Chennai, Agu 8: A script writer par excellence, M Karunanidhi began penning scripts for plays as a 20-year-old, his works becoming a vehicle for propagating the principles of the Dravidian movement.
Age did not wither his pithy prose and as he crossed 90, he wrote his last script for a television serial based on reformist Hindu saint Ramanuja, who strove for an egalitarian society.
Scripting dialogues for the television soap based on the 11-th century Vaishnavite saint in 2015, Karunanidhi had praised the saint for throwing his weight behind the oppressed and backward classes.
A voracious reader and prolific writer, Karunanidhi took a keen interest in Tamil literature, poetry and drama and even as a 20-year-old had enacted a reformist drama "Pazhaniappan.'
As a teenager, he ran a handwritten magazine "Manava Nesan" in 1941.
In 1947, Karunanidhi wrote the screenplay and dialogue for the blockbuster 'Rajakumari', the debut movie of M G Ramachandran, who later became his arch political rival and founded AIADMK.
Little did he know that his dialogues in 'Parasakthi' (1952), which debutant 'Sivaji' Ganesan delivered with panache, would become a big hit and aid in catapulting his political career as well.
Besides a host of plays like 'Manimagudam', he has penned screenplays and dialogues for over 50 movies and scripted the story for several of them.
'Manohara' (1954), 'Malaikallan' (1954), 'Rangon Radha' (1956) were among the movies in which he was involved as a screenwriter.
In addition to penning dialogues, he had also written stories for movies, including successful films like 'Marudanattu Ilavarasi', 'Mandiri Kumari (both 1950), Tirumbipar (1953) and Arasilangkumari (1961).
'Mani Makudam', 'Marakka Mudiyuma', 'Avan Pithana', 'Pookkari' and 'Needhikku Thandanai' were among his several other movies.
A noted Tamil author, Karunanidhi has over 100 works to his credit, including poems and novels.
His novels include Romapuri Pandian, Thenpandi Singam, Nenjukku Needhi (his autobiography and commentary on contemporary politics), Sanga Thamizh, Kuraloviam, Ponnar Shankar, Thirukkural Urai.
His stage plays include 'Manimagudam', 'Ore Ratham', 'Thooku Medai,' 'Kagithapoo' and 'Silapathikarum.
(With agency inputs)