As the news of the death of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi trickled in, a pall of gloom descended on his native village Thirukkuvalai in Tamil Nadu. For a village whose identity is synonymous with the name ‘Karunanidhi,’ its residents turned up in large numbers at the DMK chief’s ancestral house to pay tribute.
Karunanidhi was born on June 3, 1924, in the village and spent his childhood here. Situated in the heart of the village, his ancestral house — a blue and white structure — now has a statue of his mother and two libraries named after his parents — ‘Muthuvelar Noolagam’ and ‘Anjugam Padippagam’. A huge collection of photographs of a young and vibrant Karunanidhi in various poses adorn the house now.
When he served as the chief minister during 2006-11, Karunanidhi visited the village twice. His last visit to the village as chief minister was in 2009.
Karunanidhi, 94, passed away on Tuesday evening after prolonged illness. The five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu was admitted to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai. His body is currently at Rajaji Hall in the city for the public to pay their last respects. With his death, Karunanidhi’s younger son and DMK acting chief MK Stalin has emerged as the undisputed leader of the party.