MK’s film, political career complimented each other

M Karunanidhi’s pen was as unsparing as he was. His sharp dialogues exposing fault lines in the society and reflecting the general perception against the imposition of Hindi made him a top-notch scriptwriter in the Tamil film industry.

Karunanidhi's political and film career complimented each other. The veteran leader’s oratorical skills and his penchant for high-pitched dialogues catapulted him to the position of the DMK’s star speaker in no time.

If MGR’s electrifying presence on the silver screen made him a superstar of Tamil cinema, Karunanidhi’s powerful dialogues reflecting the anti-Hindi sentiments helped him capture the hearts of the masses.

It was in 1946 that Karunanidhi and MGR met for the first time and they became friends and went onto becoming political rivals. On the invitation of MGR, Karunanidhi visited Chennai and dined at the former’s residence where he was served “gulab jamun and savoury items from a nearby restaurant.”

Films like 'Mandira Kumari', 'Marudhanaatu Ilavarasi' and 'Malai Kallan' are some of the memorable films of MGR for the commanding dialogues that came straight out of Karunanidhi’s unsparing pen. The duo then went on to rule not just the Tamil filmdom, but also the political landscape of Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi’s 1951-film 'Parasakthi', which demolished the prevailing superstition among the people and portrayed Hindu customs in poor light, became an instant hit and propelled its protagonist Sivaji Ganesan into one of Tamil cinema’s finest actors.

Karunanidhi’s dialogues would touch themes such as widow remarriage, abolition of untouchability, self-respect marriages, abolition of zamindari and abolition of religious hypocrisy.

Film director and actor K Bhagyaraj, who had worked with Karunanidhi and MGR, said the DMK chief was a multi-faceted personality whose achievements are unparalleled. The veteran director quoted an incident that speaks about Karunanidhi’s literary acumen.

“A lyricist had written the first line of a song meant for MGR which said, ‘my admiration has a limit’ and they were searching for the subsequent lines. Suddenly, Kalaignar came there and suggested the second line, ‘But he donates without any limit’,” Bhagyaraj said.

Karunanidhi’s dialogues were so powerful that dialogues spoken by villains would also receive appreciation from the audience, he added.

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MK’s film, political career complimented each other

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