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CHENNAI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday unveiled a bronze statue of the late DMK president and former chief minister M Karunanidhi and lauded Dravid Akutovay as one of India’s most dynamic chief ministers who has left a legacy of development and social welfare.
Karunanidhi rose to iconic status through his efforts and never failed to promote Tamil language and culture, Naidu said, even urging people to learn their mother tongue and not to create hatred towards other languages.
“We should support our mother tongue without opposing any language. We should not force or oppose any language. Learn as many languages ​​as possible, including foreign languages,” he urged.
Speaking after unveiling the 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Karunanidhi, Naidu said consensus was essential in a democracy. Politicians should respect each other in public life. “People from different parties have different views. We are not enemies. We are just political rivals. This is my advice to young politicians,” he said. He found it interesting to argue with Kalaigner, as Karunaidi was addressed with respect and sometimes differed from his views.
Karunanidhi was not only firmly rooted in his ideals but also worked for the welfare of the people with devotion, dynamism and discipline. “He was one of the most dynamic chief ministers of India,” the vice president said. He recalled that the late leader had opposed the imposition of a state of emergency by the then Prime Minister, the late Indira Gandhi, “in clear and unequivocal language.
He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India was becoming stronger and now was the right time to work together for the welfare of the poor. “When states develop, countries prosper. It should always be remembered. We are Team India. We should forget our political differences and work together,” Naidu added.
Noting that he was “really happy” to unveil Karunanidhi’s statue before his birthday on June 3, Naidu said he had the slightest hesitation in accepting the invitation to attend the event. “I immediately accepted the invitation. Karunanidhi is an efficient administrator who has given a stable rule and worked for the welfare of the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden,” he said.
Naidu said he had been watching the speeches of the late Karunanidhi and other Tamil Nadu leaders from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh since his student days and found the DMK leader to be the best speaker in the country. “There was clarity in his approach. The way he spoke was very good and it fascinated me, even though I had my own political leanings,” Naidu said.
Recalling Dravid’s fearless arrest by the state’s then AIADMK government in 2001, Naidu said he stood by the leader during the crisis.
Karunanidhi was a shrewd politician who won the contest and led his party for half a century. As Chief Minister, he has left a lasting legacy of development and social welfare. Talented speakers have found a place in the list of iconic leaders who have put people at the center of their work, the vice president said.
“Thanks to leaders like him, the country has strengthened its federal character and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling it, the country has emerged as a strong Team India,” Naidu said at a function at Arangam in Kalaivana where several prominent personalities, including film superstar Rajinikanth. Also participates.
Karunanidhi’s multifaceted work has had a lasting impact on the socio-political landscape of Tamil Nadu, he said.
Congratulating Karunanidhi as the “Father of Modern Tamil Nadu” Chief Minister MK Stalin said that his father Kalaigna was a multi-faceted personality who had dedicated his life for the oppressed section.
“He had a long-term vision and in the complex where his statue is placed, he built it to be in the Tamil Nadu assembly complex but now it is functioning as a hospital,” Stalin said.
He thanked Naidu and former Prime Minister, the late AB Vajpayee for supporting his father during his arrest in 2001.
Earlier, the vice-president unveiled a statue of five-time Tamil Nadu chief minister Dravid in the presence of Stalin on the campus of the multi-super specialty government hospital on the Omandura estate here.
In the wake of the death of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran 35 years ago, the statue has been placed a few hundred meters away from the place where the original was vandalized.
The 16-foot-tall bronze statue, which bears the image of Karunanidhi’s trademark dark glasses he had worn for decades, is mounted on a 14-foot-high foot. After the official unveiling, the Vice President, along with the Chief Minister and other leaders, laid a wreath at the portrait of Karunanidhi placed near the statue.
Periyar (rationalist leader Evi Ramasamy) wanted to erect a statue of Karunanidhi. But after Periyar’s death, his wife, Moniyammai, set out with Dravidian Kazhagam to place his statue on Anna Salai, Stalin said.
“After MGR’s death, the statue was vandalized by some evil force for political hatred (such as Ramachandran is affectionately addressed),” Stalin said in a letter to his DMK staff on Friday.

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