DMK supremo and five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi breathed his last on August 7, after battling his health for 11 days. The 94-year-old passed away after the hospital declared that his health had deteriorated significantly over the last 24 hours. Despite the best efforts of the doctors, he couldn’t be revived. As we mourn the demise of one of India’s leading statesmen, here’s a look at the legend’s rise to power.
Born in June 3, 1924, Karunanidhi had joined the life of politics at the age of 14 and when he turned 33 in 1957, he made his debut at the Tamil Nadu assembly. Before he became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidi was well known for his contributions to Tamil literature. He began his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. He is credited with poems, letter, screenplays, novels, dialogues, songs for films, biographies and even stage-plays.
FILE- In this May 13, 2009 file photo, Tamil Nadu state's then Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi displays the indelible ink mark on his finger after casting his vote at a polling booth in Chennai, India. Karunanidhi, a scriptwriter-turned-politician in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has died after a prolonged illness. He was 94. (AP Photo, File)
His best books include Sanga Thamizh, Thirukkural Urai, Ponnar Sankar, Romapuri Pandian, among others. The total count of his books that consist prose and poems are numbered at over a hundred. Karunanidhi’s stage plays include Manimagudam, Ore Ratham, Palaniappan, Thooku Medai, and many others. During his career, he propagated the Dravidian movement through his writings.
After winning the Kulithalai seat in the 1957 election, Karunanidhi entered the Tami Nadu assembly. He went on to become the DMK’s treasurer in 1961. When the DMK came to power in 1967, Karunanidhi was appointed as the Minister for Public Works.
In 1969, Karunanidhi became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time following the death of Annadurai. It was in the same year that he moved up to the post of party leader.
The reign lasted for two years, after which he was re-elected in 1971, for a five-year spell. He was next elected in 1989 and was the CM for two years. His government was dismissed by the central government on grounds of degradation of the law and order of the state. In 1996, Karunanidhi became elected for the fourth time for a five year term. His final stint as the CM of the state began in 2006 and ended in 2011.