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At 92, age no bar for Karunanidhi's passion for screenwriting


Chennai, Jun 7: Still going strong at 92, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo Karunanidhi continues to actively pursue his passion for screenwriting, a habit he has been nurturing for about 75 years now.

The veteran politician is now penning a script for a mega television series on the 11th century Vaishnavite saint-philosopher Ramanuja, who stood for equality of all castes.


"Ramanujar," a mega TV series on the Tamil saint began its run on "Kalaignar TV" on June 3, which also marks the birthday of Karunanidhi.

"Triggered by a passion I wrote an article and Dravida Nadu magazine published it (April 26, 1942) the next week itself," Karunanidhi recalls in a souvenir, released here on Tuesday, on his first article in print.

"Anna (DMK founder-leader C N Annadurai) wanted to meet me after reading it and he was surprised to see that the author was a such a young boy," he says with nostalgia.

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.

The DMK chief's literary pursuit began with a handwritten magazine "Manavanesan" while he was still in school at Tiruvarur, the souvenir says. This flowered into a successful career in screenwriting for Tamil films and stage plays.

Notably, movies like "Parasakthi" (1952) and "Manthirikumari" (1950), that had his sharp dialogues tinged with distinctive political overtones were super hits.

"Even as opposition by rival political parties increased against it (Manthirikumari) the film went on to become a very huge success," Karunanidhi says in the souvenir.

Amidst his success in the film world came his successful electoral debut in 1957 when he won from Kulithalai constituency, one among the first 15 MLAs elected to the then Madras Legislative Assembly on a DMK ticket.

The rest is history. He went on to become chief minister of the state for five times after the death of Annadurai in 1969 besides serving DMK as the party president.

Even during his last tenure (2006-11) he had written script for two films "Uliyin Osai" and "Pen Singam" and continues to write almost everyday in party mouthpiece "Murasoli" to cadres.

Besides a compendium of Tamil literary works like "Kuraloviam" and "Tholkaappiya Poonga," his memoirs "Nenjukku Neethi", Karunanidhi has written screenplay for 75 Tamil films.

He had also written a host of plays including "Manimagudam," "Kagithapoo" and "Avana Pitthana".


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