TN celebrates Dravidian stalwart and former Chief Minister Karunanidhi's 99th birthday as state festival!

Besides being a political giant, late DMK President Kalaignar Karunanidhi has been considered as an architect of the modern-day Tamil Nadu. Having been served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times, Karunanidhi has set a benchmark in Indian politics by leading a huge political movement for five decades. Honouring his life and contribution, Tamil Nadu celebrates his birthday on Friday - June 3 as a state festival.

Karunanidhi has pioneered huge transformations in the state's infrastructure, education, healthcare, and a slew of social welfare schemes. He had died in 2018 at the age of 94 and on Friday, his 99th birth anniversary has been rife across Tamil Nadu. His son and current Chief Minister MK Stalin has led the campaign of celebrating his birthday and the party has been rolling out the events of providing welfare assistance to the people across the state. 

MK Stalin has paid floral tributes to the recently-unveiled statue of Karunanidhi at the Omandurar Government Estate in Chennai in the morning hours of Friday. Earlier, the Chief Minister, under Rule 110, has announced in the assembly that the birthday of Karunanidhi will be celebrated as a state function. He also had announced that the statue will be installed at Omandurar Government Estate, which has now been inaugurated. 

In his proclamation, Chief Minister MK Stalin has said, "The late Chief Minister Karunanidhi ruled Tamil Nadu five times and had been the Chief Minister for 19 years. Karunanidhi created the modern Tamil Nadu that we see today. He created all the symbols of Tamil Nadu. He lived as a leader and was a guide to this pervasive Indian politics. Karunanidhi is the only leader to have won all the assembly elections. He has been elected to the Legislative Assembly thirteen times." 

"Karunanidhi would often say that long distances can be crossed only by running longer and he is the one who ran for Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government considers its duty to elevate him to a higher level", Stalin added in his proclamation. Karunanidhi's statue at the Omandurar Government Estate is the first statue installed by the current DMK government in a public arena and it was recently unveiled by Vice-President of India, Venkaiah Naidu. 

As Tamil Nadu celebrates Karunanidhi's birth anniversary as a state festival, hundreds of thousands of DMK leaders across the state have been paying tribute to the late leader and remembering his boundless and versatile contributions. Accompanied by senior leaders, Chief Minister MK Stalin has paid tribute to the late leader at his memorial where the DMK leaders took an oath. Hundreds of people had also gathered at the memorial and paid their respect to the late Dravidian stalwart. 

Besides the general public, several national leaders and celebrities had also remembered Karunanidhi on his 99th birth anniversary. Chief Minister MK Stalin took to Twitter and said that Karunanidhi was a fighter who fought for Tamil and the welfare of the Tamil people throughout his life. As a thinker of equality, Karunanidhi had driven the rule towards social justice. MK Stalin further said, "He (Karunanidhi) is a rationalist who stirred the Tamil community with Dravidian policies." The Chief Minister has also shared the pictures that have been going viral on social media.