the hospital on July 28 and his condition worsened on Monday.

#05:48 PM: DMK workers break down after Kauvery Hospital released a statement that M Karunanidhi's health has deteriorated further.

The funeral is due to take place on Wednesday (Aug 8) and the state government has declared a seven-day mourning period.

"He transformed Tamil literature, he's written stories, plays and poems, he's a reformist, he's the only leader of his stature". Thus began a brilliant career as script and dialogue writer for Tamil films and a Karunanidhi name on the film's posters ensured packed halls.

"His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out", Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted following the veteran's demise. Mr. Karunanidhi's government was dismissed by the Centre on January 31, 1976 over his opposition to Emergency rule.

August 10, 1942: As self-styled leader of "Tamil Nadu Tamil Maanavar Mandram", launches "Murasoli" in Tamil as handwritten manuscript.

July 1953: Arrested for the "Kallakudi Agitation", demanding renaming of Dalmiyapuram railway station as part of the anti-Hindi agitation, along with poet Kannadasan and others; Karunanidhi was convicted for six months for that stir.

Karunanidhi was known for his contribution to Tamil literature and film industry for several years, apart from playing a major role in Tamil Nadu's politics for nearly over seven decades.

In the 1991 elections, AIADMK ousted DMK and Karunanidhi was the sole DMK candidate to have been returned after the electoral battle. While a senior DMK leader said the Tamil Nadu government was yet to respond to the party's request for giving space near Anna memorial, the state government said it was willing to give land for his burial near Gandhi Mandapam. Parasakthi, a successful play written by Pavalar Balasundaram, was penned for the screen by Karunanidhi in 1952. He was known popularly as Kalaignar largely because of his screenwriting and other scholarly works.

Karunanidhi wasn't just a formidable politician; he was also a man of letters. In his passing, India has lost a great son.

He and Ms Jayalalithaa, who died in 2016, alternated as chief ministers over the past three decades in the state.

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