Dubai: You can love him for his pro-Tamil stance or hate him for his ideology, but Kalaignar Muthuvel Karunanidhi is probably one of the tallest leaders from Tamil Nadu.
The fighter that he is, as he has won many battles on the political front, Kalaignar is also a shrewd politician who followed what he preached — neither there is permanent enemy nor a permanent friend in politics.
The former five-time Chief Minister, who passed away on Tuesday, has worn many hats and has a huge fan following in every sphere of his life, especially his command over Tamil language and as a champion of Tamil people’s cause.
RJ Naga of 89.4 Tamil FM, a Dubai-based radio channel, recollects: “He is a legend in Tamil literature. In his movies, books or in his political rally speech, he quoted instances from Tamil literature at will to drive home his point. As a screenwriter, his movie dialogues always were relevant and pertinent to the current issues.”
He also felt that it was a huge loss to Tamil Nadu and to Tamil.
Asif Meeran, a civil engineer based in Dubai, said: “He is a chapter on his own. Coming from the lower rungs of the society, Kalaignar held on to Periyar’s ideology to create equality among different classes in the society, which ensured people from the lower strata of the society could become doctors and engineers today. He was against the caste system, hence he removed the caste names from the streets of Tamil Nadu. He also ensured that an equal share of ancestral wealth to the women of the family, a first in India.”
An accountant working in a Dubai firm, Anjugam, who hails from Thiruvarur district, which is closer to the birth place of Kalaignar, felt: “A big loss to Tamil language and literature. Apart from being a politician he was also a literary scholar. I have admired him in awe the vision with which he created Samathuvapuram (equal society), which has brought people from different caste, creed and status to live in one place.”