Published: 08th August 2018
Did you know that Karunanidhi edited a newspaper as a schoolboy?
Karunanidhi was just 15 when he edited Manavar Nesan, a hand-written fortnightly newspaper that was circulated among his schoolmates and friends in Tiruvarur from 1938
Journalism was among the various fields that DMK leader, M Karunanidhi excelled at. Though the journey began at Tiruvarur, he continued being a writer and a newspaper editor for 80 years.
As a schoolboy, Karunanidhi was just 15 when he edited Manavar Nesan, a hand-written fortnightly newspaper that was circulated among his schoolmates and friends in Tiruvarur from 1938. It became defunct in eight months. He launched Murasoli, which he endearingly referred to as ‘My first child’, as a pamphlet publication in 1942. He used to write essays under the name Cheran and send copies to supporters of the Self-respect Movement.
“When Murasoli became a weekly, I used to pledge things from my house to meet printing expenses,” Karunanidhi wrote in his autobiography. He’d carry the paper bundles on his head from the printing press through the streets of Tiruvarur. But, the first byline that Karunanidhi got was in 1942, when he sent an essay titled ‘Ilamai Pali’ (Sacrificing Youth) to Dravida Nadu, Kancheepuram.
When he saw the essay in print in the next issue of Dravida Nadu, a weekly paper, he was jubilant.
Subsequently, when the editor of Dravida Nadu visited Tiruvarur to address a meeting, he remembered the name of his contributor and wanted to know who M Karunanidhi was. When Karunanidhi was presented before him, the editor was shocked to see a schoolboy and advised him not to write anymore but to concentrate on studies, advice Karunanidhi would not follow. However, much later, he did follow the editor, CN Annadurai, into the Dravidian movement and also worked as an assistant editor in ‘Periyar’ E V Ramasamy’s paper, Kudiyarasu.