Maintain military discipline, stay calm: Stalin tells DMK workers after Karunanidhi’s death

Row Erupts over Karunanidhi's Burial Madras HC Set to Hold a Special Hearing

Thousands gathered outside Kauvery hospital in the city of Chennai to offer their condolences.

Born in the backward Isai Vellala community in the obscure village of Thirukuvalai in Thanjavur district to Muthuvel and Anjugam on June 3, 1924, he has climbed up a hard ladder to rise as one of the towering personalities in Indian politics.

He was a follower of Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, a social activist and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement that fought to end discrimination against the lower castes.

Mr Karunanidhi managed to keep Tamil Nadu in the national spotlight by entering into alliances with the current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in 1990 and then the Congress in 2004. The government has also declared a seven-day mourning in the state.

After dropping out of high school, he went on to work as a scriptwriter.

Following the death of Annadurai, Karunanidhi, with the help of Tamil cinema legend MG Ramachandran aka MGR became Chief Minister. "He's been a witness to everything that's happened in the state in the past six or seven decades", newspaper columnist Bhaskaran Krishnamurthy earlier told the BBC.

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On Sunday, President Ramnath Kovind visited the former Chief Minister at the hospital and wished him speedy recovery.

#05:06 PM: Chennai Police bars public entry inside Kauvery Hospital, where the DMK patriarch is undergoing treatment. "Fan clubs mobilized support for the party and voter turnout during elections", according to Hardgrave Jr.

In the 1991 elections, AIADMK ousted DMK and Karunanidhi was the sole DMK candidate to have been returned after the electoral battle.

Fondly known as Kalaignar (scholar/artist), Karunanidhi began his career as a screenplay writer for Tamil films in the 1940s.

"He is, without a doubt, the most senior statesman in the state's political arena".

Karunanidhi's remarkable literary skills and success as a screenwriter and subsequent popularity played a big role in his rise in the DMK and his overall stature. Stalin had also met the chief minister hours before his father's death.

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