Chennai: “I do not believe that Lord Yama, as in the ‘Puranic’ stories, can take away my life; Yama cannot snatch my life,” asserted the DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi at a public function once on his tryst with destiny and sharing a platform with superstar Rajinikanth.
“You may ask why such extreme doggedness, egotism and arrogance on my part?’ the DMK leader posed in his inimitable style to drive home what his possible death-moment would be.
Narrating the story of ancient Tamil King Killivalavan, Karunanidhi said, when the monarch passed away, an ardent Tamil poet went rushing to see him and instantly composed a poem seeing the King’s body placed at his palace.
The poet in his lines wondered how Yama could “have taken you away, Oh! King; Killivalva, the Lord of Death could not have come in the guise of your friends or relatives or even as your enemy to take away your life,” recalled Karunanidhi, quoting from the poet’s lines.
“The modus operandi Yama would have adopted to end your life is that he should have come like a Tamil poet, beseeched you, seeking alms, and taken your life as an offering from you Killivalava; for the sake of Tamil and for the sake of the Tamil poet, the king gave away even his life,” said Karunanidhi.
“Only if such a life-giving situation for the cause of Tamil comes, I may part with my life, but not give it to anybody else,” Karunanidhi said.
“This life will live beyond 100 years; if I have to part with my life earlier, it will be only for Tamil, Tamil society, Tamil Nadu, Tamil arts, culture and literature….”, the DMK patriarch rounded off. Such was Kalaignar’s total commitment to Tamil.