The demise of DMK president of M Karunanidhi has left a void in not just Tamilnadu but Indian politics too. During his 50 years of service both from the treasury benches and the Opposition, he has contributed a great deal to ensure social and economic justice for Tamils. From a humble beginning in Thirukuvalai, he rose to become the influential leader who rewrote the socio-political history of the State. He took Tamilnadu to great heights through his economic reforms.

His pen was mightier than the sword and he made sure it spit anger against society at any given opportunity. Having associated with the film industry in more than 75 movies as story, lyrics, screenplay, and dialogue writer, Karunanidhi’s works are something that led to a revolution in Tamil cinema.
More a reformer who was angered by inequalities in society, he took to politics to ensure even minorities got their due share.

A multi-faceted personality, he never saw defeat in elections. A master strategist, tactician and shrewd politician, who moved his pieces deftly, Karunanidhi had held the reins of the party very strongly with the sway of words and charismatic personality that attracted people to him like a magnet.
His pioneering policies and programmes include equal property rights to women, a host of social security measures, Periyar Samathuvapuram to enable communal harmony (equality habitat), Archakas Act to facilitate people of all communities to become archakas in temples, reservation in education and employment and direct economic support programme for the socially depressed classes, distribution of lands to landless agricultural labour, extending free education up to college-level, providing nutrition and economic support to pregnant women and lactating mothers, ensuring food security through Public Distribution System by providing highly subsidised foodgrains and recognition of transgender in society. The sun may have set. But its radiance will stay forever.

NT Bureau