The whole nation is in grief after the death of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who took his last breath on Tuesday. Yesterday, his last rites were performed in Tamil Nadu, and place for his burial is also allotted in Marina beach by Madras High Court. Karunanidhi, who died at the age of 94, was an iconic figure in Tamil Nadu politics. He held the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five times. He was elected as Tamil Nadu CM in the years 1969, 1971, 1989, 1996 and 2006.
Karunanidhi’s style was also unique, which made him a charismatic political figure. A yellow shawl around his neck and thick black glasses were his trademarks. Karunanidhi was always seen with black glasses on every occasion. But he did not wear it for the sake of fashion, there was a genuine reason behind the same.
In the late 1960s, Karunanidhi’s left eye was injured during an accident. Doctors then advised him to wear glasses to protest his eyes from exposure to sunlight. Then Karunanidhi wore ordinary glasses to protest his weakened eye. But in 1971, he changed to dark shades after American ophthalmologists prescribed for his persistent pain on his left eye — one which has plagued him since the mid-1950s. Only those who are in close contact with him have seen the DMK stalwart without the sun shades. Later, the dark glasses became a style statement for the DMK leader and a unique part of his personality.
In November 2017, doctors found that the dark glass frames were too heavy for him and recommended a lighter frame. Then Vijaya Opticals, a Chennai-based company, managed to provide an imported frame, which perfectly fitted on Karunanidhi’s eyes.