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Chennai, Tamil News Today Headlights: DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan passes away; Condolences pour in

Catch the latest news in Tamil Nadu and Chennai as we bring you live updates from Chennai following the death of DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai | Updated: March 7, 2020 6:28:24 pm
Anbazhagan passes away, Anbazhagan no more, Anbazhagan dead, Kalyanasundaram Anbazhagan, Kalyanasundaram Anbazhagan passes away, DMK Anbazhagan passes away, stalin on Anbazhagan death Chennai, Tamil Nadu News Highlights: DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan passed away early Saturday morning after a prolonged illness.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) General Secretary Kalyanasundaram Anbazhagan passed away early Saturday morning in Chennai following prolonged illness.

The 97-year-old, who was a close friend of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had been admitted to Apollo Hospital in the last week of February following age-related ailments.

READ | DMK general secretary Anbazhagan dies at 97, Stalin says fall of ‘Dravidian Everest’

DMK president M K Stalin condoled the death of the nonagenarian and announced that all flags will be flown at half-mast for a week as a mark of respect to the nine-time MLA.

K Anbazhagan dies at 97: A glimpse into the life of the veteran DMK leader

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17:57 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan's mortal remains cremated

The mortal remains of DMK general secretary Anbazhagan were cremated around 5.50 pm at a crematorium in Kilpauk. Minutes before the pyre was lit, DMK chief M K Stalin, treasurer Duraimurugan, youth secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin, D K leader Veeramani and several DMK cadre bid a tearful adieu to the late general secretary who had served DMK for 42 years and had been a close friend of the late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

17:42 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Leaders bid a tearful farewell at crematorium

DMK chief M K Stalin, treasurer Duraimurugan and other DMK cadre bid a tearful adieu to the late DMK general secretary Anbazhagan as the mortal remains of the nonagenarian were taken to a crematorium in Kilpauk for the funeral rites.

16:22 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Mortal remains of Anbazhagan taken on final journey

The mortal remains of DMK general secretary were taken on their final journey in a hearse from his residence to a crematorium in Kilpauk. Walking alongside the hearse were Anbazhagan's family members, DMK president M K Stalin, treasurer Duraimurugan, MP Kanimozhi, youth secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin and other party cadre.

15:54 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Kanimozhi condoles the death of Anbazhagan

DMK MP Kanimozhi took to Twitter to condole the death of DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan after paying her last respects to his mortal remains at his Kilpauk residence today.

15:52 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan to be cremated after 4 pm
15:49 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan garnered the respect of the opposition

Anbazhagan was considered one of the pillars of the 71-year-old Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party. He was a member of the Lok Sabha between 1967-71 and had been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for nine terms. He retired from active politics ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections owing to ill-health.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

Not just by DMK cadres, Anbazhagan was widely acclaimed even by Opposition leaders. Congress leader and former chief minister of Madras state M Bhaktavatsalam once hailed Anbazhagan as the “best parliamentarian”.

15:46 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan was a nine-time MLA

When DMK faced its maiden elections in 1957, Anbazhagan was chosen by Annadurai to contest from the Egmore constituency against Congress candidate Radhakrishnan. He won the election with a margin of more than 20,000 votes. In 1967, Anbazhagan won the parliamentary elections from Tiruchengode constituency against Congress candidate T M Kaliannan.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

He was then elected from the Purasawalkam Assembly constituency thrice in 1971, 1977 and 1980. In support of Sri Lankan Tamils, Anbazhagan resigned as a member of the Assembly in 1984. During the DMK regime in 1989, Anbazhagan was made an education minister. He retained this position between 1996-2001. He also held the finance portfolio from 2006 to 2011.

15:44 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Annadurai called Anbazhagan 'perasiriyar thambi'

As Annadurai used to call Anbazhagan ‘perasiriyar thambi’, the DMK cadre soon picked up the name perasiriyar (professor) for him. Despite being among the chief disciples of Periyar, Anbazhagan left the Dravidar Kazhagam, following Annadurai, and became an important member of the DMK.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

Anbazhagan was highly regarded by Annadurai for his efforts in establishing the party during its nascent stages.

15:42 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan's friendship with Kalaignar began in in 1942

Anbazhagan’s first political meeting was held in 1942. He was invited to address leaders as a special speaker in Thiruvarur, organised by Muslim outfits. The meeting was chaired by the DMK leader and former CM Annadurai, during which Karunanidhi was felicitated for his article in Annadurai’s journal ‘Dravida Nadu’ (sovereign state).

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

Anbazhagan’s first encounter with Karunanidhi took place during this meeting. Cherished by his oratorical skills, Karunanidhi invited Anbazhagan to address students at a couple of meetings. The friendship they developed at this meeting lasted until Karunanidhi’s death in 2018.

15:40 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Actress Khushbu pays her last respects
15:35 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan shared a friendship with Neduncheziyan

Anbazhagan secured a MA (Tamil) Degree from Annamalai University in Chidambaram. Former TN chief minister V R Neduncheziyan also secured his degree at the same university. Anbazhagan later served as a professor of Pachiayappan College for close to 13 years. His admiration over Dravidian ideology increased after his friendship with Neduncheziyan.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

He participated in meetings and spoke at a length about the importance of the self-respect movement. The association with Nedunchezhiyan made Anbazhagan a familiar name in the university’s Dravidian ideology circle.

15:24 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan was inducted into politics from a young age

Born on December 19, 1922, in Kattur near Thiruvarur in Thanjavur district (now Thiruvarur district) of Tamil Nadu, Ramaiah who later became Anbazhagan was inspired by Dravidian politics from a young age. His father Kalyanasundaram was a voracious supporter of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam’s founder Periyar E V Ramasamy. Kalyanasundaram would take his son to political meetings of the Dravidian ideologue, which inspired the young Ramaiah to endear Dravidian politics.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

Anbazhagan has been the general secretary of DMK for more than 40 years. Any announcement from the party was made through him.

15:21 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbazhagan was often referred to as Anna's brother and a friend of Kalaignar

Popularly referred to as perasiriyar (professor) in the DMK camp, Anbazhagan was a mix of calm and the storm. He was a member of the Lok Sabha between 1967-71 and had been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for nine terms. Anbazhagan has written close to 40 books on the Tamil language, Dravidian ideology, and the self-respect movement, among other things.

READ | K Anbazhagan: Remembering Anna’s brother, and a friend of Kalaignar

A close aide of Karunanidhi, Anbazhagan was always referred to as ‘inamana perasiriyar’. Once, when Anbazhagan was asked how he would describe himself, he said: “I am a human first, my name is Anbazhagan, I am Anna’s brother and a friend of Kalaignar.”

15:02 (IST)07 Mar 2020
OPS, Jayakumar pay their last respects

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Fisheries minister D Jayakumar visited the house of Anbazhagan at Kilpauk in the afternoon to pay their last respects to the DMK general secretary.

14:57 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Powerstar pays his last respects
14:51 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Anbumani Ramadoss pays his last respects to Anbazhagan
13:43 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Stalin, party members pay their last respects
13:05 (IST)07 Mar 2020
K S Alagiri pays his last respects

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee leader K S Alagiri visited Anbazhagan's Kilpauk residence to pay his respects to the DMK general secretary's mortal remains.

13:00 (IST)07 Mar 2020
S P Velumani condoles Anbazhagan's demise

Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programmes S P Velumani condoled the demise of Anbazhagan. "The demise of the senior leader of the Dravidian movement, professor K Anbazhagan is deeply saddening. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family who are pained by his demise", he tweeted.

12:57 (IST)07 Mar 2020
Relatives, public pay their last respects

Relatives of Anbazhagan and the public all thronged the DMK general secretary's residence at Kilpauk today to pay their last respects to his mortal remains. 

Anbazhagan will be cremated after 4 pm today at a crematorium in Kilpauk.