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Why Karunanidhi Deserves to be Laid to Rest at Marina Beach

It will be a travesty of history to not lay Kalaignar to rest at Marina Beach & TN govt is bound to face backlash.

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Chennai’s Marina beach is not just any beach side resting place for the departed, in Dravidian politics. The Marina beach is the resting place of Dravidian history on electoral politics. Future generations must remember the past, and in Dravidian politics, Marina is where the history of Dravidian electoral politics rests.

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Significance of Marina Beach as Memorial Site

The significance of the Marina beach as a resting place lies in the fact that CN Annadurai, founder of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, was buried there. It's important to note that the memorial for Periyar, father of the Dravidian movement who founded the Dravidar Kazhagam, is in a different part of Chennai, and is known as 'Periyar Thidal'.

Periyar refused to enter electoral politics and CN Annadurai broke away to launch the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The rest is history.

So, the significance of the Marina beach as the resting place is restricted to the history of Dravidian leaders who defined post-Independence electoral politics in Tamil Nadu.

And, in that history, there is no name more enduring than M Karunanidhi. One cannot narrate the story of Annadurai without mentioning Karunanidhi, and one cannot mention MGR without mentioning Karunanidhi or Jayalalithaa.

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Petty TN Politics

MGR’s memorial is right next to Annadurai’s memorial. Next to MGR rests his political successor J Jayalalithaa. This is why it's obvious that Karunanidhi’s resting place be in the same line. This is why there is such a powerful outbreak of emotion for the Marina to be the final resting place for the scriptwriter of Dravidian politics, ie, Kalaignar, as Karunanidhi was fondly called.

By denying space to bury his body at the Marina, the Tamil Nadu government is not only being petty and creating a volatile situation, it is also committing a travesty of history.

It is a sad reminder of the low that Dravidian politics has often touched. Just when observers hoped that death would end the bitter rivalry between Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi that largely dominated Dravidian politics, another ugly chapter unfolds.

It is a political misadventure by the ruling AIADMK government, and such pettiness will only result in a massive backlash.

This is not about politics. This is about history.

(The writer is an independent journalist. He can be reached @TMVRaghav . This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  DMK   Karunanidhi   Marina Beach 

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