Pioneer of Dravidian movement, prominent film producer RM Veerappan dies

Affectionately known as RMV, Veerappan had close and friendly ties with several leaders including rationalist Periyar Ramasamy.

ByPTI

Published Apr 09, 2024 | 7:06 PMUpdatedApr 09, 2024 | 7:06 PM

RM Veerappan.

One of the pioneers of the Dravidian movement and prominent Tamil film producer RM Veerappan died due to age-related ailments at a corporate hospital in Chennai on Tuesday, 9 Apri, a source at the hospital said.

He was 98. Veerappan had served as a minister in the former chief minister MG Ramachandran’s Cabinet and was also in the Cabinets of late chief ministers: Janaki Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.

This Dravidian leader born on 9 September, 1926, enjoyed good ties with DMK stalwart and former chief minister M Karunanidhi too. He launched the MGR Kazhagam party after quitting the AIADMK.

He breathed his last at around 2 pm on Tuesday.

Also Read: BJP and the Nadars of southern Tamil Nadu: Past ties, present uncertain?

CM condoles death

“I was very shocked and saddened to hear the news of Veerappan’s demise. He was one of the pioneers of the Dravidian movement and founder of MGR Kazhagam,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said.

Recalling his visit to Veerappan’s residence on 9 September last year to wish him his 98th birthday, Stalin said “Not only in politics but also in the film industry, Veerappan left an indelible mark.” It was sad that he could not live a full life to complete 100 years, the Chief Minister added.

Affectionately known as RMV, Veerappan had close and friendly ties with several leaders including rationalist Periyar Ramasamy, and former chief ministers: CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi, Stain said.

“He showed me the same love and affection,” the chief minister said.

Film career

As a prolific producer, Veerappan ensured several hits in the Tamil film industry. His passion for Tamil made him president of the Chennai Kamban Kazhagam and he left his mark in literature too. In addition, he was also involved in spiritual activities, Stalin said.

“RM Veerappan’s death is a loss not only to the political world but also to those in other fields in which he worked, including cinema, literature and spirituality. My deepest condolences and sympathies to his bereaved family, relatives and friends,” Stalin said in his message.

Expressing profound sadness over the demise of the leader, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami said Veerappan was supportive of MG Ramachandran’s efforts in launching the AIADMK.

“He had served as a minister under late chief minister MG Ramachandran and had been the party’s joint general secretary and a minister under late chief minister J Jayalalithaa,” he said in a statement.

“I express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family, relatives and friends,” the former chief minister said.

AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinarakan too was among those who condoled Veerappan’s death.

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