Karunanidhi family tree.
CHENNAI: Among the political events in the long history of M Karunanidhi, two junctures are significant — the ouster of MG Ramachandran in 1972 and the attempt to merge the party he founded — AIADMK — with the DMK in 1979.
On March 31, 2009, at a function, Karunanidhi and Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani revealed the facts behind the merger and how it was thwarted by Panruti S Ramachandran.
The DMK president revealed he had agreed to retain the flag of present AIADMK (with Arignar Anna’s bust at the centre). He also wanted the Rs 9,000-limit for reservation (economic criterion) to be withdrawn. Karunanidhi further said MGR could continue as the Chief Minister while he (Karunanidhi) would be the president of the party.
MGR had agreed to these conditions and asked Karunanidhi to convey his approval. However, within a few hours, MGR had changed his mind.
Panruti Ramachandran went on record admitting that he had changed MGR’s mind. He had explained to MGR that after the merger, the AIADMK cadre might not enjoy equal status in the unified party.
This argument resonated with MGR, who gave up the idea of a merger and the rest is history.
‘Dravida naadu’ in MK’s signature
DMK president M Karunanidhi’s peculiar signature, indeed, has a message, and he revealed it while signing the gift deed donating his Gopalapuram residence to the Annai Anjugam Trust.
When Karunanidhi was asked to affix his signature on many pages, his past days flashed before him, and he told industrialist N Mahalingam and party colleagues around him that “You see, Dravida Naadu is in my signature’’, pointing to the ‘V’ shaped curve which resembled the southern part of India on the map.
He further said that the dot under the signature resembled Sri Lanka. He also reminisced that he had practised his signature for around six months while he was in Tiruchy prison many decades ago.