Former DMK President and five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi passed away in Kauvery hospital, Chennai. He was 94.
M Karunanidhi was fondly addresses as 'Kalaignar' (artiste) by his followers.
Born Dakshinamurthy on June 3, 1924 in Thirukkuvalai village in Nagapattinam district to Thiru Muthuvelar and Thirumathi Anjugam Ammaiyar, he later changed his name to Muthuvel Karunanidhi.
Inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii, considered the pillar of the Justice Party, Karunanidhi forayed into youth politics at a tender age of 14. During his teenage days, he participated in Anti-Hindi agitations and even founded an organisation for the local youth of his locality.
At the age of 33, Karunanidhi entered the Tamil Nadu assembly winning the Kulithalai seat in the 1957 election. Once he joined the DMK party, he became its treasurer in 1961 and then the opposition leader in the following year. By 1967 when the party came to power Karunanidhi wielded a powerful position. In 1967, Annadurai was serving as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu but could not continue due to his sudden death. Two years later, Karunanidhi took over Annadurai's position as a Chief Minister and since then he has been elected once in 1971, 1989, 1996 and in 2006.
With his passion for Tamil literature, Karunanidhi commenced his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry.
M Karunanidhi with his friend and political rival MG Ramachandran (MGR).
Apart from a successful political career, M Karunanidhi made his presence felt in the Tamil film industry as a screenwriter.
M Karunanidhi with Sivaji Ganeshan.
The Kalaignar sharing stage with Rajinikanth
M Karunanidhi with MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa
"India and particularly Tamil Nadu will miss him immensely. May his soul rest in peace", tweets PM Modi.
"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", tweets Rahul Gandhi.
M Karunanidhi with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Karunanidhi with musical maestro Illayaraja.
M Karunanidhi with former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee
The 94-year-old leader had married three times and have six children. His three wives were late Padmavathy, Dayalu and Rajathi.
He had four sons, namely M K Muthu, M K Alagiri, M K Stalin, and M K Tamilarasu and two daughters, Selvi and Kanimozhi.
Karunanidhi with his son MK Stalin.
His sons Alagiri, Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi have forayed into politics following the path of their illustrious father.
Kalaignar with daughter Kanimozhi.
M Karunanidhi family tree
M Karunanidhi was truly a titan of Tamil Nadu politics.