Kalaignar 100 | 'Kalaignar Karunanidhi transformed art into politics and politics into art'

The star-studded event saw the participation of top actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Nayanthara, Keerthy Suresh, Sivakarthikeyan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, and Vadivelu
Kalaignar 100 | 'Kalaignar Karunanidhi transformed art into politics and politics into art'
Kalaignar 100 | 'Kalaignar Karunanidhi transformed art into politics and politics into art'

Tamilnadu Film Producer's Council organized a special function, Kalignar 100, to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary year of the late politician and screenwriter Karunanidhi at Guindy Race Course grounds on Saturday. The star-studded event saw the participation of top actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Nayanthara, Keerthy Suresh, Sivakarthikeyan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, and Vadivelu. Notably, filmmakers Pa Ranjith, Lokesh Kangaraj, Vetrimaaran, and Mohan Raja were also part of it.

The evening was filled with dance performances of actors like Sayeeshaa, Jiiva, Lakshmi Menon, and Sandy. They performed to the classic numbers from the hit films of Karunanidhi. Aside from this, there were plays depicting the major events from the life of the veteran politician.

Suriya, who spoke first at the event, said that Kalaignar Karunanidhi transformed art into politics and politics into art. "He was a trendsetter who proved cinema can be used as an effective weapon to orchestrate positive social changes in society. He strived hard for the rights of oppressed people and women. Though he was active in politics, he never lost his passion for cinema. Deep down he was always an artist and a creator, that's why we lovingly call him Kalaignar."

Dhanush, who took over the stage next, humbly stated that he doesn't have the age or experience to talk about Kalaignar and went on to fondly recall the time when the veteran addressed him as 'Manmadha Raasa', referring to his hit song from Thiruda Thirudi. "Sometimes, we never come to terms with the demise of certain personalities. It is hard to believe they are gone as we keep talking about them daily. Kalaignar Karunanidhi was one such rare person," shared Dhanush.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan, started his speech calling Karunanidhi as one of his mentors, "MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Kalignar were my teachers. Kalaignar's powerful screenwriting and dialogues transformed MGR and Sivaji into the biggest superstars of Tamil cinema. He never forgot politics as an artist and art as a politician. I used to adore Kalaignar a lot as a kid that I had even requested my elder sister to let me style my hair after him." The versatile actor then shared that he learned the importance of interacting with people from all walks of life, from him and that in a way it led to his stint with television. "It is only because of this lesson I learned from Kalaignar that I am hosting a reality show like Bigg Boss."

Rajinikanth, who spoke after, expressed that Kalignar Karunanidhi would have created many MGRs and Sivajis if he had focussed solely on cinema, forgoing politics. "I get baffled whenever I start speaking about Kalaignar, and not know where to start and end. He was that kind of an inspiration to me. He was a powerful orator who knew his audience. He spoke as a poet to a poet, a scholar to a scholar, and a layman to layman." The superstar ended his speech by saying, "Kalaignar didn't like God. But he was a person whom God loved. I have often shared this with him during our interactions."

Chief Minister MK Stalin, who spoke last, thanked everyone and made an announcement about the Tamilnadu government's initiative to build a modern film city in Poonamallee. "A brand new film city worth 540 crores will be constructed in Poonamallee. The premise will comprise four shooting floors worth 25 crores, production and post-production units, and a 5-star hotel," stated Stalin.

 Though actors Ajith and Vijay were expected to attend the event by the audience, they didn't turn up. Apart from the film personalities, many major politicians including Tamilnadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin graced the function.

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