Chennai: Kalaignar M Karunanidhi's death has reduced the supporters of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to tears. The 94-year-old and the five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu breathed his last on August 7. This veteran leader's death threw an immediate challenge at his son and DMK working president MK Stalin, who had to fight for a burial ground for his deceased father at the famous Marina Beach.

After knocking the doors of the Tamil Nadu government and encountering nothing but disappointment, Stalin approached the Madras High Court for intervention. After the hearing resumed, the court gave a green signal to the proposition of burying the body at Marina Beach, Chennai — despite several arguments presented by the State government.

Stalin was seen breaking into tears at the Rajaji Hall where a sea of supporters have gathered along with DMK cadres.

The court, which held a late-night hearing on a plea by DMK’s lawyers seeking permission to bury the leader near Anna Samadhi — the memorial of former chief minister CN Annadurai at the Marina Beach — adjourned the case to 8 AM this morning.
TN government had shunted the burial under the ruse that there were already four petitions pending in the court raising objections to politicians’ burial at the Marina Beach.

According to some sources, hours later, Stalin met with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and three petitions were withdrawn at the last minute.

Traffic Ramaswamy, who is a known activist in the State, did not withdraw his petition on burial, but did not raise objections to Kalaignar's burial at the Marina Beach either.

Senior counsels for DMK P Wilson and A Saravanan approached acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Huluvadi G Ramesh's residence and sought a permission to move an urgent motion.

DMK fought for its ground by justifying its stand that the popular leaders who swore by the Dravidian beliefs were buried at the Marina Beach. Also, after the death of former chief minister Annadurai, the land was allotted for burial only on the Cooum, which is now reduced to a sewage waterway.

But the State government countered it by pointing out that Periyar, despite enjoying an iconic status in the State, was not allocated a space on the beach. Same was the case with Janaki Ramachandran, wife of AIADMK founder MGR.

The judges asked the State government why it did nothing about all the petitions lying before the court opposing any further burial at the beach even at a time when J Jayalalithaa was being buried next to the grave of MG Ramachandran to fulfil her last wish. The court remarked that the question was not whether a dead leader was a serving chief minister; these petitions, it observed, were against all burials.

The DMK hailed the court ruling. They are now busy arranging for Kalaignar’s last journey.