Chennai, Aug 8: M Karunanidhi, who was once part of a struggle for the establishment of a Dravida Nadu was also incidentally the first Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to unfurl the National Flag on Independence Day.
Until the year 1973, Governors who were considered to be representatives of the states would hoist the Tricolour on both Independence Day and Republic Day.
In February 1974, Karunanidhi during his second term as Chief Minister complained that the CMs were being ignored on both August 15 and January 26. He raised the issue at the time he was intensifying a struggle for state autonomy.
When the Prime Minister could hoist the National Flag on Independence Day, why could the chief ministers not do it, he had asked at an event in Chennai. He continued to pressurise the Centre on the issue and in July 1974, the then PM, Indira Gandhi conceded to his request. She announced that on August 15, chief ministers would hoist the flag, while on Republic Day it would be the Governor.
On August 15 1974, the rule came into force and Karunanidhi went on to become the first CM of Tamil Nadu to hoist the Tricolour at the Fort St. George.