Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon, dies at 94

He was being treated for age-related illnesses in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India's Tamil Nadu state.

"With deep anguish, we announce the demise of our beloved Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi at 6.20 p.m.", a hospital statement said. Despite best efforts of our doctors and nurses to resuscitate him, he failed to respond.

Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery hospital in Chennai following a drop in blood pressure on July 28. The DMK patriarch breathed his last on August 7, 2018.

He was only 14 years old when he started participating in anti-Hindi agitations and similar political movements.

The decision triggered protests by DMK workers, who gathered in large numbers outside Kauvery Hospital where Karunanidhi was undergoing treatment. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said the DMK leader was one of the leading and longstanding politicians of our country who left a mark of his own during his long public life of about 80 years including 56 years as member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

In a series of tweets, Modi said: "Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi". Many were seen weeping and chanting slogans hailing the leader. The movie did not just have an vast impact on Tamil cinema, but also enormously influenced Tamil Nadu's political scene.

This has not gone down well with the DMK cadres as well as the majority of people of TN. Karunanidhi with M.G. Ramachandran's - the biggest movie star of Tamil cinema - help was able to emerge as the chief minister.

The same year he parted with 50% of the seats to the Congress in the Assembly elections but the alliance was not fruitful and MGR won.

"Ezhundhu Vaa Thalaivaa" (Awake, our leader) and "Vaa, Vaa, Gopalapuram Polaam Vaa" (Come, Come, let's go to Gopalapuram) were among the slogans raised by the emotionally-charged crowd, referring to the locality where the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has a house.

Offering his heartfelt condolences to the departed leader, Patnaik described Karunanidhi as the tallest leader of Tamil Nadu, who played a key role in social change and reforms in his state.

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