Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi died on Tuesday after several days in hospital. Mourners thronged the area outside his Gopalapuram residence in Chennai even as the party moved the Madras High Court to have him buried at Marina beach.
All major newspapers in the country, both English and Tamil, condoled the demise of one of Tamil Nadu’s biggest politicians through banner headlines on their front pages.
Tamil daily Dinakaran ran the headline “Kalaignar dead”. It said “Marina for Karunanidhi” had become a worldwide trend, and hailed the DMK chief as a man who never lost an election, who was the party patriarch for 50 years, and who was a journalist, script-writer, artist and poet, greatly influenced actors MG Ramachandran and Shivaji Ganesan.
The Hindu’s headline read, “At 94, the passing of a patriarch”. The paper said Karunanidhi had outlived his peers in the Dravidian movement. In its feature pages, the paper also called the DMK patriarch the “champion of social justice and caste amity” and carried a piece on how he shaped the Dravidian movement.
The Deccan Chronicle’s front page headline in its Chennai edition said “Dravidian Son Sets”. The newspaper hailed Karunanidhi as the “relentless warrior of many battles” and “long distance runner”, who had “finally laid down his sabre of many social revolutions”, after he found that his “flesh had become weak and could not keep pace with his never-say-die spirit”.
The paper also carried several pages of tribute to the leader, including a feature on his role as a father and his career in the film industry.
The Chennai edition of The New Indian Express called Karunanidhi’s death “the end of an era” and said he was a “man who never gave up”. The daily also had several “Kalaignar” pages eulogising the DMK chief.
“Rising Son Has Set”, Tamil daily Daily Thanthi said. The newspaper focused on events of the day, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai, a government holiday in the state, Karunanidhi’s treatment at Kauvery Hospital, and DMK cadre mourning outside hospital.
DMK mouthpiece Murasoli said “Thalaivar Kalaignar is dead”. It called Karunanidhi a “tireless fighter”, and claimed that Tamil Nadu is “drowning in a sea of tears”.
“Sun Sets on Dravidian Land” ran the Times of India headline. The paper hailed Karunanidhi as “a lifelong fighter” whose “final battle with death was his fiercest”. The paper carried stories on Chennai shutting shops and DMK Working President MK Stalin calling for peace after Karunanidhi’s death, titled “When the city stopped and sobbed”. The paper called him the “dealmaker from south” and also focused on the condolences offered by national and state leaders.