Thousands mourn as revered veteran Tamil Nadu leader Karunanidhi dies

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The death of the DMK patriarch was mourned by several leaders including the Prime Minister and United States Ambassador for India Ken Juster. Earlier the Doctors had said that the 94-year-old former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's response to medical intervention over the next 24 hours would determine the prognosis. It's been a long journey for the his clan that made it to the top of Tamil Nadu politics. Both were Karunanidhi's bitter foes in politics.

Describing the late stalwart as a "mass leader", the CM said, "He was an undaunted political fighter, mass leader who struggled for socio-economic development of marginalised sections of society in Tamil Nadu".

A regional party leader becoming indispensable in the national political sphere was something remarkable, said Senthilnathan.

It wouldn't be until 1989, two years after MGR's death that Karunanidhi would step back into the Chief Minister's chair.

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Former chief minister M G Ramachandran and his protegee J Jayalalitha were buried at the Marina beach and memorials to them were erected there.

Like his mentor Annadurai, Karunanidhi used his writing skills to further the ideology of the Dravidian movement through Tamil cinema.

Tributes have poured in from around India, a clear indication of the stature of the Tamil leader on the federal scene.

"As the DMK began to engage in electoral politics, the hard edge of social reform in its films was softened and the films increasingly became vehicles for promoting the party as such rather than reform ideology".

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In 1957, he was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district, one among the first 15 MLAs elected to the then Madras Legislative Assembly on a DMK ticket.

Karunanidhi's government was dismissed twice.

Karunanidhi also started a school newspaper that mushroomed into the "Murasoli", now known as the DMK's official newspaper.

His children have played a key role in the party, most prominently his son MK Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi.

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