|Karunanidhi in Chief Minister's office|
|15th, 12th, 10th, 4th, 3rd Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu|
13 May 2006 – 15 May 2011
13 May 1996 – 13 May 2001
|Succeeded by||O. Panneerselvam|
27 January 1989 – 30 January 1991
|Preceded by||Janaki Ramachandran|
15 March 1971 – 31 January 1976
|Preceded by||President's rule|
|Succeeded by||President's rule|
10 February 1969 – 4 January 1971
|Preceded by||V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (acting)|
|Succeeded by||President's rule|
3 June 1924
Thirukuvalai, Madras Presidency, British India
|Political party||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam|
|Children||M. K. Muthu
M. K. Alagiri
M. K. Stalin
M. K. Tamilarasu
M. K. Selvi
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
Muthuvel Karunanidhi (born Dakshinamurthy, 3 June 1924) is an Indian politician who has served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions. He is the head of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969. He holds the record of winning his seat in every election in which he has participated, in a political career spanning more than 60 years. In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the DMK-led DPA (UPA and Left Parties) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats. In the following 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he was able to increase the number of seats for the DMK from 16 to 18 seats, and led the UPA in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, to win 28 seats, even with a significantly smaller coalition. He is also a playwright and screenwriter in Tamil cinema. He is called by his supporters as Kalaignar ("artist").
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Screenwriting
- 3 Literature
- 4 Politics
- 5 Awards and titles
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Elections contested and positions held
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
He has claimed that the secret of his energy and success lies in the daily practice of yoga. He married three times; his wives are the late Padmavathy Ammal, Dayalu Ammal and Rajathiammal. His sons are M. K. Muthu, M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin, and M. K. Tamilarasu. His daughters are Selvi and Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP. M. K. Muthu, his eldest son was born to Padmavathy, who died early. Alagiri, Stalin, Selvi and Tamilarasu were born to Dayaluammal, while Kanimozhi is the only daughter from his third wife, Rajathiammal. He has donated his house, that is to be converted into a free hospital for the poor after his wife Dayalu's death. On 5 October 2012, he changed his attire from white shirt with yellow shawl to black shirt and he stated that he would continue to wear black in the days to come as a mark of protest against the AIADMK government.
Karunanidhi began his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. Through his wit and oratorical skills he rapidly rose as a popular politician. He was famous for writing historical and social (reformist) stories which propagated the socialist and rationalist ideals of the Dravidian movement to which he belonged. He first began using Tamil cinema to propagate his political ideas through the movie Parasakthi. Parasakthi was a turning point in Tamil cinema, as it espoused the ideologies of the Dravidian movement and also introduced two prominent actors of Tamil filmdom, Sivaji Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran. The movie was initially banned but was eventually released in 1952. It was a huge box office hit, but its release was marred with controversies. The movie was opposed by orthodox Hindus since it contained elements that criticized Brahmanism. Two other movies written by Karunanidhi that contained such messages were Panam and Thangarathnam. These movies contained themes such as widow remarriage, abolition of untouchability, self-respect marriages, abolition of zamindari and abolition of religious hypocrisy. As his movies and plays with strong social messages became popular, they suffered from increased censorship; two of his plays in the 1950s were banned.
Karunanidhi rose to fame as a scriptwriter for the Modern Theatres Studio in Salem about 350 kilometers from Madras or present day Chennai. T R Sundaram, the owner of Modern Theatres Studio at Yercaud foot hills, was instrumental in honing the talents of Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and M G Ramachandran. Even today, whenever Karunanidhi visits Salem, he takes a ride through Modern Theatres ( now a gated community of exclusive bungalows)and goes up to the first hair pin bend on the Yercaud hill road to relive nostalgia.
Karunanidhi is known for his contributions to Tamil literature. His contributions cover a wide range: poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historic novels, stageplays, dialogues and movie songs. He has written Kuraloviam for Thirukural, Tholkaappiya Poonga, Poombukar, as well as many poems, essays and books. Apart from literature, Karunanidhi has also contributed to the Tamil language through art and architecture. Like the Kuraloviyam, in which Kalaignar wrote about Thirukkural, through the construction of Valluvar Kottam he gave an architectural presence to Thiruvalluvar, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. At Kanniyakumari, Karunanidhi constructed a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar, which portrays his feelings about the scholar.
The books written by Karunanidhi's include Sanga Thamizh, Thirukkural Urai, Ponnar Sankar, Romapuri Pandian, Thenpandi Singam, Vellikizhamai, Nenjukku Needhi, Iniyavai Irubathu and Kuraloviam. His books of prose and poetry number more than 100.
Karunanidhi's stage plays include: Manimagudam, Ore Ratham, Palaniappan, Thooku Medai, Kagithapoo, Naane Arivali, Vellikizhamai, Udhayasooriyan and Silappathikaram.
At the age of 20, Karunanidhi went to work for Jupiter Pictures as a scriptwriter. His first film, Rajakumaari, gained him much popularity. It was here that his skills as a scriptwriter were honed. He wrote 75 screenplays including: Rajakumaari, Abimanyu, Manthiri Kumari, Marutha Naattu Ilavarasi, Manamagan, Devaki, Parasakthi, Panam, Thirumbipaar, Naam, Manohara, Ammaiappan, Malai Kallan, Rangoon Radha, Raja Rani, Puthaiyal, Pudhumai Pithan, Ellorum Innattu Mannar, Kuravanchi, Thayillapillai, Kanchi Thalaivan, Poompuhar, Poomalai, Mani Makudam, Marakka Mudiyuma?, Avan Pithana?, Pookkari, Needhikku Thandanai, Paalaivana Rojakkal, Pasa Paravaikal, Padadha Theneekkal, Niyaya Tharasu, Pasakiligal, Kannamma, Uliyin Osai, Pen Singam,Ilaignan and Ponnar Shankar
Entry into politics
Karunanidhi entered politics at the age of 14, inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party, and participated in Anti-Hindi agitations. He founded an organisation for the local youth of his locality. He circulated a handwritten newspaper called Manavar Nesan to its members. Later he founded a student organisation called Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, which was the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement. Karunanidhi involved himself and the student community in social work with other members. Here he started a newspaper for its members, which grew into Murasoli, the DMK party's official newspaper.
The first major protest that aided Karunanidhi in gaining ground in Tamil politics was his involvement in the Kallakudi agitation in Kallakudi. Original name of this industrial town was Kallakudi and it was changed to Dalmiapuram after a cement mogul who built a cement plant there. DMK wanted to change the name back to Kallagudi.. In the protest Karunanidhi and his companions erased the name Dalmiapuram from the railway station and lay down on the tracks blocking the course of trains. Two people died in the protest and Karunanidhi was arrested.
Rise to power
Karunanidhi was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 1957 from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district. He became the DMK treasurer in 1961 and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly in the year 1962 and when the DMK came to power in 1967, he became the minister for public works. When Annadurai expired in 1969, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He has held various positions in the party and government during his long career in Tamil Nadu political arena.
He took over as chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 13 May 2006 after his coalition defeated his main opponent J. Jayalalithaa in the May 2006 elections. He currently[update] represents the constituency of Tiruvarur in the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly. He has been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times and once to the now abolished Tamil Nadu Legislative Council.
Editor and publisher
He started Murasoli on 10 August 1942. He was the founding editor and publisher of Murasoli during his boyhood as a monthly, then a weekly, and now a daily. He used his talents as a journalist and cartoonist to bring issues relevant to his political ideology before the public. He writes daily letters addressed to his party workers by name; he has been writing these for over 50 years. In addition he has served as editor for Kudiyarasu and gave life to the journal Mutharam. He is the founder of State Governments News Reel, Arasu Studio and also the Government Journal Tamil Arasu, published in Tamil and English.
World Tamil Conference
He delivered the special address on the inaugural day of 3rd World Tamil Conference held in Paris in 1970, and also on the inaugural day of 6th World Tamil Conference held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 1987. He penned the song "Semmozhiyaana Tamizh Mozhiyaam", the official theme song for the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, that was set to tune by A. R. Rahman.
Awards and titles
- Annamalai University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1971.
- He was awarded "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for his book "Thenpandi Singam".
- On 15 December 2006, the Governor of Tamil Nadu and the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, Surjit Singh Barnala conferred an honorary doctorate on the Chief Minister on the occasion of the 40th annual convocation.
- In June 2007, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Makkal Katchi announced that it would confer the title 'Friend of the Muslim Community' ('Yaaran-E-Millath') upon M. Karunanidhi.
He has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam project. Indra Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government based on charges of possible secession and corruption. In 2001 Karunanidhi, former chief secretary, K.A. Nambiar, and a host of others were arrested on charges of corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. He and his party members were also charged under Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, but no prima facie evidence was found against him and his son M K Stalin.
Desecrating Hindu Gods
Karunanidhi and senior party members reportedly participated in a rally in Villupuram on 15 September 2012, to celebrate the DMK founding day, where they were reportedly received by a group of dancers made up as Hindu gods. Dressed in costumes depicting Shiva, Parvathy, Murugan and Vinayaka, the dancers put up a show for this group of "atheist" leaders. This development has not gone down well with the Hindu Leaders with the TN Hindu Maha Sabha president K. Srikandan sending a petition to the chief minister’s cell and the director general of police, demanding the arrest of rally organizer K. Ponmudy and other office-bearers of the DMK under the National Secutity Act. Karunanidhi and the DMK leaders have been criticized for their opportunistic use of their so-called lofty ideals of 'rationalism' to favour and follow the minority appeasement policies.
Ram Setu remarks
Some say there was a person over 1.7 million years ago. His name was Rama. Do not touch the bridge (Ramar Sethu) constructed by him. Who is this Rama? From which engineering college did he graduate? Is there any proof for this?
His remarks caused a firestorm of controversy. BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Karunanidhi of religious discrimination when noting "We would like to know from Karunanidhi if he would make a similar statement against religious head of any other religion; chance are he may not."
In response to these statements, Karunanidhi defiantly stated, "Anyway, neither Valmiki nor Ram is here now [to vouch for claims of Ram's existence]. There is only a group that thinks of people as fools. They will be proved wrong."
Several days later, he commented:
I have not said anything more than Valmiki, who authored Ramayana. Valmiki had even stated that Rama was a drunkard. Have I said so?
Karunanidhi who is well known for being associated with Anti-Hindi agitations throughout his political career, chose to recite a poem for the first time in Hindi showing the unity of people of India on 1 October 2007 on a public platform to downplay the criticism for his remarks on Ram and for the fast implementation of Sethusamudram Project.
Connections with LTTE
The interim report of Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations. In April 2009, in an interview to NDTV, Karunanidhi made a controversial remark stating that "Prabhakaran is my good friend" and also said, "India could not forgive the LTTE for assassinating Rajiv Gandhi".
Allegations of nepotism
Karunanidhi has been accused by opponents, by some members of his party, and by other political observers of trying to promote nepotism and start a political dynasty along the lines of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Vaiko, who quit the DMK, has been the most vocal. Political observers say that Vaiko was sidelined as he was seen as a threat to M.K. Stalin and other family members. His nephew, the late Murasoli Maran, was a Union Minister; however, it has been pointed out that he was in politics long before Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister in 1969. He was arrested several times, including in the Anti-Hindi agitations in 1965. He was asked to contest the by-election for South Madras in 1967 and the nomination papers were signed by Rajaji, Annadurai and Mohammed Ismail (Quaid-e-Millath), demonstrating that his political career was not built entirely on his relation to Karunanidhi. Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own. He has faced a lot of hardship since 1975, when he was jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and was beaten up in jail so brutally during the Emergency that a fellow DMK party prisoner died trying to save him. Stalin was an MLA in 1989 and 1996 when his father Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister, but he was not inducted into the Cabinet. He became Chennai's 44th mayor and its first directly elected mayor in 1996. It was only in his fourth term as MLA that he was made a Minister in the Karunanidhi cabinet and then in 2009 was made the Deputy Chief Minister. His daughter Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP now.
Involvement in 2G Scam
As per the chargesheet filed by CBI Kanimozhi has 20% stake in her family owned Kalaignar TV, her step-mother Dayalu Ammal owns 60% stake in the same channel. CBI alleges that Kanimozhi was an "active brain" behind the channel's operations and she worked along with former telecom minister A. Raja to get DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa to circuitously route 2 billion (US$36.2 million) to Kalaignar TV. According to CBI, Kanimozhi was in regular touch with A Raja regarding launching of Kalaignar TV channel and its other pending works. CBI alleges that A Raja was further pursuing the cause of Kalaignar TV not only for getting registration of the company from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting but also for getting it in the DTH operator TATA Sky's bouquet. She was also summoned by the Income Tax Department, Chennai for alleged tax evasion charges.
Mr Karunanidhi was reportedly upset in the JPC's findings and revelations and have discreetly urged his trusted DMK channels to ensure support and cooperation from the UPA government to safeguard his daughter's interests in this 2G scam. Mr T R Baalu from DMK visited Congress veteran Mr Ahamed Patel to convey DMK chief's displeasure over the JPC findings.
Elections contested and positions held
|Year||Constituency||Result||Vote percentage||Opposition Candidate||Opposition Party||Opposition vote percentage|
|1977||Anna Nagar||Won||50.1||G. Krishnamurthy||ADMK||30.98 |
|1996||Chepauk||Won||77.05||N.S. Nellai Kannan||INC||17.24|
|2006||Chepauk||Won||50.96||Dawood Miah Khan||Independent||38.25|
Posts in Legislature
|Assembly||From||To||Position||Party - Number of seats
|Third Assembly||1962||1967||Deputy Leader of the Opposition||50/143|
|Fourth Assembly||1967||1969||State Minister for Public Works||138/233|
|Fourth Assembly||10 February 1969||5 January 1971||Chief Minister (1)||136/233|
|Fifth Assembly||15 March 1971||31 January 1976||Chief Minister (2)||182/203|
|Sixth Assembly||25 July 1977||17 February 1980||Leader of the Opposition (1)||48/230|
|Seventh Assembly||27 June 1980||18 August 1983||Leader of the Opposition (2)||37/112|
|Ninth Assembly||27 January 1989||30 January 1991||Chief Minister (3)||150/202|
|Eleventh Assembly||13 May 1996||14 May 2001||Chief Minister (4)||173/182|
|Thirteenth Assembly||13 May 2006||14 May 2011||Chief Minister (5)||96/132|
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