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Karunanidhi, crusader for social justice, dies

Karunanidhi, crusader for social justice, dies

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan had said Karunanidhi will not be buried by the Anna Memorial on the beach, Puthiya Thalaimurai reported. "All the government offices, schools, and colleges will be closed tomorrow", read the govt statement.

DMK workers broke barricades and shouted slogans against the Centre and the state government. "Despite the best possible efforts by our team of doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond", Kauvery Hospital said in a press release.

Politicians from across the spectrum paid their respect to the leader, who served as Tamil Nadu's five separate terms and never lost an election. 94-year-old Karunanidhi was first admitted to the hospital on July 18 for a change of tracheostomy tube and an infection in the urinary tract. M Karunanidhi was 94. Known to be one of the most popular politicians of Indian politics, Karunanidhi was equally popular in Tamil film industry.

"His understanding of policy and emphasis on social welfare stood out", Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted following the veteran's demise.

That art and politics blended seamlessly in Karunanidhi was manifest from the sobriquets of "Thalaivar" (The Leader) and "Kalaignar" (The Artist) he earned from ardent followers.

An atheist and self-declared rationalist, Mr Karunanidhi rose to political prominence in the 1940s as part of the Dravidian movement - which challenged the supremacy of upper caste Brahmins - and through his participation in anti-Hindi language agitations.

State opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala was among those who expressed grief over the death.

On July 27, 1969, M. Karunanidhi was elected as the president of DMK. Parasakthi, a successful play written by Pavalar Balasundaram, was penned for the screen by Karunanidhi in 1952.

Actors S.S. Rajendran won a seat in local elections in 1962 and M.G. Ramachandran became chief minister after he left the DMK to set up his own party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), following differences with Karunanidhi. It is only sitting Chief Ministers who are buried on the Marina Beach. He was survived by two wives.


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