In 1974, when DMK patriarch Karunanidhi was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, he put up a fight with the Centre demanding the right to hoist the flag. Till then, the national flag was hoisted by the governor.
Tamil Nadu's late CM Muthuvel Karunanidhi is the pioneer of many firsts including appointing a Dalit priest in the temples. But he needs a special mention on Independence Day because, if not for his fight and appeal, chief ministers in the state could not have been hoisting the flag today.
M Karunanidhi died on August 7 in Chennai. Rewind to 1974, when he was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, he put up a fight with the Centre demanding the right to hoist the flag. Till then, the national flag was hoisted by the governor.
Karunanidhi first became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 1969. Soon after coming to power, he made sure he campaigned for the autonomy of the states. His slogan 'autonomy for states, federalism at the Centre' became popular and spread throughout Tamil Nadu.
Through Rajamannar Committee which dealt on Centre-State relations, Karunanidhi got a resolution passed in Tamil Nadu to get more autonomy for the states in 1974.
IThe same year, Karunanidhi wrote to then prime minister Indira Gandhi, demanding the right for chief ministers to hoist the flag during Independence Day. Indira Gandhi agreed to the demand and the rest is histor. Chief ministers began to hoist the flag on Independence Day and governors were asked to do the honours on Republic Day.
Thus, after this development, M Karunanidhi became the first chief minister in India to hoist the flag on Independence Day in 1974 in Chennai.
Last Updated 10:03 AM IST