The Last Lear

Karunanidhi's struggle to cling to power, and hold together his fractious political dynasty

01 April 2011
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi.
DELHI PRESS ARCHIVES

ONE: THE BROKEN ESTATE

ON THE SCORCHING FRIDAY AFTERNOON of 11 May 2007, at Chennai’s Island Grounds, Muthuvel Karunanidhi had some important business to settle privately with Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi, the Congress party president, had come to Chennai—along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and two former prime ministers—to join the celebrations marking Karunanidhi’s 50th anniversary as a legislator, an unprecedented milestone in Indian politics. But on this humid summer day, as thousands of his followers from across the state converged on the burning sands to celebrate their leader’s longevity, the then 83-year-old chief minister of Tamil Nadu had something else on his mind.

Vinod K Jose is the Executive Editor of The Caravan.

Keywords: Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi Congress Maran Sun TV Jayalalithaa Murasoli DMK A Raja Kanimozhi
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