M. Karunanidhi: Contributions and Missed Opportunities towards Eelam Tamil Cause


Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State and the Chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Muthuvel Karunanidhi, popularly known as ‘Kalaignar’, has passed away at the age of 94 in Chennai, TamilNadu, on Tuesday. Apart from his acumen in adjusting policy to the prevailing circumstances and persistent role in dialectically shaping the politics of Tamil Nadu, Kalaignar was also a veteran writer, playwright, scriptwriter, poet and an orator contributing to Tamil literature and cinema. His demise marks the end of a political era, represented along with the late former chief minister personalities such as C.N. Annadurai (Anna), M.G.Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, all of whom originated from the secular Dravidian movement, which emerged as a counter-hegemonic force in Tamil Nadu politics in the early 20th century. 

Kalaignar’s demise comes at a time when the party politics of Tamil Nadu, dominated so far by DMK-AIADMK binary, remains subdued and contained by the North Indian rulers and also amidst the awakenings against these trends by the grassroots in Tamil Nadu.

                                                                           Ardent Supporter: S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, centre, with M. Karunanidhi in Madras on February 22, 1972.   | Photo Credit: I&PR Department


Eelam Tamils would remember Kalaignar Karunanidhi for his positive contributions, as well as for his monumental failure in 2009, when they faced genocide abetted by Sonia Gandhi’s Congress regime in New Delhi, with which he was having a political alliance. 

However, Kalaignar did not fail to call for international investigations against Sri Lanka for crimes committed against Eelam Tamils after 2009. 

Organising a series of meetings through the Tamil Eelam Solidarity Organisation (TESO), he was also contributing through his dialectical politics, a stance critical to the US resolution brought out in consensus with the SL State at Geneva. 

He was also fully backing the resolutions, which were brought out by his staunch opponent J Jayalalithaa at the Tamil Nadu Assembly, contributing to the unanimous adoption of the resolutions that demanded the referendum on Tamil Eelam and the demand for international investigations on Tamil genocide. 

Finally, in 2013, he pulled out from the alliance with the New Delhi establishment. 

Back in March 1990, Kalaignar Karunanidhi was courageously refusing to attend the reception of the IPKF, when it was withdrawn from the country of Eezham Tamils after waging war against the LTTE. 

In 1991, New Delhi dismissed his government in Tamil Nadu, following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. 

In 2006 and 2007, he was foremost in expressing his condolences on the passing away of LTTE’s political advisor Anton Balasingham (December 2006) and on the demise of LTTE’s Political Head Brigadier S.P. Thamilchelvan(November 2007).

Source: [TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 16:58 GMT]


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