Karunanidhi rests at Marina
(1) DMK leader M K Stalin stands alongside the mortal remains of his father and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi Below People gather to pay their last respects to DMK Chief M Karunanidhi as his cortege passes through the streets of Chennai
(2,3,4) (1) Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses his condolence to DMK leaders M K Stalin and Kanimozhi on the demise of their father and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi. (2) Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit consoling DMK leader M K Stalin. (3) Congress President Rahul Gandhi with DMK Working President M K Stalin after paying his last respects to DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, at Rajaji Hall in Chennai, on Wednesday
Sea of humanity bids Karunanidhi a tearful farewell
Buried with full military honours
Inscription on his casket in Tamil reads ‘The one who slogged all his life without rest, rests here’
MUTHUVEL Karunanidhi, a doyen of Dravidian politics, was on Wednesday laid to rest on the Marina beachfront as a sea of humanity bid him a tearful farewell after an unsavoury courtroom battle his party won to secure for him the final resting place at the Chennai landmark.The 94-year-old leader had breathed his last at a hospital after fighting for life for 11 days.
A galaxy of leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, and his Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh counterparts Pinarayi Vijayan, K Chandrasekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu were in attendance.
So were CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, his predecessor Prakash Karat, and former Chief Ministers of Kerala and Uttar Pradesh Oommen Chandy and Akilesh Yadav.
Karunanidhi was buried with full military honours with soldiers giving him a gun salute and buglars sounding the last post. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister and the lone BJP Lok Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu Pon Radhakrishnan, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad placed wreaths at the feet of the departed leader at Marina.
Karunanidhi’s son and heir apparent M K Stalin received the national flag wrapped around his father’s body. Other family members including the leader’s wife Rajathi Ammal, other sons and daughters showered flower petals at his feet. In poignant scenes, Stalin was seen crying inconsolably after touching his father’s feet before the casket containing Karunanidhi’s body was lowered into the grave. The leader’s youngest daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi fondly caressed his head and cheek one last time.
Karunanidhi being a self-proclaimed atheist and rationalist, no Hindu rituals were performed. Earlier in the day, thousands of grieving DMK supporters, leaders and celebrities filed past the golden casket containing the mortal remains of the leader draped in the national tricolour at the stately Rajaji Hall. A glum-faced M K Stalin, Karunanidhi’s son and DMK working President, who stood pensively beside the casket, sobbed uncontrollably, before regaining composure and wiping off tears of joy amid the pervasive gloom.
Shouts of “vendum vendum, Marina vendum (we want Marina)” had greeted Chief Minister K Palaniswamy earlier in the day when he arrived at the Rajaji Hall to pay his tributes.There was a massive surge of people at the Rajaji Hall where lakhs had gathered to pay homage to Karunanidhi, a five-time Chief Minister and political warhorse who won 13 assembly elections on the trot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowed in solemn reverence and placed a wreath at the leader’s feet.
Clad in white kurta-churidar he spoke briefly to Karunanidhi’s wife Rajathi Ammal with folded hands. He clasped Stalin’s hand and the two talked quietly for some time. The crowd swelled by the minute, people pressing against each other in a massive surge, pushing, shoving, stumbling on each other and clashing with police whose personnel wielded batons to control them. Some fainted, scores were injured, prompting Stalin to make an appeal to maintain calm.
Identical scenes were witnessed at the Marina. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets as the flower bedecked gun carriage inched its way there from Rajaji Hall. Many crashed their way through the barricades. Others perched precariously atop trees and lamp posts for the one last glimpse of their beloved leader. Stalin and other male members of the Karunanidhi family walked quietly behind the gun carriage as police personnel threw a security cordon around them. The DMK’s red- and-black flags fluttered across the landscape.
As the golden sun began to dip slowly into the sea, it shone light on the inscription on the casket in Tamil that read “the one who slogged all his life without rest, rests here”, signifying the end of an era in Tamil Nadu politics.