Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Wednesday, 08 Aug, 2018

DMK patriarch Muthuvel Karunanidhi passed away at Kauvery hospital in Chennai on Tuesday. "As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for several times, he made significant contributions in the development of the state and played a crucial role in national politics as well", said the Chief Minister. However, after his blood pressure dipped, he was admitted to Kauvery Hospital.

"We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalized", tweeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On such occasions, the government and parties should rise above politics.

Karunanidhi, one of the most charismatic leaders of Tamil Nadu whose public life spanned over seven decades, was 94.

However the latest statement from the Tamil Nadu Government has denied the request of the DMK leader's family which was also his dying wish.

Earlier, after watching television news about DMK chief's deteriorating health, the two walked to Kauvery Hospital around 5pm and began interacting with party workers.

After a health scare, the doctors extended his period of hospitalisation due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver functions and haematological parameters.

Then, he got married to Dayalu Ammal, with whom he has four children- M K Alagiri, M K Stalin, M K Tamilarasu and Selvi. Later, Parashakti found space in the Tamil cult cinema.

When the DMK entered the electoral fray in 1957 with demands for Dravidanadu-secession from India-the party was still unrecognised, but 33-year-old Karunanidhi won from Kulithalai constituency.

He founded the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement- Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram and also started a newspaper- Murasoli on Aug 10, 1942. He is the only person to have served the party for 50 years.

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. He silenced the critics who deemed him too old for contesting elections by becoming the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the fifth time at the staggering age of 82!