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Recounting Kalaignar Karunnanidhi’s unforgettable contribution to Indian politics

Former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief and 5 time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi took his last breath on Tuesday evening after fighting a long battle with illness.  ‘Kalaignar’ holds a record of being the longest-serving president of a political party for more than 50 years.

Starting his career as a screenwriter in Tamil film industry Karunanidhi created a deep impact on the people of Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi’s demise will surely create a setback to the politics of Tamil Nadu as well as India. Following are the major works done by ‘Kalainagar’ for the state of Tamilnadu and India.

  • Being a Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi fought with the Central government to allow the state CM to hoist the flag on Independence day and won its rights.  The then Tamil Nadu CM abolished hand rickshaws and nationalised the transport corporations during his regime.
  • Working for the upliftment of women in the state of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi brought a law giving women the rights to claim a share in the ancestral property, equal to men, 16 years before the central government passed it as a national law. He reserved 1/3rd of the government jobs for women in Tamil Nadu.
  • Karunanidhi also worked for the betterment of low-income group by introducing the first class public insurance scheme called as ‘Kalaignar Kaapittu Thittam’. He launched a scholarship scheme and fee waiver for first-generation graduates to ensure that Tamilnadu’s marginalised, backward sections can empower themselves through education.
  • He increased reservation of SCs from 16 to 18% allocating 1% for STs and successfully provided reservation for backward Muslims (Tamil and Urdu) and Arundhatiyars. Karunanidhi was instrumental behind the implementation of Mandal recommendations. Interstate Council was also established furthering federalism. 27% reservation for Backward class faced stiff opposition in the north while Dmk and TamilNadu warmly welcomed it.

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