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.
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
KOMBAI S. ANWAR
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.