Kalaignar Karunanidhi had passed away exactly a week ago, after being admitted in the hospital following a urinary tract infection. It was a huge loss for the state of Tamil Nadu as he was one of its most celebrated politicians. Condolence messages poured in from all directions, both cinema stars, and politicians alike.
An event was held by FEFSI, for the film industry to mourn the death of the legendary politician. Rajinikanth was one of the stars to grace the event. Here is his speech:
"He took up leadership at the age of 44 and has been one for the past 50 years. This is a remarkable feat when compared to world standards. He has crossed a lot of hurdles and so many betrayals, yet he came up trumps every single time. Be it a new person, or an experienced one, Kalaignar used to say 'Be my friend' or 'Be my enemy'. Only then you can do politics in Tamil Nadu. That was the level of control he had in the Tamil Nadu political arena."
"A lot of people have entered politics and become leaders because of Karunanidhi. Don't mistake me, but in ADMK's annual function, Kalaignar's photo must also be placed alongside MGR's, as he is one of the reasons why the party was formed."
"Despite all the hurdles, he lived for his fellow citizens. We don't have much time to talk about his political achievements and I'm sure we'll get other stages for that. He was a man of literary prowess. He made sure that the yesteryear literature bigwigs like Cholas and Pandiyas got the limelight. He brought stardom to actors like MGR. He made Sivaji Ganesan a big star in just his first film."
"I was shellshocked to hear about his death. I started getting memories of the days I spent with him. I switched on the TV and there was a huge crowd at his Gopalapuram Residence and yet I decided to go and see him. But somehow, I couldn't. So, I decided to go pay my last respects at Rajaji Hall the next morning. When I went there, I saw that there were just a few thousand people there. I got furious. Where are his fellow Tamils? Is this how we Tamils pay gratitude?, I thought. After which, I returned home and watched some videos on YouTube. Then I slept, and after a while when I switched on the TV, I was proud. People were flocking his residence, wave after wave. There were millions! Then I felt, Tamizhans are Tamizhans. None can beat their way of giving respect and being grateful."
Rajini further went on to criticise the government for its inefficiency in handling Karunanidhi's burial issue. He said: "At the time of his demise, a lot of political leaders like the Governor, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others were present. He was given a respectable send-off. The only drawback was the absence of the Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy. The whole ministry should have been there. What will the people think of it? Are you MGR or Jayalalithaa? You are just rivals. Not enemies. If it were legends like them, it is okay. But you should have been there."
He also made it a point to comment on the Marina burial controversy- "The issue didn't escalate to the higher courts. Thank god. If it had, then I would have jumped into the protest and taken part in it. I couldn't stand to see Stalin crying. He will definitely guide us all. I've personally learnt a lot from him. May his soul rest in peace."