M Karunanidhi impacted TN political narrative for decades | The Financial Express

M Karunanidhi impacted TN political narrative for decades

Dravidian veteran M Karunanidhi, famous for his script-writing that catapulted him to political heights over his over six-decade-long career, may have finally lost his charisma and it could be the end of the road for him in electoral politics.

M Karunanidhi impacted TN political narrative for decades
The party said while EVMs were being used for urban local bodies, only ballot papers of different colours were being used for rural bodies, which it termed as "improper". (Reuters)

Dravidian veteran M Karunanidhi, famous for his script-writing that catapulted him to political heights over his over six-decade-long career, may have finally lost his charisma and it could be the end of the road for him in electoral politics.

Be it in power or out of it, the 91-year-old DMK president has immensely influenced the political narrative of Tamil Nadu for long.

Karunanidhi made his mark in the socio-political landscape for the first time when he led the famous “Kallakudi agitation”, lying over the railway tracks in 1953 seeking renaming of Dalmiapuram station.

Born in Thirukkuvalai on June 3, 1924, a small agrarian village in the then composite Thanjavur District (now Nagapattinam), he was hooked to the Dravidian movement led by reformist leader Periyar EVR when he was still a teen.

Karunanidhi became an ardent follower of Dravidian ideologue CN Annadurai and joined the DMK when the latter founded it in 1949.

Endowed with brilliant screen-writing skills, he used it to further the ideology of DMK on-screen, primarily rationalism like his mentor Annadurai.

As its proponent, he too began rising as a star in films and politics and came to be hailed as “Kalaignar” (artist) in subsequent years by his supporters.

His sharp screen play in “Parasakthi,” (1952) a trendsetter Tamil movie, would illustrate how films were used by DMK to propagate its ideals and ensconce itself deep in public consciousness which eventually aided it in capturing power from Congress in 1967.

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First published on: 19-05-2016 at 19:08 IST