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M. Karunanidhi Age, Wife, Family, Caste, Death, Biography & More


M Karunanidhi

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Bio/Wiki
Full NameMuthuvel Karunanidhi
Real NameDaksinamoorthy
Nickname(s)Kalaignar, Doctor Kalaignar, The Great Communicator
Profession(s)Politician, Writer
Famous ForBeing the DMK Chief and Icon of Dravidian Politics
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in feet inches- 5’ 5”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourWhite (Semi-bald)
Politics
Political PartyDravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
Political Journey1938- Entered politics at just 14 by leading an anti-Hindi protest in Tiruvarur. He then circulated Manavar Nesan, a handwritten newspaper to its members. He later found Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, the first student wing of Dravidian Movement.
1949- Became an icon of the Dravidian Movement and emerged as the leader of the DMK
1957- Elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Kulithalai seat of Tiruchirapalli district
1961- Became the DMK treasurer and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly
1967- Became the Minister of Public Works in the DMK Government
1969- Became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the 1st time, became the President of the DMK
M Karunanidhi Taking Oath As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu In 1969
1971- Became the Chief Mister of Tamil Nadu for the 2nd time
1976- The DMK Government was dismissed after the Emergency
1989- Became the Chief Mister of Tamil Nadu for the 3rd time
M Karunanidhi Taking Oath As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu In 1989
1996- Became the Chief Mister of Tamil Nadu for the 4th time
M Karunanidhi Taking Oath As Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu In 1996
2006- Became the Chief Mister of Tamil Nadu for the 5th time
[1]Elections.in
Biggest RivalJayalalithaa
Personal Life
Date of Birth3 June 1924
BirthplaceThirukuvalai, Tanjore District, Madras Presidency, British India
Date of Death7 August 2018
Place of DeathKauvery Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Age (at the time of death)94 Years
Death CauseChronic Illness (Urinary Tract Infection)
Burial SiteMarina Beach
Zodiac sign/Sun signGemini
SignatureM Karunanidhi's Signature
NationalityIndian
HometownChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
SchoolBoard High School, Tiruvarur
[2]MyNeta
College/UniversityN/A
Educational Qualification8th Standard
DebutTamil Film Industry- Rajakumari was the first film for which he wrote the script back in 1947 which gained him popularity he needed to continue in the field.
Politics- He was inspired by the speech of Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party and jumped to the politics at just 14 and participated in Anti-Hindu agitations.
ReligionAtheism (Born - Hinduism)
Caste/CommunityIsai Vellalar
Food HabitNon-vegetarian
AddressNo. 15, 4th Street, Gopalapuram, Chennai
M Karunanidhi House In Gopalapuram
HobbiesWatching Cricket
Awards, Honours, Achievements 1971- Awarded an honorary doctorate by Annamalai University
1980s- Rajarajan Award for his book 'Thenpandi Singam' (1985)
M Karunanidhi - Thenpandi Singam
2006- Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Governor of Tamil Nadu and the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, Surjit Singh Barnala on the occasion of the 40th annual convocation
Controversies• Sarkaria Commission accused Karunanidhi of his involvement in corruption in the allotment of tenders for Veeranam project for which, his government was dismissed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
• In 2001, Karunanidhi, along with former Chief Secretary K.A. Nambiar, was arrested based on charges of corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. He and his party members were charged under several sections of the IPC. However, no concrete evidence was found against them.
M Karunanidhi Outside the Central Jail In Chennai
• In 2012, while celebrating the party's founding day, Karunanidhi and party workers were received by a group of people who were dressed portraying some of the Hindu gods.
• He once made a controversial remark against Sethusamudram controversy, questioning the existence of God and asking about the college from where Lord Rama graduated in Engineering for building the Ramar Sethu bridge.
• He had been accused of having links with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant group to create an independent state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil people and encouraging them to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. However, the final report had no such allegations on him.
• Some political observers, his party members, and opponents accused him of promoting nepotism (favouring the relatives) for helping his son M. K. Stalin to rise in the party.
Girls, Affairs, and More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Affair/GirlfriendRajathi Ammal
Family
Wife/SpouseFirst- Padmavathi (Died in 1944)
M Karunanidhi - Padmavathi Ammal
Second- Dayalu Ammal (m. 1948-till his death in 2018)
M Karunanidhi - Dayalu Ammal
Third- Rajathi Ammal (m. late 1960s-till his death in 2018)
M Karunanidhi - Rajathi Ammal
ChildrenSons- M. K. Alagiri (Politician, From Dayalu), M.K Stalin (Politician, From Dayalu), M. K. Tamilarasu (Producer, From Dayalu)
M Karunanidhi's Children From Dayalu Ammal (from left) - Selvi Geetha Kovilam, M. K. Tamilarasu, M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin
M. K. Muthu (From Padmavathi)
M Karunanidhi Son M. K. Muthu From Padmavathi Ammal
Daughters- Selvi Geetha Kovilam (From Dayalu), Kanimozhi (From Rajathi, Politician)
M Karunanidhi's Daughter Kanimozhi From Rajathi Ammal
Family TreeM. Karunanidhi's Family Tree
ParentsFather- Muthuvelar Karunanidhi
M Karunanidhi Childhood Photo With His Father
Mother- Anjugam Karunanidhi
SiblingsBrother- None
Sisters- Shanmugasundarath Ammal, Periyanayagam
Favourite Things
Favourite Food(s)Rice Upma Sprinkled With Ghee, Seafood
[3]TheUnrealTimes
Favourite Cricketer(s)Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni
[4]LiveHindustan
Favourite ActorM. G. Ramachandran
[5]Economictimes
Favourite PoetThiruvalluvar
Favourite ColourWhite
Style Quotient
Car CollectionToyota Alphard
M Karunanidhi - Toyota Alphard
Assets/Properties₹5 crore (Movable)
Money Factor
Salary (approx.)₹37 lakh/year (as in 2011)
[6]NDTV
Net Worth (approx.)₹45 crore (as in 2014)
[7]Myneta

M Karunanidhi

Some Lesser Known Facts About M. Karunanidhi

  • Did M. Karunanidhi smoke: Not Known
  • Did M. Karunanidhi drink alcohol: Not Known
  • Karunanidhi was born into a poor Isai Vellalar family. The Isai Vellalars reportedly depended on temples for their livelihood and traditionally played the Nadaswaram; a double-reed wind instrument.

    M Karunanidhi's Childhood Painting

    M Karunanidhi’s Childhood Painting

  • When he was a school going kid, he developed an interest in drama, poetry, and literature.
  • He learned his first lessons in politics from his music classes that reflected the caste issues of that era. Though his father wanted him to continue their family’s musical tradition, he wasn’t keen to do so.
  • At the age of 14, he witnessed a speech by Alagiriswamy of the Justice Party, which inspired him so much that he made up his mind to enter the politics in the coming future.
  • His political practices started when he became a student activist in Periyar’s Self-Respect Movement, which fought for the rights of the Dravidians. Following it, he founded an organisation called ‘Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram’, which was the first student wing of the Dravidian Movement.

    M Karunanidhi In Younger Days

    M Karunanidhi In Younger Days

  • In 1937, he made his political presence felt when he led the “Anti-Hindi” agitations as part of the Dravidian Movement when Hindi was made compulsory in schools. His oratorical skills, essays, newspaper articles, and theatre plays caught the attention of Periyar and his lieutenant C. N. Annadurai, who gave him the opportunity to address public meetings. His first promotion came when he was made the editor of the Dravidar Kazhagam party magazine, ‘Kudiyarasu.’

    CN Annadurai (left) And Periyar (right)

    CN Annadurai (left) And Periyar (right)

  • After he got failed in 9th standard, he left his studies and resurrected his artistic love by starting his cinema career as a screenwriter and wrote many stories, plays, and novels.
  • He always considered his newspaper ‘Murasoli’ as his first child that he launched in 1942, which was initially a monthly, and later, became the official newspaper of the DMK.

    M Karunanidhi - Murasoli's 75th Anniversary in 2017

    M Karunanidhi – Murasoli’s 75th Anniversary in 2017

  • On the personal front, he got married to Padmavathi in the early 1940s, however, she died in 1944. Four years later, he got remarried to Dayalu Ammal from whom he had 3 sons M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin, Thamizharasu and a daughter Selvi. He also had a daughter, Kanimozhi, from his partner Rajathi Ammal.

    M Karunanidhi Wives (Clockwise - From Left) Padmavathi, Dayalu, Rajathi

    M Karunanidhi Wives (Clockwise – From Left) Padmavathi, Dayalu, Rajathi

  • Alongside finding his feet in politics, he started writing scripts for Tamil films at the age of 20. He got the much-needed fame in 1947 for ‘Rajakumari’ that gave him a boost, and the number just got increasing and reached the 75th mark. As a scriptwriter, he used to earn more than ₹10,000 a month in the late 1940s. He also wrote the script of ‘Parashakti’ (1952), the debut movie of Sivaji Ganeshan.
    M Karunanidhi (left) And Sivaji Ganeshan (right)

    M Karunanidhi (left) And Sivaji Ganeshan (right)

    M Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha In Younger Days

    M Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha In Younger Days

  • After India’s Independence in 1947, Periyar’s “Anti-Hindi” Movement broke into two parts, after which Karunanidhi jointed the part led by Annadurai who went on to form the DMK in 1949. Annadurai became his “political guru” and the ideology of DMK to be the antithesis of Congress, perfectly suited the ambitions of Karunanidhi.

    M Karunanidhi With CN Annadurai

    M Karunanidhi With CN Annadurai

  • Initially, he used to gather crowds and raise funds for the DMK that gradually raised his stature in the party.
  • In 1957, he was first elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from the Kulithalai seat of Tiruchirapalli district. And, in 1961, he was appointed the DMK Treasurer, and a year later, the Deputy Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.

    M Karunanidhi In 1960s

    M Karunanidhi In 1960s

  • His married life with Dayalu was running smoothly until Rajathi Ammal entered his life as a “partner” in the 1960s. However, this marriage became troublesome when Karunanidhi preferred to refer Rajathi Ammal as his daughter Kanimozhi’s mother. Karunanidhi knew that he couldn’t marry Rajathi as per The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, as it would have been an illegal marriage. Therefore, he got married to her as per DMK’s new marriage tradition- ‘Swayam Maryada Kalyanam.’
  • After the death of Annadurai in 1969, Karunanidhi succeeded him and became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu with the help of his once friend M.G. Ramachandran (MGR).

    M Karunanidhi (left) And MG Ramachandran (right)

    M Karunanidhi (left) And MG Ramachandran (right)

  • In the same year, after the draughts in Tamil Nadu, he had called on the then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Morarji Desai and requested him for a relief fund of ₹5 crore to which Morarji replied, “I don’t have money growing trees in my garden.” Karunanidhi sarcastically replied and said, “When there is no money growing trees, how could they be found in your garden?”

    M Karunanidhi - Morarji Desai

    M Karunanidhi – Morarji Desai

  • In 1971, under his leadership, DMK registered its first big win in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections. The very next year, MGR split from the DMK and formed, the AIADMK, after he was denied a cabinet post, and after the close friends turned into arch-rivals.
  • In the late 1960s, he met with an accident that damaged his left eye. Since then, he started wearing glasses upon the medical recommendation.

    M Karunanidhi Taking Off His Glasses

    M Karunanidhi Taking Off His Glasses

  • His autobiography, ‘Nenjukku Neethi,’ has been published in 6 volumes since 1975.

    M Karunanidhi - Nenjukku Neethi

    M Karunanidhi – Nenjukku Neethi

  • In 1975, when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called for an “Emergency” in India, Karunanidhi’s government, like other state governments, was dismissed in 1976. In the 1977 elections, the AIADMK led by MGR thrashed the DMK and stayed in power till his death in 1989, after which the DMK capitalised and made a comeback after a long gap of 13 years.

    M Karunanidhi - 1975 Emergency

    M Karunanidhi – 1975 Emergency

  • In 1980, he met the boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, when he came to Chennai for a guest match.

    M Karunanidhi and Dayalu Ammal With Muhammad Ali And His Wife Veronica in 1980

    M Karunanidhi and Dayalu Ammal With Muhammad Ali And His Wife Veronica in 1980

  • The same year, on 25 March, an unfortunate incident happened at the Tamil Nadu Assembly when Jayalalithaa was the Opposition Leader and Karunanidhi was Chief Minister. The Assembly was witnessing the ugly war of words between the members of DMK and AIADMK. It became even more dramatic when Jayalalithaa pointed to her saree and said, “My saree was pulled and torn,” and pointed the finger towards, Durai Murugan, the then Minister in the DMK Cabinet, and his colleague, Veerapandi Arumugham for the “shameful act”. Jayalalithaa took the political mileage out of it by using this incident in her 1991 election campaign, which changed the course of Tamil Nadu politics forever.

    M Karunanidhi - Jayalalitha Saree Incident

    M Karunanidhi – Jayalalitha Saree Incident

  • Karunanidhi wrote the official theme song, ‘Semmozhiyaana Tamizh Mozhiyaam,’ for the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, which was tuned by A. R. Rahman.

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  • He has been fondly called “Kalaignar” for his interest in arts and literature.
  • In his political career of over 61 years, he had never lost an election. The only time he struggled was in 1991, as he won the election by a margin of just 890 votes.
  • There was a time when he overshadowed AIADMK with his populist schemes and welfare programs like- Kalaignar Kappeetu Thittam (a health scheme), Varumun Kappom (health check-up camps), Uzhavar Sandhais (farmers’ markets), Namakku Naame Thittam (self-sufficiency), Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam (injection of resources into village panchayat), Moovalur Ramamirtham (marriage assistance to poor women, noon meal programme, free bus passes for students, and the waiver of cooperative loans), etc.
  • He used to follow a strict Yoga regime that began at 4:30 am; following with a walk at Anna Arivalayam.
  • He was an avid dog lover and his favourite dog was “Khanna,” a Lhasa apso-type dog. He had so much affection for his dogs that when his dog, Blackie, a Dachshund died, he didn’t eat non-vegetarian food for almost 2 years.

    M Karunanidhi, A Dog Lover

    M Karunanidhi, A Dog Lover

  • In 2008, he started getting the back pain trouble, and in 2009, he went through a surgery that didn’t succeed and forced him to take the support of a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

    M Karunanidhi On WheelChair

    M Karunanidhi On WheelChair

  • His family owns Sun TV and Kalaignar TV, one of the biggest media houses in Tamil Nadu.
  • He made his son M. K. Stalin as his political successor whom he had named after Joseph Stalin (a Soviet revolutionary) who died 4 days later of M. K. Stalin’s birth.
  • He witnessed his last defeat in 2016 when the DMK lost the assembly elections to AIADMK; mainly due to the corruption allegations against his party and family members, more specifically, the 2G Spectrum Scam.
  • On 7 August 2018, around 6:40 pm, it was announced that M Karunanidhi died after a 10 days long battle for life and was laid to rest at Marina Beach’s Anna Memorial in Chennai.

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References/Sources:   [ + ]