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Karunanidhi finds lost lady

Barely hours after coming to power, Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi tracked down his 'lost lady', writes GC Shekhar.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 02:23 IST

Barely hours after coming to power, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi tracked down his "lost lady". He had lost her five years ago to a Jayalalithaa government whip banishing her to the state museum.

The woman, etched in stone, is Kannagi — the fiery symbol of Tamil womanhood.

Amma had found the statue, mounted on the Marina Beach which she went past on her way to the Assembly, inauspicious. Subsequently, a truck rammed into the statue and it was dismantled in 2001 on the ground that it was hindering traffic.

The statue’s removal to the museum sparked a full-blown agitation and Karunanidhi even had another one installed at the DMK's youth wing office.

After assuming charge on Monday, Karunanidhi went looking for the original statue and found his "lady" lying in a dark corner of the Chennai museum storeroom. He ordered officials to clean it and get a sculptor to take a look at it.

The new CM announced that Kannagi will soon be restored to her pride of place on Marina Beach, where she was installed in 1968, to coincide with the World Tamil Conference in 1968, when Karunanidhi was the PWD minister.

One of Karunanidhi's vows, if voted back to power, was redeeming Kannagi’s lost glory.

If all goes according to plan, Karunanidhi can soon gaze upon Kannagi — her hair undone, right hand clutching the anklet and the left pointing accusingly at the Pandya king — as he drives past the Marina to the secretariat.