Thalapathi’s time: MK Stalin finally emerges as the undisputed chief of DMK

DMK leader MK Stalin’s five-decade-long political career — he started as a student campaigner in the 1967 elections and went on to become deputy CM in his father’s 2006-2011 DMK government — has been no easy climb. (Express photo by Arun Janardhanan)

DMK leader MK Stalin’s five-decade-long political career — he started as a student campaigner in the 1967 elections and went on to become deputy CM in his father’s 2006-2011 DMK government — has been no easy climb. (Express photo by Arun Janardhanan)

By Arun Janardhanan 

NEW DELHI: The day M K Stalin was born, his father Muthuvel Karunanidhi, then an emerging DMK leader, was at a condolence meeting for Joseph Stalin. As someone informed him about the birth of his second child from his second wife Dayalu Ammal, Karunanidhi instantly named his son after the Soviet Communist leader. This DMK fable is not without the contradictions that such lores are allowed — Stalin was born on March 1, 1953; the Soviet leader died four days later.

M Naganathan, one of Karunanidhi’s closest friends, who taught economics at the University of Madras and who accompanied the late DMK leader for his morning walks for about 25 years, is fond of recounting this story. Talking to The Indian Express the day Karunanidhi travelled out of Chennai for the last time — to address rallies in a few northern and central districts ahead of the April 2016 Assembly elections — Naganathan also compared Karunanidhi’s stand on his successor to that of another Communist leader, China’s Mao Zedong.

 

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Credit: indianexpress.com

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