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Tamil Superstar and Politician Vijayakanth Passes Away at 71

Tamil Nadu mourns the passing of beloved actor and politician Vijayakanth, fondly called “Captain,” who breathed his last today at the age of 71. His contributions to both cinema and the political landscape of the state leave an enduring legacy.

A Journey in Cinema

  • Born Vijayaraj in 1952, Vijayakanth’s film career began in 1979 with “Iniukum Ilamai.”
  • He rose to fame through films like “Senthoora Poove,” “Pulan Visaranai,” “Chatriyan,” “Captain Prabhakaran,” “Chinna Gounder,” and “Ramana,” among others.
  • His rugged persona and portrayal of strong characters resonated deeply with audiences, particularly in rural areas, earning him the nickname “Karuppu MGR,” referencing MGR, another iconic Tamil actor-politician.
  • “Captain Prabhakaran” (1991) solidified his association with the “Captain” moniker, while “Chinna Gounder” (1992) further cemented his status as a popular rural hero.
  • His dedication to cinema was recognized with the prestigious Kalaimamani award in 2001 and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for his performance in “Ramana” (2002).

Political Forays

  • In 2005, Vijayakanth forayed into politics by founding the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) party.
  • The party emerged as a fresh alternative in Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian politics, capitalizing on Vijayakanth’s immense popularity, especially in rural areas.
  • DMDK achieved surprising success in the 2006 Assembly elections, securing 8.4% of the votes and earning Vijayakanth his first and only seat in the legislature.
  • In 2011, a strategic alliance with the AIADMK saw DMDK win 29 seats and become the state’s main opposition party, highlighting Vijayakanth’s political influence.

Remembering a Legend

Vijayakanth’s legacy transcends both cinema and politics. He was a man of the people, adored for his on-screen persona and respected for his political aspirations. His journey from humble beginnings to stardom and political relevance is an inspiration to many.

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