Life of Kalaignar M Karunanidhi in cinema

Published: 07th August 2018 05:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2018 07:11 PM  

Kalaignar Karunanidhi
During his career spanning over six decades, M Karunanidhi had written over 75 screenplays and many movie songs- introducing Dravidian ideologies and challenging the social hierarchy. The 94 year old political stalwart breathed his last on Tuesday 7 August 2018. | EPS
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Karunanidhi started writing scripts at the age of 20 for Jupiter Pictures, in a career spanning decades. He last wrote the screenplay for the 2011 Tamil film 'Ponnar Shankar'. | EPS
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Karunanidhi was following the footsteps of former TN CM and Dravidian politics stalwart CN Annadurai (centre), who himself was a screenwriter, introducing Dravidian ideologies and challenging the social hierarchy through his films. | EPS
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Apart from movie scripts, MK has also staged plays including 'Ore Ratham', 'Palaniappan', 'Manimagudam', 'Naane Arivali', and 'Udhayasooryan'. | EPS
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
M Karunanidhi began his film career as a scriptwriter in 1947 with 'Rajakumari', starring MG Ramachandran - the latter's first lead role. The film also marks the moment in history where two doyens of Tamil Nadu politics struck a friendship. The two would go on to become rivals and establish their own political bases. In picture: Actress T R Rajakumari with actor MGR. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
'Rajakumari' was followed by 'Abhimanyu' (1948) and 'Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi' (1950) - both starring MG Ramachandran. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
A turning point in Tamil cinema as well as in Karunadhi and Shivaji Ganesan's career came with the 1952 superhit, 'Parashakthi'.
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Known for his strong sense of socialism and rationalism as well his critique of social evils, Karunanidhi's characters voiced stiff protest towards intolerance, misogyny and threw light on the plight of Tamil in the lower rung of society. In picture: DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi with Actor Sivaji Ganesan enjoying a joke during a function. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
He followed 'Parashakthi' with films like 'Panam', 'Naam', 'Thirumbi Paar', 'Malai Kallan' and 'Ammai Appan'. (Youtube screengrab)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
In an article written in 'The Frontline;, the former CM wrote that he 'used films to spread rationalist ideas among people'. He says that his 'objective in writing for films was to avoid obscenity and highlight the principles of the Self-Respect Movement and thereby appeal to the intellect of the viewers. The film Naam dealt entirely with the aspirations of the working class. A conversation from that film shows how deeply the lofty ideals of the communist movement were entrenched in me even when I was young.' In picture: DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi addressing a gathering. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Through his films, Karunanidhi had found a medium which could mirror his political ideology. If 'Thai Illa Pillai' was about caste, 'Kanchi Thalaivan' dealt with the ideals of Annadurai. In image: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi along with E V Ramasamy Naicker (Periyar) paying tributes at Anna Square. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
MGR would go on to find his own party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which would become the biggest opposition to Karunanidhi. In image: (from left) M G Ramachandran, V R Nedunchezhian and M Karunanidhi at a function. (EPS)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
Karunanidhi had also tried to launch his son MK Muthu, to counter MGR who was still enjoying a huge fan following. The events which followed the tussle ended with MGR being expelled from the party. (Youtube screengrab)
Kalaignar Karunanidhi
The relationship between MGR and Karunanidhi found a film adaption when Mani Rathnam made 'Iruvar' in 1997. The film had Mohanlal playing Anandam, a character reportedly based on MGR and Prakash Raj playing Tamizhselvan, an alleged take on the DMK chief. (IMDB)
Rest in peace Kalaignar Karunanidhi. (3 June 1924 - 7 August 2018 )
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