Kalaignar Karunanithy a multifaceted personality: Kamal reminisces

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Actor Kamal Haasan has praised that Kalaignar Karunanithy is not only a senior political leader, he’s not only a Tamil scholar, he’s an amazing screenplay writer, an amazing dialogue writer. He‘s among those who taught me Tamil’. Actor Kamal Haasan hailed Karunanidhi ahead of his 94 th birthday in a video message.

 He said:“If someone asked you if you know to swim, you might jump into a pond and prove that you can swim. Similarly, in those days, if someone asked an actor if they knew how to act, they would deliver Karunanidhi’s dialogues flawlessly in Sivaji Ganesan’s voice. This was an elementary lesson.

When I was a 3-and-a-half-year-old boy, I would deliver Karunanidhi’s dialogues in a child’s voice. While there were many who could deliver his dialogues better than I could, he (Karunanidhi) was happily surprised that a three-and-a-half-year-old could remember it all, and praised me for it.

As a young person, I hadn’t interacted closely with Karunanidhi. It was only when I worked on Sattam En Kaiyil - Karunanidhi came for the 100th day celebration of the film, and I got to sit next to him.

Whenever I make a good movie, I always show it to him. Even if I forget, our relationship has become so strong that he himself would call me and remind me to show him the film.

Once, he called me to ask if I was in Bombay on the 2nd (of June). I said 'yes'. So you came back right, he asked me. I confirmed that I did come back. I asked him why he was questioning me about it. He in turn asked me why I hadn’t come to see him on the 3rd (of June) if I was in town, on his birthday. Kalaignar asked me how much time I think he had left, and insisted that I come and meet him. This was 10 years ago, he was 84 then. I told him he had a lot of time left, and that I would definitely come and see him. He’s 94 today.

He’s not only a senior political leader, he’s not only a Tamil scholar, he’s an amazing screenplay writer, an amazing dialogue writer.

I was speaking on the stage once, when MGR was in power. I said then that there were three teachers who taught me Tamil. I named Kalaingar, Nadigar Thilakam Sivaji Ganesan, and Kaviarasan Kannadasan. The next day, I got a phone call from Makkal Thilagam MGR. He asked me about the three teachers I had named, and why he wasn’t among them! I told him, “Your very name is ‘teacher’.” MGR graciously said I was right. I first thought he was angry with me, but in fact he called me to praise me.

My relationship with Karunanidhi has always been beyond politics, and it is that way today as well. While his record (60 years as a legislator) may not be related to my art world, it is definitely related to my world. To celebrate a diamond jubilee in politics, imagine how young he must have been when he entered politics, and how he has held onto it even in his old age.”  

Vanakkam23

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