Friend of Mus­lims

M. Karunanidhi has had an ex­tra­or­di­nary bond with the Mus­lim com­mu­nity of Tamil Nadu and took an ac­tive in­ter­est in its wel­fare de­spite the fact that the Mus­lim vote can make no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in elec­toral pol­i­tics.

FrontLine - - COVER STORY -

THEYAGARAYA NA­GAR, OR T.NA­GAR AS IT IS gen­er­ally known, named af­ter one of the early stal­warts of the Dra­vid­ian Move­ment, was con­ceived as a planned sub­urb of the ex­pand­ing Madras city dur­ing the ten­ure of the Jus­tice Party, be­fore in­de­pen­dence. As T. Na­gar grew slowly into a town­ship, in 1970, be­hind the bus ter­mi­nus and ad­ja­cent to the po­lice sta­tion where Mus­lims had erected a thatched hut for their prayers a Gane­sha idol BY


had emerged overnight. Peo­ple called it a suyambu, mean­ing a self-man­i­fested im­age. Im­me­di­ately a group of peo­ple started claim­ing right over the land with ideas of con­struct­ing a tem­ple there. As the sit­u­a­tion threat­ened to spi­ral out of con­trol, Chief Min­is­ter M. Karunanidhi tact­fully han­dled it by en­sur­ing that the thideer pil­lai­yar (in­stant Gane­sha) was re­moved from the spot.

M. KARUNANIDHI and se­nior lead­ers of the DMK, Du­rai Mu­ru­gan and K. An­bazha­gan, hear­ing songs be­ing ren­dered by Na­goor Han­ifa at the DMK zonal-level con­fer­ence held at Kot­taipatti in Dindigul district on March 12, 2005.

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