Be it in power or out of power, the 94-year-old grand old DMK president Muthuvel Karunanidhi has had a remarkable influence on the political narrative of Tamil Nadu. He represents a heterogeneous and multilayered imagination of the Indian nation. In his 60-year-long legislative career, he never tasted defeat.
Today on his 95th birth anniversary, we share interesting facts about the king of Dravidian politics.
- Coming from a socially and economically disadvantaged community, he entered politics at a very young age of 14
- He was a part of the Dravidian movement and assumed leadership in dialogues and screenplay writing. He along with Annadurai has written innumerable hard-hitting social dramas that were used to promote Dravidian ideologies among the masses.
- He was originally named Dakshinamurthy, but later changed it to Karunanidhi.
- Karunanidhi became India’s first Chief Minister to hoist the national flag on August 15, 1974. Earlier, only Governors hoisted the flag on Republic Day and Independence Day
- He was appointed as Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister on February 10, 1969, following the death of DMK founder C.N.Annadurai
- Initially, he was a part of the Dravida Kazhagam of Pariyar and later due to ideological differences he and his mentor C. Annadurai started Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
- Karunanidhi always advocated for the rights of transgender people. He included them in the constitution as third-gender, conducted reforms, and supported them in their employment rights.
- Karunanidhi was known as ‘Kaliagnar’,by his followers for his contributions to Tamil literature.
- In 1947, Karunanidhi wrote the screenplay and dialogue for the blockbuster ‘Rajakumari’, MG Ramachandran’s debut movie.
- Going back to 1969 when the Indian National Congress (INC) had a split following a crisis, it was he who lent his support to Indira Gandhi to create stability in the government.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi would always be known as a great leader, a good administrator and someone that can be looked back to take a guide from in politics.