Kanimozhi was DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s favourite child — among his six children from three wives. “She brought me luck,” he would say — because he became chief minister of Tamil Nadu a year after she was born.
But on Friday, as his 43-year-old daughter was led to Delhi’s Tihar Jail, Karunanidhi, 87, could hardly say anything.
Once the daughter who brought luck to her father, Kanimozhi’s metamorphosis as the harbinger of the DMK’s downfall seemed complete, believe many party leaders who also feel sorry for the patriarch. The 2G issue saw the DMK losing Tamil Nadu badly.
Perhaps Kanimozhi, too, couldn’t have helped thinking — as she was taken to Tihar — what she had wrought upon herself, her beloved father and their party. Her involvement with ex-telecom minister A Raja and then in the 2G row, wouldn’t have happened, but for her growing ambitions and the rivalry involving the Maran brothers — sons of Karunanidhi’s late nephew Murasoli Maran — and Karunanidhi’s sons born of Dayalu Ammal, his second wife.
Kalaignar TV took shape in September 2007, after a bitter strife within DMK’s first family.
Karunanidhi’s family was upset with industrialist Kalanidhi and union minister Dayanidhi because their newspaper — Dinakaran — published what the patriarch called a “mischievous” survey in May 2007. The survey said Karunanidhi’s younger son, MK Stalin and Dayanidhi Maran, were rated high (in that order) among the readers’ choice for becoming the chief minister.
It was then that the Karunanidhi family decided they must have their own media group to outmatch Sun TV, run by the Marans.
In June 2007, following this episode, Dayanidhi Maran was forced to quit as telecom minister. He was replaced by A Raja. Right from day one, Raja went about his task of setting up Kalaignar TV.
Kanimozhi backed him to the hilt and the first family, including her stepmother, Dayalu Ammal, acquired shares. Till Kalaignar TV happened, Kanimozhi was only her father’s cultural ambassador as well as his literary heir. Her father sent her to the Rajya Sabha in 2007.
But she thought she could change the pecking order in the family with an enhanced “business” role. Though her father showed his fondness for his daughter despite the 2G scam, Kanimozhi's political career was never in more of a shadow than it is today.