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ARTIST'S PROFILE DIRECTORY

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Kalaignar Karunanidhi

General Profile of Kalaignar Karunanidhi  -   Lyricist

Muthuvel Karunanidhi was born as Dakshinamurthy in Thirukuvalai in Tiruvarur, India, on 3 June 1924 to Muthuvel and Anjugam. He belongs to Isai Velalar community and his ancestry from Tiruvaarur. He has claimed that the secret of his energy and success lies in the daily practice of yoga. He married three times; his wives are the late Padmavathy, Dayalu Ammal and Rajathiammal.

His sons are M. K. Muthu, M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin, and M. K. Tamilarasu. His daughters are Selvi and Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP. M. K. Muthu, his eldest son was born to Padmavathy, who died early. Azhagiri, Stalin, Selvi and Tamilarasu were born to Dayaluammal, while Kanimozhi is the only daughter from his third wife, Rajathiammal. He has donated his house, that is to be converted into a free hospital for the poor after his death.

Karunanidhi began his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. Through his wit and oratorical skills he rapidly rose as a popular politician. He was famous for writing historical and social (reformist) stories which propagated the socialist and rationalist ideals of the Dravidian movement to which he belonged.

He first began using Tamil cinema to propagate his political ideas through the movie Parasakthi. Parasakthi was a turning point in Tamil cinema, as it espoused the ideologies of the Dravidian movement and also introduced two prominent actors of Tamil filmdom, Sivaji Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran.

Karunanidhi rose to fame as a scriptwriter for the Modern Theatres Studio in Salem about 350 kilometers from Madras or present day Chennai. T R Sundaram, the owner of Modern Theatres Studio at Yercaud foot hills, was instrumental in honing the talents of Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and M G Ramachandran.

Even today, whenever Karunanidhi visits Salem, he takes a ride through Modern Theatres ( now a gated community of exclusive bungalows)and goes up to the first hair pin bend on the Yercaud hill road to relive nostalgia.

Karunanidhi is known for his contributions to Tamil literature. His contributions cover a wide range: poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historic novels, stageplays, dialogues, songs, etc. He has written Kuraloviam for Thirukural, Tholkaappiya Poonga, Poombukar, as well as many poems, essays and books.

Apart from literature, Karunanidhi has also contributed to the Tamil language through art and architecture. Like the Kuraloviyam, in which Kalaignar wrote about Thirukkural, through the construction of Valluvar Kottam he gave an architectural presence to Thiruvalluvar, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. At Kanniyakumari, Karunanidhi has constructed a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar, which portrays his feelings about the scholar.

Books Karunanidhi's writings include: Sanga Thamizh, Thirukkural Urai, Ponnar Sankar, Romapuri Pandian, Thenpandi Singam, Vellikizhamai, Nenjukku Needhi,Iniyavai Irubathu and Kuraloviam. His books of prose and poetry number more than 100.

Karunanidhi's plays include: Manimagudam, Ore Ratham, Palaniappan, Thooku Medai, Kagithapoo, Naane Arivali, Vellikizhamai, Udhayasooriyan and Silappathikaram. At the age of 20, Karunanidhi went to work for Jupiter Pictures as a scriptwriter. His first film, Rajakumaari, gained him much popularity. It was here that his skills as a scriptwriter were honed. He wrote 75 screenplays.

Muthuvel Karunanidhi is an Indian politician who has served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions. He is the head of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969. He holds the record of winning his seat in every election in which he has participated, in a political career spanning more than 60 years.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the DMK-led DPA (UPA and Left Parties) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats. In the following 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he was able to increase the number of seats for the DMK from 16 to 19 seats, and led the UPA in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, to win 28 seats, even with a significantly smaller coalition. He is also a playwright and screenwriter in Tamil cinema. He is called by his supporters as Kalaignar, "artist").

 
 
Awards & Titles

Annamalai University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1971.

He was awarded "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for his book "Thenpandi Singam".

On 15 December 2006, the Governor of Tamil Nadu and the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, Surjit Singh Barnala conferred an honorary doctorate on the Chief Minister on the occasion of the 40th annual convocation.

In June 2007, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Makkal Katchi announced that it would confer the title 'Friend of the Muslim Community' ('Yaaran-E-Millath') upon M. Karunanidhi.