The `kalaignar` of Tamil politics

The `kalaignar` of Tamil politics

The `kalaignar` of Tamil politics

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari is set to visit Kauvery Hospital later tonight to enquire the health condition of Karunanidhi.

Thousands gathered outside Kauvery hospital in the city of Chennai to offer their condolences.

On August 6, the bulletin issued by the Kauvery Hospital said that the DMK chief's condition had declined.

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Karunanidhi began his political career at the age of just 14 and participated in anti-Hindi movements.

Known as a charismatic leader and fiery orator, Mr Karunanidhi led his party in the elections in Tamil Nadu in 2016 when he was 91.

Karunanidhi, a school dropout, became involved in politics at a young age, spearheading the DMK which was allied for many years to the Gandhi dynasty's Congress party.

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Few man have dominated the politics of one region for as wide a period and as deep an influence as Muthuvel Karunanidhi did in Tamil Nadu. "Of these early films, Karunanidhi's "Parasakthi" ("The Goddess") stunned Tamil audiences", Robert L. Hardgrave Jr., Temple Professor Emeritus of the Humanities in Government and Asian Studies at the University of Texas, told CNN.

During Mr Karunanidhi's last illness, both Rajinkanth and fellow-actor-politician Kamal Haasan had gone to meet Karunanidhi multiple times.

When the DMK entered the electoral fray in 1957 with demands for Dravidanadu-secession from India-the party was still unrecognised, but 33-year-old Karunanidhi won from Kulithalai constituency. "Fan clubs mobilized support for the party and voter turnout during elections", according to Hardgrave Jr. The Tamil Nadu government said that the five-time chief minister wil be accorded a state funeral. However, a shameful episode in the state assembly that year proved to be pivotal for Karunanidhi and the party. Annadurai, who became the chief minister, acknowledged Karunanidhi's role in raising money as well as holding the ranks together.

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The transition from Annadurai to Karunanidhi is a rallying point not just for the DMK, but also for the state's politics. Mr Karunanidhi's DMK swept the election, riding a wave of anti-incumbency. Many of his close family members served as lawmakers and his son M. K. Stalin is his de facto successor.

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