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Karunanidhi is one of Tamil Nadu's most well known and powerful political figures. Browse through his biography to know more about his life, career and profile.

M. Karunanidhi

Born On: June 3rd, 1924
Born In: Chennai
Career: Politics

Muthuvel Karunanidhi is one of India's most senior political figures who continues to be an active part of Indian politics. He has been a part of the founding members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and led the party since 1969. With his zest for social work, Karunanidhi has managed to serve as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for quite some time. With over 60 years of politics under his belt, he has been the strongest force to his party members and his supporters. M. Karunanidhi has been fondly referred to as "Kalaignar" and continues to wield an unshakable position in Tamil Nadu's politics. Besides his literary contribution to Tamil literature he has also well known for his social participation and facilitating the poor. During his political career Karunanidhi has fought for several social causes and helping to revive socio-economic conditions. His free insurance scheme has been a boon to many families in the rural parts of Tamil Nadu and on the industrial front Kalaignar continues to equip the state economy by focusing on the growth and development of the state. To know more about this powerful and influential personality, read on!

Early Life
Karunanidhi was born on 3rd June, 1924 in a small hamlet known as Thirukkuvalai to his parents Thiru Muthuvelar and Thirumathi Anjugam Ammaiyar. Both his parents came from a very humble background. His mother was from a poor family and was a temple dancer during her younger days. Karunanidhi was named Dakshinamurthy before he changed his name to Muthuvel Karunanidhi. Much is not relived about his child hood and early education, but it was a well know fact that he had keen interest in Tamil literature.

With his passion for Tamil literature, Karunanidhi commenced his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. It was through his movie scripts that he tried to convey a meaningful social message, his story lines touched on subjects like widow remarriage, abolition of the zamindari system, obliteration of religious hypocrisy, eradication of untouchability and self-respect marriages. The movie "Parasakthi" reflects his stand point on the negative aspects of Brahmanism that was opposed by traditional Hindu communities. Despite many controversies the movie never failed to win wide spread publicity and was accepted by audiences all over the state. His unconventional themes made him one of the most sought after screenwriter during his time. Apart from penning down dialogues for motion pictures, Karunanidhi also wrote a number of poems, letters, books, biographies, historical novels, songs, dialogues, plays, essays, short stories, etc. Being an art lover the famous "Valluvar Kottam" architectural rock pile is said to be Karunanidhi's tribute to the renowned scholar Thiruvalluvar.

Karunanidhi was influenced by Alagiriswamii who was a member of the Justice Party that once prevailed during the reign of the British in India. It is been said that once on hearing Alagiriswamii's speech Karunanidhi was motivated towards social causes. He began with first forming a local community for the youth and generating support for his social work. He also formed a student organization named Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram which paved the way for his involvement in social causes. During this period he also made use of the power of the press by establishing his very own editorial journal that gave him the needed publicity for his work. On 10th August 1942, his publication "Murasoli" was launched. Since then Karunanidhi has been the founding editor and publisher of this newspaper. With his writing skills he continued to put forward his political stance and addressing his party members through his journals. He has also been an integral part of other publications such as Kudiyarasu, Mutharam, Tamil Arasu, etc. Karunanidhi's militant participation in the anti-Hindi protest in Kallakudi was the turning point in his political career. It also made him a prominent youth figure. In 1957 he was first elected to the state assembly from the Thiruchirapalli district. 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, M. 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. Aged 87, M.Karunanidhi continues to be an integral part of not only the DMK party, but also politics in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi has been an honorary dignitary for the World Tamil Conference in 1970 that was held in Paris. In 1987 he inaugurated the World Tamil Conference conducted in Malaysia. For the 'World classical Tamil Conference 2010', M.Karunanidhi was responsible for composing the official theme song. The background score was churned out by A. R. Rahman. Apart from his literary contributions towards Tamil literature, Karunanidhi has also extended his support to ensure the welfare of his people. From free insurance schemes for the downtrodden in rural parts of the state to undertaking rigorous measure towards industrialization, Karunanidhi continues to work towards social causes. During his tenure, Karunanidhi, built the Tidel software park welcoming more IT industries into the state. He also started the New Tractor Manufacturing cell in Oragadam. Companies that include Mahindra and Nissan operate in this setup.

Personal Life
He was married thrice, first to Padmavathy, with whom he fathered a son, M. K. Muthu. His first wife died during the initial years of marriage. Dayaluammal, Karunanidhi's second wife gave birth to four children named Azhagiri, Stalin, Selvi and Tamilarasu, Rajathiammal, his third wife, gave birth to Kanimozhi, who is now a Rajya Sabha M.P.


1924: Karunanidhi was born on June 3rd in a small village Thirukkuvalai.
1942: His newspaper Murasoli was established.
1957: He was elected to the state assembly.
1961: Elected as the DMK treasurer.
1962: Appointed as the deputy leader of opposition in Tamil Nadu assembly.
1967: Is elected as the Minister of Public Works
1969: Is appointed as the Chief Minister for the first time.
1970: Is a part of the World Tamil Conference.
1971: Is elected as Chief Minister for the second time.
1996: Continues as Chief Minister
2006: Wins the state election for the fifth time.