Muthuvel Karunanidhi (born Dakshinamurthy, 3 June 1924) is an Indian politician who has served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions. He is the head of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969. He holds the record of winning his seat in every election in which he has participated, in a political career spanning more than 60 years. In
the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the DMK-led DPA (UPA and Left Parties) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats. In the following 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he was able to increase the number of seats for the DMK from 16 to 18 seats, and led the UPA in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, to win 28 seats, even with a significantly smaller coalition. He is also a playwright and screenwriter in Tamil cinema. He is called "Kalaignar" ("artist") by his supporters. Since 1975, Karunanidhi
has published six volumes of his autobiography, Nenjukku Neethi (English: Justice to the Heart), in the Tamil language. Karunanidhi was born as Dakshinamoorthy in Thirukuvalai, Tiruvarur district, on 3 June 1923 to Muthuvel and Anjugam. He married three times; his wives are the late Padmavathy Ammal, Dayalu Ammal and Rajathiammal. Karunanidhi's first wife Padmavathy was a sister of Chidambaram S. Jeyaraman, notable Tamil musician, music director and playback singer. She died young.
Karunanidhi's sons are M. K. Muthu, M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin, and M. K. Tamilarasu. His daughters are Selvi and Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP. M. K. Muthu, his eldest son was born to Padmavathy, who died at a young age. Alagiri, Stalin, Selvi and Tamilarasu were born to Dayaluammal, while Kanimozhi is the only daughter from his third wife, Rajathiammal. He has donated his house, that is to be converted into a free hospital for the poor after the lifetime of him and his wife Dayalu
Ammal. Films: At the age of 20, Karunanidhi went to work for Jupiter Pictures as a scriptwriter. His first film, Rajakumaari, gained him much popularity. It was here that his skills as a scriptwriter were honed. He wrote 75 screenplays including: Rajakumaari, Abimanyu, Manthiri Kumari, Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi, Manamagal, Devaki, Parasakthi, Panam, Thirumbi Paar, Naam, Manohara, Ammaiappan, Malaikkallan, Rangoon Radha, Raja Rani, Pudhaiyal, Pudhumai Pithan, Ellorum Innattu Mannar, Kuravanji,
Thayillapillai, Kaanchi Thalaivan, Poompuhar, Poomalai, Mani Makudam, Marakka Mudiyuma?, Avan Pithana?, Pookkari, Needhikku Thandanai, Paalaivana Rojakkal, Pasa Paravaikal, Padadha Theneekkal, Niyaya Tharasu, Pasakiligal, Kannamma, Uliyin Osai, Pen Singam,Ilaignan and Ponnar Shankar. Literature: Karunanidhi is known for his contributions to Tamil literature. His contributions cover a wide range: poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historical novels, stage-plays, dialogues and
movie songs. He has written Kuraloviam for Thirukural, Tholkaappiya Poonga, Poombukar, as well as many poems, essays and books. Apart from literature, Karunanidhi has also contributed to the Tamil language through art and architecture. Like the Kuraloviyam, in which Kalaignar wrote about Thirukkural, through the construction of Valluvar Kottam he gave an architectural presence to Thiruvalluvar, in Chennai. At Kanyakumari, Karunanidhi constructed a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar in honour
of the scholar. The books written by Karunanidhi's include Sanga Thamizh, Thirukkural Urai, Ponnar Sankar, Romapuri Pandian, Thenpandi Singam, Vellikizhamai, Nenjukku Needhi, Iniyavai Irubathu and Kuraloviam. His books of prose and poetry number more than 100. Karunanidhi's stage plays include: Manimagudam, Ore Ratham, Palaniappan, Thooku Medai, Kagithapoo, Naane Arivali, Vellikizhamai, Udhayasooriyan and Silappathikaram. Politics: Karunanidhi entered politics at the age of 14,
inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party, and participated in Anti-Hindi agitations. He founded an organisation for the local youth of his locality. He circulated a handwritten newspaper called Manavar Nesan to its members. Later he founded a student organisation called Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, which was the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement. Karunanidhi involved himself and the student community in social work with other members. Here he started a newspaper
for its members, which grew into Murasoli, the DMK party's official newspaper. Karunanidhi was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 1957 from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district. He became the DMK treasurer in 1961 and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly in the year 1962 and when the DMK came to power in 1967, he became the minister for public works. When Annadurai expired in 1969, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the first leader of
DMK, since the leader post was left vacant for Periyar when Annadurai was alive (Annadurai was the general secretary only). He has held various positions in the party and government during his long career in Tamil Nadu political arena. However, he suffered multiple electoral defeats against his primary opponent M.G.Ramachandran's ADMK until the latter's death in 1987. After a brief stint as Chief Minister during the late 1980s (his government was dismissed by the Central government on
accusations of degrading Law and Order situation in the state), Karunanidhi became the CM of Tamil Nadu in 1996 following a sweeping electoral win in the preceding elections. Following a 5-year rule, his party again lost at the elections to J. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK in 2001. He was however back in power when he took over as chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 13 May 2006 after his coalition defeated his main opponent J. Jayalalithaa in the May 2006 elections. He currently represents the
constituency of Tiruvarur in the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly. He has been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times and once to the now abolished Tamil Nadu Legislative Council. At the end of the 5-year administration, the DMK lost the majority of seats in the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu when elections were held in 2011, thereby ceding power again to the AIADMK under J. Jayalalithaa.