Mile­stones in a long jour­ney

The ma­jor events in M. Karunanidhi’s po­lit­i­cal life.

FrontLine - - COVER STORY - BY T.S. SUB­RA­MA­NIAN

NOT MANY POLITI­CIANS IN IN­DIA CAN CLAIM that they have led a great life. But Dravida Mun­netra Kazhagam (DMK) pres­i­dent and for­mer Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter M. Karunanidhi could do so. He told this re­porter once: “I have led a ‘peru vazhvu’ [very great life]. I have mixed with great lead­ers such as [E.V. Ra­masamy] Peri­yar, An­nadu­rai, Ra­jaji, Ka­ma­raj, Indira Gandhi and V.P. Singh.” And he made this state­ment with to­tal mod­esty, never once al­lud­ing to how he him­self was a mul­ti­fac­eted man: politi­cian, ad­min­is­tra­tor, or­a­tor, play­wright, story and di­a­logue writer for Tamil films, scholar in Tamil lit­er­a­ture, jour­nal­ist and a con­nois­seur of mu­sic.

Here is a list of im­por­tant events that de­fined Karunanidhi’s life.

June 3, 1924: Born at Thirukku­valai vil­lage, in the then com­pos­ite Than­javur district but now in Na­ga­p­at­ti­nam district. His par­ents had orig­i­nally named him Dak­shi­namoor­thy, but he later changed it to Karunanidhi. He had two el­der sis­ters, Pe­ri­anayagam and Shan­mu­ga­sun­daram. He had his ini­tial ed­u­ca­tion in a pri­mary school in Thirukku­valai. As Karunanidhi noted once, he

1959: C.N. An­nadu­rai pre­sent­ing a gold ring to Karunanidhi af­ter the DMK won 45 seats in the Madras Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion elec­tions. Karunanidhi was in charge of the elec­tion cam­paign.

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