Karunanidhi and MGR: A checkered friendship, and a lesson in civility and empathy | The News Minute
Karunanidhi never won an assembly election against MGR, who was always a step ahead of him. If MGR and Karuna had a love-hate relationship, it was hatred from the word go between Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, especially on the. Karunanidhi-MGR Relationship: film 'Iruvar' defines the friendship between Karunanidhi and MGR, giving insight into Dravidian politics.
Karunanidhi, as chief minister, also held the finance portfolio and had begun to read out the budget speech. Jayalalithaa, in the Opposition, heckled him, continually interrupting him and preventing him from going ahead.
What happened next depends on whose version is taken into account.
A Bohemian Rhapsody – The MGR-Karunanidhi Story
Duraimurugan became infamous, subsequently, for allegedly yanking at and tearing Jayalalithaa's saree. In the melee that ensued, a weeping Jayalalithaa was bodily lifted by her party members and taken out to safety, her hair and clothes in disarray. Outside, to waiting media persons, Jayalalithaa swore that she would never set foot again in the Tamil Nadu assembly until it was a safe place for women. Irrespective of what the truth was, the people of Tamil Nadu chose to believe a wounded woman.
Jayalalithaa also increasingly wooed the Congress under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi as an ally, leaving the DMK out in the cold. The daylight murder of Padmanabha, the chief of the rival EPRLF, in Madras as Chennai was then knownalong with 12 of his party men and two innocent victims, triggered the furore.
What made things much worse for Karunanidhi was that a minister in his cabinet, Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan, his own party workers and the state police were accused of aiding the murderers, members of the LTTE, to escape back to their country.
Chandra Shekhar, egged on by ally Rajiv Gandhi, decided to crack down on the state government. The DMK government was dismissed. Four months later, Karunanidhi would find to his horror that the LTTE, whose cause of a separate Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka he had enthusiastically supported, had struck again.
On May 21,a young woman called Dhanu from the LTTE headed to Sriperumbudur to garland Rajiv Gandhi, who was campaigning for elections scheduled to be held a few days later. Strapped to her body was a bomb which exploded, killing the former prime minister, his assassin and 14 others. Tamil Nadu turned its back on Karunanidhi.EXCLUSIVE - தமிழிசை திருமணத்தில் எம்ஜிஆர், கருணாநிதி பேச்சு - Tamilisai - MGR - Karunanidhi
Jayalalithaa, riding the sympathy wave for the slain Gandhi, an ally, ascended to the chief minister's post for the first time in May But the truth, according to senior journalists in the state, is that Karunanidhi was only playing to the gallery on the issue of the Sri Lankan Tamils and the LTTE. The second blunder, I said, was to elect Mahinda Rajapaksa in He was very critical of the LTTE.
Announcing after she came to power that the DMK had emptied the treasury and that she would take only a token Re 1 salary as chief minister, Jayalalithaa began work on a slew of welfare schemes targeted at the woman voter.
Political thuggery too was at an all-time high as vengeance was wreaked upon DMK members for various slights, both real and perceived. Jayalalithaa brought on her own downfall in in the form of a jaw-dropper of a wedding for her foster son V N Sudhakaran, a nephew of Sasikala's, to the granddaughter of cine actor Sivaji Ganesan.
The pomp and show put on in Madras for the wedding disgusted the voters. Invoters turned their back on her. Karunanidhi was again in the seat of power. He then initiated a series of corruption cases against Jayalalithaa. One such case was the colour TV scam, wherein colour TV sets were allegedly bought at prices higher than the market price, with the Jayalalithaa government allegedly making Rs During this period, her residence in Poes Garden, Chennai, was raided and the DMK's propaganda channel, Sun TV, streamed live visuals of 30 kg of gold, including bangles, over wrist watches, 10, sarees and hundreds of pairs of footwear, amongst other dizzyingly expensive possessions.
It was also during the initial days of the Karunanidhi government that a disproportionate assets case was slapped on Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, Sasikala's sister-in-law Ilavarasi and nephew V N Sudhakaran.
This case would go on for close to two decades, ending in a 'guilty' verdict finally after Jayalalithaa's death inputting Sasikala and the others behind bars for four years.
Jaya had her revenge, but Karunanidhi won the war
After the dust settled on the cases and the DMK government went about in earnest wooing industry to Tamil Nadu and focusing on development of the state, the people of Tamil Nadu, inonce again did an about-turn. To Jayalalithaa's aid came a shimmering alliance: So much so that Karunanidhi, who was confident of being re-elected, was bitter when the results were announced. Sonia Gandhi and M Karunanidhi at a campaign rally during the general election.
Just after midnight, a posse of policemen descended to arrest the Opposition leader on a case relating to public money being allegedly siphoned off in the building of flyovers in Chennai. He created a new era in the film arena.
Few had made the film world theirs as he did and conquered it the way he did.
He has the honour of making his party, the ADMK he founded inrise to power in a short span of time. There is none who would not praise his resolute will to serve tirelessly—even through his two-three years of illness—during the ten years he served as Chief Minister. The Governor has appealed for prayers for you and your health!
Those belonging to different beliefs are offering prayers for you to get well and regain your former health! Your party men — who look up to your leadership, frontline leaders — are going to various temples offering prayers to see you back like before!
Therefore I am someone who considers that begging with open arms before the gods for a boon is fruitless. That is my ideal! Just because that is my faith, I would not fault the prayers that others are carrying out for you. If the faith in their prayers were to bear fruit — if you were to get well and walk like before — the happiness that I would experience will not be any less to the ones offering prayers Even now I have not engaged in such divine prayer.
Periyar and Anna have raised me so. But my sweet friend! Let those prayers that are carried out for you bear fruit! My affectionate old time friend! Come back with your smiling face to see us! We have no permission to see you!
- Karunanidhi and MGR: A checkered friendship, and a lesson in civility and empathy
- The thorny relationship of M Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa
- M. G. Ramachandran
It does not matter; it is enough if you get well and come to see us! In that sense if needed I too will pray; amidst the differences to carry out warm conversations wish you a speedy recovery! Like the fog that disperses with the rays of the sun, let your illness disperse! Ever your friend Mu. The two had met on the sets of Rajakumari Princess, However, the movement was in its early stages and its future remained uncertain in an ubiquitous Congress era.
He would not have guessed that he would one day become its torchbearer and a leader.
A Bohemian Rhapsody – The MGR-Karunanidhi Epic
The man who should be credited for converting him is Kalaignar Karunanidhi, only 22 years old, seven years younger than him. A friendship grew between the gifted scriptwriter yet to be Kalaignar, and the dashingly handsome hero MGR.
At one point, MGR and Kalaignar would live under the same roof sharing the twelve rupee rent. My contact and friendship with MGR, a Gandhi devotee, who wore homespun [cloth] and a necklace made of lotus seeds began then.
Karunanidhi and MGR: Best of friends, worthy rivals - The Hindu
We would frequently engage in debates. The result was that he became part of the Kazhagam. In his missive, the DMK patriarch recalled their more than four-decade-long friendship, them sharing a small flat in Coimbatore, their horse-cart ride around the town for two annas, and how they ate and hung out together.
The potent and sentimental missive said the last fifteen years of discord could not erase their earlier friendship of twenty-seven years. In five years, the friendship grew so thick that Kalaignar Karunanidhi, as he came to be known fromwould insist on MGR as the hero in Mandhirikumari and MGR would repay this debt, demanding that the barely year-old Karunanidhi be hired as the scriptwriter for Marudha Naatu Ilavarasi.
The brothers found this brave, unique and generous on the part of Kalaignar. However, they would be associated with other films which would bring them success and fame together.