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RIP Karunanidhi, Rest In Politics

Karunanidhi’s resting place today sends out a political message to followers about winning elections

Karunanidhi had penned his own epitaph before he died. It read: “The man who never rested, rests here.” But today, exactly seven months after he died on August 7 last year, his resting place came to life with a political message.

“40/40” read the floral decoration over his memorial and without any ambiguity the message was for the DMK’s hopes to win all 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the upcoming 2019 parliamentary elections to be notified soon.

“It was not a message that I was asked to put out by the DMK leadership,” Pookadai Venkatesan the man in-charge of floral decorations every day at Karunanidhi memorial told The Lede. “I have been coming up with various designs for the floral decorations at the memorial every day and today, since the DMK-led alliance has been finalised for the upcoming elections, I decided to put out this message for everyone coming to the memorial to see,” Venkatesan added.

As inadvertent as he may make it sound, Venkatesan’s idea of delivering a political message through the decoration over Karunanidhi’s memorial did not stop with just that. Another DMK worker – K Suresh Babu, belonging to the Labour union wing of DMK decided to shoot a video of the design and overlay an election rally message given by the late DMK president Karunanidhi in the past.

This is not the first time the Dravidian parties have invoked their dead leaders to muster support during elections. Ahead of the crucial RK Nagar bypolls, voice messages of late former AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, who passed away in 2016, was widely distributed among the voters of Tamil Nadu. She was heard appealing to voters and making a pitch for AIADMK’s two-leaves symbol.

However, a short walk away from Karunanidhi’s memorial, people who came to take a look at the Jayalalithaa memorial, had to be content with looking at the frantic pace of construction taking place on the beach side and a board announcing that the memorial is under construction and will be completed soon.

A board saying that the late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s memorial is under constriction.

A board saying that the late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s memorial is under constriction.

 

Jayalalithaa memorial construction work on in full swing on Marina.

Jayalalithaa memorial construction work on in full swing on Marina.

Meanwhile, over MGR’s resting place, people continued to place their ears over his memorial to try and listen to his “ticking wrist watch.”

Visitors at MGR memorial on Marina.

Visitors at MGR memorial on Marina.

On the Marina, where three erstwhile compatriots of the Dravidian party lay, it is the late DMK patriarch’s that’s busy at work today. RIP Karunanidhi, Rest In Politics.

The memorial arches built for late Dravidian leaders and former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers C N Annadurai and M G Ramachandran stand overlooking a busy traffic on Kamaraj Salai off Marina beach on Thursday.

The memorial arches built for late Dravidian leaders and former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers C N Annadurai and M G Ramachandran stand overlooking a busy traffic on Kamaraj Salai off Marina beach on Thursday.

 

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