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Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi dies at 94


Chennai, Aug 7 (DC): Towering Tamil Nadu politician Muthuvel Karunanidhi breathed his last on Tuesday, August 7, in Chennai after battling ill health for weeks. He was 94.

Doctors at the Kauvery Hospital kept the leader on maximum medical support but his health continued to decline. It was becoming a challenge to keep his vital organs functioning, doctors had said on Monday.

Fans and supporters of the five-time chief minister kept a strict vigil outside the hospital, praying for his recovery. Chants of ‘Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa’ (Awake, our leader) and ‘Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa’ (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) could be heard outside the hospital.

According to reports, Riot Control police was also deployed to contain the emotionally-charged party workers who turned up in large numbers.

The DMK patriarch was admitted to Kauvery hospital following a drop in blood pressure on July 28. Since then, the medical status of the 94-year-old has gone through ups and downs.

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.

Key political milestones of M Karunanidhi:

June 3, 1924: Born in Thirukkuvalai near Tiruvarur, composite Thanjavur district.

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

September 17, 1949: Among the ‘Founding members’ of the DMK at the rally at Robinson Park in old North Madras, where DMK was launched.

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.

February 1954: Returns to Chennai to a hero’s welcome at Egmore station.

April 1957: Elected for first time to the Madras (later Tamil Nadu) Legislative Assembly from Kulittalai constituency near Tiruchy; Noted for his anti-Zamindari campaign there in the run-up to the Assembly polls that year.

1959: DMK founder C N Annadurai honours Karunanidhi for steering DMK to victory in Madras Corporation elections.

1961: Karunanidhi made DMK Treasurer.

1962: Deputy leader of the Opposition in the Assembly on election from Thanjavur constituency.

March 1967: PWD Minister in Annadurai-led first DMK Ministry, after elected from Saidapet Assembly constituency in Chennai that year.

February 10, 1969: Sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after untimely demise of his leader and mentor Annadurai

July 27, 1969: Elected as President of DMK, a post he held till the end.

March 15, 1971: Takes charge as Chief Minister in his second term

1983: Quits Assembly membership over Sri Lankan Tamils issue

January 27, 1989: Comes back as CM for third time after MGR’s demise.

June 1991: Quits Harbour Assembly seat, owning moral responsibility for DMK’s defeat in the General elections that year.

May 13, 1996: Assumes office as CM for fourth time after leading DMK to a massive win in alliance with G.K. Moopanar-led Tamil Maanila Congress.

December 31, 1999- January 1, 2000: Presides over unveiling of the massive 133-feet tall statue of saint-poet Thiruvalluvar at Kanyakumari.

May 13, 2006: Sworn in chief minister for fifth time, elected from Chepauk constituency in Chennai.

February 12, 2009: Undergoes major spinal surgery that confined him permanently to a wheel-chair; missed the Republic Day Parade for the first time that year in his long over eight-decades-long public life.

April 28, 2009: Goes on a sudden, indefinite fast at Anna Square on the Marina in Chennai to press the Sri Lankan government to announce a ceasefire in its war against the Tamil militants in the Island’s North.

June 23-27, 2010: Organises first World Classical Tamil Conference, at Coimbatore, pinnacle of his love for Tamil language and literature.

August 10, 2017: Steered by his son M K Stalin, Karunanidhi visits ‘Murasoli’ office in Chennai on occasion of its ‘Pavazha Vizha’, a rare visit outside his Gopalapuram house where he stayed put since his second bout of illness in October 2016.


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Comment on this article

  • R Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Wed, Aug 8 2018

    Many a story behind those dark glasses.
    Had three wives also when in these times difficult to look after one.
    Leaves behind rich richness.
    Death always a great leveller.
    You take only good things with you they say.
    Some say Ultimately nothing matters.
    RIP at Marina.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan, Mangalore

    Wed, Aug 8 2018

    Main culprit who helped tamil.tigers of Sri Lankan and hand in killing rajiv can do is no more.....
    He is done many more damages to the nation.... .. if you go to tamilnadu many edgucated people still saying tamilnadu us saparate country......this answer i have got from one of the enginerr who is working with me....
    This is because of only karunanidhi...

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • juliana, udupi

    Wed, Aug 8 2018

    A rare politician from among the Tamil people. Despite illness he was a mass leader till the end. May his soul rest in peace.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Denis Susigaran, State of Tamil Nadu

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    RIP Kaiaignar

    " When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men".

    Henry W Longfellow (1807-1882) U.S. poet.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Myna, Mysuru

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    A long innings as a politician who kept all national political parties at bay and ruled the state of Tamilnadu alternatively with Late Jayalalitha, but couldn't destabilise M.G.R. He was a poet and a orator. None of the politicians could match his wit and sarcasm. Now let him take his much desired rest with His creator. Goodbye and Thankyou.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • shan, dubai

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    RIP sir, You will be remembered as politician..... you will take with you your good and bad deeds with you.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harish, Kadaba

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    Achieved lot after entered politics
    Nothing's much to say

    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    He was a great Freedom Fighter ...

    DisAgree [49] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Karkala

    Wed, Aug 8 2018

    He was a great Freedom Fighter ....... Jossey

    When did he fight for freedom. ?
    Where did you get this information ?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'luru / Kwt

    Wed, Aug 8 2018

    He started his political career in 1949, two years after independence, always fought for rights of Tamils only.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    RIP. One of The great leader of Dravidian movement and great son of India.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Elwyn Goveas, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    He will remain the heart of people of Tamil Nadu.
    May his unfilled dreams become a reality

    DisAgree [9] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • MAHESH, MANGALORE

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    Both TOP leaders of TN are left. Now Daku and Fekus will try to ruin that state ....

    DisAgree [25] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Narendra Kumar, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    Absolutely. They both FEKHU & DAAKHU must be having a grea8 time looking at the current political scenario at Tamil Nadu.
    But they may also perish if they try to interfere in Tamil Nadu and that is for sure because south is not north or west or east.
    Advani could escape last time but either FEKHU or DAAKHU try to act smart with Tamilians, then they will certainly digging their own graves.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alfred, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    Wait and watch...... if they try ......end result will be badly get thrashed by Annachhees....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sreekumar Nambiar, Nellore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    A great leader. Has never lost an election Always fought with integrity for Tamil people/ HE will be remembered for ever RIP

    DisAgree [10] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harold D'cunha, Mangalore, India.

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    No matter all controversies may surround K. Karunanidhi, he is a mass leader, who cared for the poor. He had given for Rs. 50/- one week ration which includes rice, pulses and dal, for the poor, backward class families.

    RIP, DMK leader Karunanidhi.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jembar Bappu, Bajpe

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    RIP Kalaingar
    Death 💀 is the only meaning for life

    DisAgree [5] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • UMMAR, mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    EVERY SOUL SHALL TASTE DEATH ...

    EVEN IF IS HE RICH OR POOR , NO DIFFRENTS ... ANY WAY RIP..

    DisAgree [11] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harold D'cunha, Mangalore, India.

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    UMMAR, mangalore

    Soul has no death. It is only living being including human being, shall taste death. After death, soul will move to the place, where it deserves. One can call it heaven or hell.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mahesh, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    If the soul tastes death , for whom heaven is made ??

    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Paul, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 7 2018

    RIP...The great politician
    Another strong Great politician pillar gone of TN.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

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