End of an era in national politics

Chennai: The death of grand old man of Indian politics and DMK Patriarch M Karunanidhi, marked the end of an era, not only in Tamilnadu politics, but also in National politics.

A giant pillar of the Dravidian movement in Tamilnadu lay shattered in the passing away of five time chief minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi who had steered the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) through several trials and tribulations and had etched a formidable script in the
modern history of the State.

Born as Dakshinamoorthy on 3 June, 1924 in Thirukkuvalai village in Nagapattinam district to Muthuvelu and Anjugam, Mr Karunanidhi was
affectionately called ‘Kalaignar’, a sobriquet given to him by late actor M R Radha after being overawed by his literary and skills, by
one and all.

He was a multi-faceted personality with a high degree of eloquence in tamil literary field and had contributed significantly to the Tamil film world and also to the amateur theatre in his early days.

A master strategist, tactician and shrewd politician, Karunanidhi had held the reigns of the party very strongly with the sway of words and charismatic personality that attracted people to him like a magnet.

Though he was seen as anti-congress during the anti-Hindi agitation and during the dark days of emergency in 1975, he later stitched an alliance with the Congress during the tenure of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was architect in establishing a non-congress regime headed by H D Devegowda under the banner of United Front after being part of the National Front government headed by I K Gujral.

Though the DMK used to term the BJP as communal, it had entered into an alliance with the saffron party during A B Vajapyee government in 1999 after the AIADMK led by Ms J Jayalalithaa withdrew support within 13 months of forming the government in 1998.

Later, he severed ties with the BJP and again entered into an alliance with the Congress in 2004 and secured a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections. The alliance continued in 2009, before the DMk went alone in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and drew a blank.

As a seasoned statesman, Kalaignar has been guiding spirit in providing valuable contributions in national politics when the country has been witnessing coalition governance since 1990.

As a strong proponent of vibrant federalism, he rendered his constant support to the formation of governments at the national level and was seen as one of the architects of the successful coalition governments and the new era political federalism in India.