From 'Sangam' literature to contemporary novels, he was a voracious reader and writer.
Thanjavur: A man of letters, M Karunanidhi, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was well versed in Tamil literature. From 'Sangam' literature to contemporary novels, he was a voracious reader and writer.
His love for 'Silapathikaram' -- written by Ilango Adigal -- is legendary and he demonstrated this in writing dialogues and screenplay for the film "Poompuhar" in 1964 and by celebrating 'Indira Vizha' at Poompuhar in the 1970s.
Poompuhar, a sleeping coastal town until then, came to life with 'Silapathikara Kalaikoodam', 'Paavai Mandram' and other monuments constructed near the sea. 'Indira Vizha' was a grand celebration then with Karunanidhi participating in it.
'Pattimandrams', 'Kaviyarangams', seminars explored the richness of Tamil literature and enlightened audience on Tamil history. An illuminated 'Poompuhar', with lulling waves of the sea, was a feast to eyes of people who thronged the town for 'Indira Vizha' for three days in the early 1970s'.
See Pictures: RIP Muthuvel Karunanidhi (1924-2018)
A highly imaginative Karunanidhi did not leave any opportunity to show his historical knowledge and interest in organising functions. The millennium celebrations of the Big temple, built by King Raja Raja Cholan, at Thanjavur was one such occasion. Government joined with organisers of dance by 1,000 dancers at the temple to mark the millennium celebrations. He came and watched the programme by sitting at a corner. He did not enter the temple through the main entrance but entered through a gateway on the Southeastern corner of the temple, as it was not considered 'auspicious' for 'living rulers'. Later, he took part in a state function nearby and released a stamp and coin to mark the occasion.
Though a lover of Tamil, Karunanidhi did not get an opportunity to organise World Tamil conference as chief minister. To make up for this, he organised the first Classical World Tamil conference at Coimbatore in 2010 during his 2006-2011 tenure as chief minister.