New Delhi: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president, Muthuvel Karunanidhi breathed his last on Tuesday evening, suffering from age-related ailments for a few years now. He had been admitted to a hospital in Chennai for 11 days before he passed away.
Karunanidhi, five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was also a first-class screenwriter, and has over 100 works in Tamil to his credit, including poems and novels.
Karunanidhi continued to patronise the arts, even after entering politics. Under his tenure in 2000, he unveiled a 40-metre long statue of Tamil poet and philosopher Tiruvalluvar at Kanyakumari.
Kamal Haasan, who was really close to Karunanidhi, had met the ailing politician in the hospital a few days back. Word is that, he cancelled all his shoots the minute he got the news and paid his last respect to his inspiration, Karunanidhi.
His demise brought all important leaders in the country to acknowledge his works in literature and politics. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi offered their condolences to Karunanidhi’s family.
Extremely sad to learn of the passing of Thiru M. Karunanidhi. A doyen of our public life, as a contributor to the development of Tamil Nadu and of India he has few peers. Our country is poorer today. My condolences to his family and millions of well-wishers #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 7, 2018
The Prime Minister also visited Chennai on Wednesday, accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and state BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan. He paid homage to late Karunanidhi after laying a wreath on his body.
My thoughts are with the family and the countless supporters of Karunanidhi Ji in this hour of grief. India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/7ZZQi9VEkm
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2018
Loved by the Tamilian people, Kalaignar strode the stage of Tamil politics, like a colossus, for over 6 decades. In his passing, India has lost a great son. My condolences to his family as also to the millions of Indians who grieve for their beloved leader tonight.#Karunanidhi
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 7, 2018
Several politicians took to Twitter to express sorrow at the demise of the DMK president:
News has just come in of the passing of Kalaignar Muthuvel Karunanidhi, a giant of Indian politics as CM of Tamil Nadu & a screenplay writer who gave voice to the Dravidian movement through his immortal dialogues. Tamil politics can never be the same again. RIP.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 7, 2018
I express my deepest condolences and pray to the Almighty to give strength to Karunanidhi ji's family and followers in this hour of grief to bear the profound loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 7, 2018
Kalaignar Karunanidhi was a seasoned leader who dedicated himself in service to the poor and needy. He was a powerful voice of the marginalised section of our society. India mourns his demise.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 7, 2018
Saddened by the demise of DMK Chief, Thiru M #Karunanidhi, a great administrator & a humble leader who dedicated his life to TamilNadu.
May God grant peace to his soul and strength to his family in this hour of grief. ॐ शांति शांति 🙏🏻
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 7, 2018
Actor-turned-politician Rajnikanth also expressed his views on Twitter:
நாம் பெரிதும் மதிக்கும்
டாக்டர் கலைஞர் அவர்களுக்கு என்னுடைய மனமார்ந்த பிறந்தநாள் நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.. pic.twitter.com/yATOszwSwJ
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) June 3, 2018
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed heartfelt grief over the demise of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK leader M Karunanidhi. CM offered condolences to the bereaved family and to the people of Tamil Nadu. pic.twitter.com/TrnwcXoXCI
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 7, 2018
Tamil Nadu’s present chief minister also tweeted:
மாண்புமிகு தமிழ்நாடு முதலமைச்சர் திரு.எடப்பாடி கே.பழனிசாமி அவர்களின் இரங்கல் செய்தி – 7.8.2018 pic.twitter.com/NXEV9jZxUZ
— Edappadi K Palaniswami (@CMOTamilNadu) August 7, 2018
மாண்புமிகு தமிழ்நாடு முன்னாள் முதலமைச்சர் திரு.மு.கருணாநிதி அவர்களின் மறைவு – இரங்கல் செய்தி pic.twitter.com/fmIyb0U6oY
— Edappadi K Palaniswami (@CMOTamilNadu) August 7, 2018
Saddened to know about the demise of Thiru M.Karunanidhi. May His soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to the people of Tamil Nadu.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 7, 2018
A legend in his lifetime, counted amongst the giants of the political landscape of India #Kalaignar #Karunanidhi ji has left a void not just in his home state of Tamil Nadu but in the entire country that will never be filled. My condolences to his family & Tamils the world over.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 7, 2018
Feel v sad to hear about the demise of this great leader. May his soul rest in peace. Its a great loss to the nation. https://t.co/fymujgcmMI
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 7, 2018
Karaikal By-pass road will be named in the name of Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Dr.M.Karunanidhi .#Karunanidhi
— CMO Puducherry (@CMPuducherry) August 8, 2018
After the chief minister’s office of Puducherry announced that a by-pass road will be named after the former CM of Tamil Nadu, V Narayanasamy took to Twitter and said that a bronze statue will be erected for Kalaignar (artist in Tamil) Karunanidhi.
— V.Narayanasamy (@VNarayanasami) August 8, 2018
Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman expressed his respects for the late DMK leader stating how his infectious passion and love for Tamizh will stay forever”
You may have left this earth but your infectious passion and love for Tamizh will stay and reflect with us forever…Deep Respect ! #Karunanidhi
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) August 7, 2018
Heartfelt condolences to the family,friends and followers of one of the greatest leaders of our time. You will be remembered always #Karunanidhi ayya.
— Santhosh Narayanan (@Music_Santhosh) August 8, 2018