Karunanidhi dictated the line on his casket to son Stalin 33 years ago
The engraving in Tamil read “Oivu edukamal uzhaithavan, idho oivu eduthu kondu irukiran”, meaning “He who worked hard without taking rest, is resting in peace here”. The words were a tribute to a man who was one of the most prominent faces of the Dravidian movement for social empowerment of weaker sections for more than six decades. His son Stalin, who is now set to lead DMK, said 33 years back, he had said that his grave should have these words. A five-time Chief Minister, the 94-year-old Karunanidhi had also played a key role in national-level coalition politics. Born in Tirukkuvalai in the erstwhile Thanjavur district on June 3, 1924, Karunanidhi was a multifaceted personality — journalist, playwright, script writer — whose fiery dialogues as an iconoclast in films unleashed changes in Tamil Nadu’s social and political scene. ‘Kalaignar’ (Artiste), as Karunanidhi was called for his proficiency in arts and literature, fashioned theatre and cinema in a way that gave a fillip to the Dravidian movement and the rise of DMK as a major pole in Tamil Nadu. His death has left a void in the state.